May 5th, 2020 - Devotion 1
Take the time to read from your favorite Bible/Version or enjoy the text below from the NIV:
(14) “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. (15) I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! (16) So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (17) You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. (18) I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich, and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness, and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
(19)Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. (20) Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.(21)To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. (22) Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Wow! That was a lot, right? Hopefully you underlined some things in your Bible that caught your eye-maybe it’s already marked up! Regardless, I want to look at just one of the verses in the passage and apply it to us today.
I was sitting at my desk this morning that looks out our bedroom sliding doors. I’ve attempted to create a small “sanctuary” in front of the window so that as I work through my schoolwork or bills, I can be comforted by the flowers and rustic furniture that makes me happy! It’s a little overcast as many May days can be but that’s ok. I’ve got a candle lit, my coffee in hand and it’s quite cozy!
Our passage for today came to my mind as I returned from making my bed and having a chat with my husband and once again, resumed my quiet time at my desk. I reached for my mug of coffee and as I took a big swallow….EH! I literally spit it back out! It wasn’t too hot-I love hot coffee. It wasn’t cold. I enjoy a Starbucks iced latte! It was just lukewarm.
In my opinion, lukewarm coffee is the worst! I immediately spit the coffee back into my cup and what was once something that was bringing me joy and comfort-became discarded because of uselessness.
This is what John is talking about in the book of Revelations. Laodicea was an ancient city that had a BIG problem with their water supply. Because of where they were located, water was sent to them through an aqueduct from 6 miles South. By the time it reached Laodicea, the water had become lukewarm. Not hot for comfort. Not cold for refreshment. Good...for...nothing! Rumor has it that when prominent people came to Laodicea, they would bring their own water because they just couldn’t handle the lukewarm offering.
My heart hurt a bit as I imagined all of us, not being that sweet fragrance (2 Corinthians 2:15) to the Lord that we were designed to be, but something that would be so revolting, He would want to spit us out of His mouth.
And that begs the important question. What temperature are you today? As you face your time in the world today as a representative of God’s Kingdom, what will your “heart” attitude spill out? Has your life become one that is compartmentalized with "Sunday" and "Every other day"? What are you binge-watching on Netflix? Can you view it enjoyably knowing the Holy Spirit is watching with you?
What about your thought life? Your conversations with friends?
I can confess that many days, I struggle with being indifferent towards God and His purposes. Not necessarily angry but certainly not happy. I know that He is there, beckoning me to come partake of His goodness and peace but I’ve got my own agenda. I’ve got my own desires. I’m tired or grumpy. I just don’t feel like it.
So, I set off my day, knowing that He’s calling me but choosing to block His prodding.
It’s amazing how one of those days can turn into weeks- Even months for some believers. In the end, we become like that revolting swallow of lukewarm coffee that simply makes us sick!
Maybe that’s you today. You’re going to church (or watching faithfully online!) and you’d be happy to tell anyone that you love Jesus but secretly...You’re trying to avoid Him or build your own kingdom of hopes and dreams.
If that is you, there’s hope but there’s also surrender. Look at verses 19-20 in our text:
(19) Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. (20) Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
Isn’t that beautiful? After all of that indifference, lukewarmness, and selfish laziness that must grieve the heart of God, He quickly sends out a restorative invitation.
In laywomen’s terms:
“Hurry up, Charity! Don’t wait one more minute! Agree with me that you need me and that My ways are always right and we’ll feast together. We won’t have to have a 6 week counseling session to get back on track in our relationship. I won’t hold this time against you. It will be like it never happened. You knock and I will open up all that I am to you.”
What an amazing love with the Creator of the Universe that is recklessly pursuing His bride!
SO, I’m going to go now and re-warm my coffee because, frankly, I think it’s still redeemable- Just like you and me! Amen?