Monday, November 21, 2016

To Laodicea: Lukewarm and Pathetic

Note from Jesus

Dear Follower,

Be true to Me with all your heart (Matthew 22:37-38). Fence-straddling half-hearted efforts reveal that a person is double-minded and offensive to your Father in heaven (James 1:5-8 NIV; James 4:8; 2 Peter 1:5-9). I AM the One Who lived to please the Father when I was on earth (John 4:34; John 6:38). I lived the truth no matter the consequences (John 14:6). I AM the one in Whose name you say “Amen!” (2 Corinthians 1:20). I lived in such a way that I completed My mission (John 19:30).

Many people who claim to follow Me don’t know My teaching and don’t obey the Father’s will. They live to please themselves. We — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — are treated by these people as good luck charms Whose only role is to endorse their immoral lifestyles and grant their selfish wishes uttered in prayer. I know this sounds harsh. Sometimes the truth has to be said clearly. Our love is not love if it lets people throw their lives away chasing after the things of the world while claiming to live for Us.

The water brought to the city of Laodicea originated from the springs where it bubbled to the surface. However, after a long trip down the aqueduct to the city, the water was lukewarm. It wasn’t good for a warm bath. Those who drank it considered it awful as drinking water. Over time, the fresh, passionate, and vibrant faith of My disciples in Laodicea had become like their water. Laodicea was a “lukewarm” church.

Laodicea was a wealthy church in a city known for wealth. Living at the intersection of three major roadways and being a major center for textiles, especially black dyed wool, they found their security in their wealth. They felt as if they needed nothing. Their dependence was more rooted in themselves than in relying on Me as their Lord. Despite the fact that their city was famous for an eye salve, they needed spiritual eye ointment to remove their blindness to their spiritual condition.

As you read My letter to them, you will notice that I tell them that they are “miserable, pathetic, poor, blind, and naked.” You will notice that I do not compliment anything about their lives as My disciples. Their lukewarm hearts, their arrogant self-dependence, and their compromise with the worldliness made Me want to vomit.

Rather than depending on their financial wealth, they needed to have lives purified and refined into the gold of holy character (1 Peter 1:7).

Rather than depending on their lovely garments for which their city was so famous, they needed the white robes of purity and faithfulness (Revelation 7:13-14; Revelation 19:8) to cover their spiritual nakedness.

Rather than looking down their noses at others because they felt financially secure, they needed spiritual eye salve to open their eyes that had grown blind to what matters most (John 9:39-41).

I didn’t say any of this to My beloved disciples to be mean. I said these words because they were true. The Laodicean disciples were undisciplined and disloyal — not brazenly sinful, but not passionately faithful. They kept up the facade of their faith without the substance and structure underneath the appearance.

Verses to Live

I promised to come and discipline these disciples. This act of love was needed. So I stood at the door waiting for them to open and welcome Me into their lives. Notice that these words of both promised discipline and gracious fellowship are not said to unbelievers — the way some use them. This invitation to welcome Me is for believers who are lukewarm, double-minded, and blind to their compromises. I want to come to them and reignite our relationship and restore their passion. Maybe that is what you need, too. My promise is still true:

“Those I love I also correct and discipline. Therefore, be shamelessly committed to Me, and turn back. Now pay attention; I am standing at the door and knocking. If any of you hear My voice and open the door, then I will come in to visit with you and to share a meal at your table, and you will be with Me.”

Please take My words to Laodicea seriously. I long for your walk of faith to be filled with passion, focus, and commitment!

The One [Jesus]:
Write down My words, and send them to the messenger of the church in Laodicea.

“These are the words of the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of God’s creation:

“I know your works. You are neither cold with apathy nor hot with passion. It would be better if you were one or the other, but you are neither. So because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. You claim, ‘I am rich, I have accumulated riches, and I need nothing’; but you do not realize that you are miserable, pathetic, poor, blind, and naked. So here is what I suggest you do: buy true gold from Me (gold refined by fire so that you can be truly rich), white garments (to cover you so that you can keep the shame of your nakedness from showing), and eye ointment (to treat your eyes so that you may see clearly).

“Those I love I also correct and discipline. Therefore, be shamelessly committed to Me, and turn back. Now pay attention; I am standing at the door and knocking. If any of you hear My voice and open the door, then I will come in to visit with you and to share a meal at your table, and you will be with Me.

“The one who conquers through faithfulness even unto death I will place next to Me on My throne, just as I Myself conquered and took a place of honor with My Father on His throne.

“Let the person who is able to hear, listen to and follow what the Spirit proclaims to all the churches.”

(Revelation 3:14-22)

Response in Prayer

O Father, forgive me. Forgive me for my flirtations with the world. Forgive me for the times I’ve let my heart grow cold and my faith become passionless. Please, LORD Jesus, I invite You into my heart. Discipline me gently, but bring me — heart, soul, mind, and strength — into a deep, authentic, and vibrant walk with You. Holy Spirit, please fill me and transform me to be more and more like Jesus, Who lived with whole-hearted devotion to the Father. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

© 1998-2016, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus‘ is part of the Heartlight Network.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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