Dear Father, your love is steadfast, and your grace is beyond all measure. I cry out to you in joy and thanksgiving.
Read REVELATION 3:14–22
To the Church in Laodicea
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.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectToday’s reading reminds us that Jesus stands at the door and knocks, seeking to gain admission into our lives (v 20). Will you let him in?
Self-awareness and self-knowledge are crucial ingredients in spiritual growth, enabling transformation into the likeness of Christ. Without this willingness to be radically honest with ourselves, we will always be in danger of self-deceit, thinking we are better than we really are.
The church in Laodicea is remembered because of its lukewarmness, but that complacency was the result of a lack of understanding of their true condition (v 17). It was a prosperous and successful place, and the church there was a smart and wealthy one, but without any sense of need. Instead, it prided itself on being self-sufficient.
Out of his love, Jesus says he will discipline the church, probably by allowing the fires of adversity to purify them of their pride and reveal to them their deep need of him (v 19). Self-knowledge often only comes through suffering and trial. It is when we are broken that we can best see our need of Jesus (v 20).
Afflictions serve a purpose in our lives, that of humbling us and making us aware of our true condition. Fortunately, the grace of God is such that he welcomes us as we are and builds us up again.
How are you growing in your understanding of yourself, both strengths and weaknesses? How honest are you prepared to be? How is God teaching you to be more dependent on him?
“Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.” (Spirit of the Living God hymn by Phil Wickham)
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