Red Hot and Holy!
Father, I’m grateful for my church fellowship and all that it means to me as I try to serve You.
Read REVELATION 3:14-22
 “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.  I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth.  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.  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.  Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.  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 him, and he with me.  To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat was wrong with this church?
There is an excellent reason why coffee shops feature hot drinks alongside delicious iced specialties—because lukewarm just does not hit the spot! And that is the precise complaint Jesus has regarding the church in Laodicea (16). The city faced challenges concerning its water supply and so the metaphor John uses speaks perfectly into their situation. They knew the insipidness of lukewarm water—it was good for nothing!
There was a self sufficiency about the wealthy Laodicea—a smugness that arose from their ability to rebuild the city after an earthquake had brought major devastation. They were pleased with their achievements and proud of their independence, but Jesus delivers a sting that speaks right into this (17,18). We are designed to live in community and not in isolation. Independence from God and others is not the mark of a God-centered church. Love and discipline work together! It is only because Jesus loves them, that he delivers such a weighty provocation. Healthy discipline is an invitation to learn. It is essentially a matter of love (19,20).
Are you experiencing the spiritual benefits of Christian community? Have you known God’s loving discipline somehow?
Lord, keep reminding me how important it is to be connected to other Christians in the fellowship of Your church.
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