Lord, You are faithful to Your promises and consistent in Your purposes. Today, do Your work in me.
Read REVELATION 3:14-22
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.
“To become Christ-like is the only thing in the whole world worth caring for, the thing before which every ambition of man is folly and lower achievements vain” (Henry Drummond).
We are familiar with the idea of faith being “hot” or “cold,” the contrast being between those who are “on fire” for God, and those who are indifferent. This cannot be what John is meaning here. If it was, why would God want us to be “cold” in preference to “lukewarm’? No, the meaning arises from Laodicea’s situation in the Lycus valley.
Laodicea was across the valley from Hierapolis, and both had water supplied by hot springs that flowed over limestone cliffs. Hierapolis is on the site of modern-day Pammukale, whose name means “cotton castles.” You might have seen pictures of the limestone terraces on tourist brochures for Turkey. The hot water dissolved the limestone, which then settled out as the water cooled. This made it good for therapy, but bad for drinking; by the time the water had reached Laodicea, it was lukewarm and full of the sludgy deposit—enough to make you sick (16)! The cold spring water at Colossae was good for refreshing you and cooling you down in the hot summer, but the water at Laoadicea was, literally, good for nothing.
This raises tough questions: is my faith doing any good? Is my pattern of living making a difference and pointing people to God? Is my congregation acting as salt and light to the neighboring community, and beckoning them in? As Paul reminds Timothy: “If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself” (2 Tim. 2:13). Whatever our successes or failures, our fruitfulness or our ineffectiveness, he waits at the door to be invited in again to share intimate fellowship with us, a foretaste of the heavenly banquet.
Ask someone you trust, perhaps even a non-Christian: how effective is my life as a Christian? Remember that the one whose answer matters is faithful and stands at the door.
Compassionate Lord, You know me as I am and still love me. You know me as I am and still use me. Please “mold me and make me, after Your will” (Adelaide Pollard).
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