HOW TO MAKE GOD SICK
Holy Spirit, I take this moment to be still, to listen, and to wait. Whisper Your truth into my heart.
Read REVELATION 3:14–22
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds” (James 2:18). Thank God for those whose actions have demonstrated God’s grace to you.
This message is perhaps the best known of the seven—and the most misinterpreted! To us, being hot or cold is about being passionate or indifferent about faith, hot being good and cold being bad. But would Jesus prefer us cold, rather than lukewarm (15)? Is open antagonism to faith better than half-hearted acceptance?
To hear this as John’s readers would have heard it, we need to visit Laodicea. Founded in the third century B.C., it was (like Thyatira) a commercial rather than military city. Cicero knew it as a banking center but it was also famous for textiles, especially a cloth made from glossy black wool. Its medical school produced ear ointment and eye salve. The city was so proud of its financial independence that it refused imperial help for rebuilding after an earthquake in A.D. 60. No wonder they thought they were rich, well clothed and had good eyesight (17)!
What they did not have was a good water supply. Colossae, further up the Lycus valley, was known for its cold springs. Hierapolis, across the valley, had hot springs and was a center for healing and religion. But Laodicea’s water was from hot springs farther up the mountain. By the time it reached the city it was lukewarm and full of calcium deposits—enough to make you throw up if you drank it! Cold water is good for refreshment, hot water for healing, but lukewarm water is good for nothing—just like the Laodiceans (16). Jesus criticized their works, not their faith (15). Their complacency meant that the grace they had received was not being translated into action to transform the world around them. Yet Jesus still loves them; he still offers to come and sit with them and put things right—if invited (20).
How are you making the grace of God, which you have discovered in Jesus, effective in your own world?
Lord Jesus, tell me what I need to do to set things right in my heart. I want what I am and what I do to point others to You.