I will spit it out of my mouth!
I love to drink hot chocolate! Did I mention that I love hot chocolate? The key word here is: hot! To me, there is nothing more disappointing than to drink lukewarm hot chocolate on a cold winter day. I know it’s August, but bear with me for a moment. If my HOT chocolate is lukewarm, I have the urge to spit it out of my mouth. Okay! I know! I’m getting too wrapped up in this, but it really is one of my pet peeves.
Well, imagine how God feels when he encounters a lukewarm Christian? The word lukewarm means: neither hot nor cold. In other words, imagine how the One who sent his only son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, so whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life, feels when we serve him half heartedly. How does that benefit the Kingdom or glorify God? Well, to state it plainly: it doesn’t.
In the book of Revelation, John received a revelation from God `to write letters to seven churches in the Asia Minor area. In the letters, he addresses their strengths and weaknesses. As an educator, this is a familiar practice and I am sure that it is famililar to many of you in the business world too. Encouragement is the greatest motivator and addressing weaknesses, gives individuals, companies, and organizations an opportunity to grow in that area. As believers in Christ Jesus, we should all desire to grow!
Well, the church in Laodicea had become lukewarm in their faith. They were satisfied with their wealth and all that it provided them, so they didn’t need anything from God. Of course, don’t take my word for it. Revelation 3:14- 17 NIV states, “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.” Ouch! Okay, I added the Ouch part. I’m sorry.
Now take a moment to think about this. God blessed them with wealth. They were known for its banking industry. Hello! The wool industry was booming. They had a medical school that produced a cutting edge ointment that was used to heal many `eyes problems. I mean, all in all, it sounds like a good place to live. The only problem was: the city had a limited supply of water, so they built an aqueduct to get water to them. (An aqueduct is an artificial channel used to transport water.) Well, long story short, the water was lukewarm by the time it reached them, so the people understood what he meant in the letter. The water was not pleasing for them to drink, and their behavior wasn’t pleasing to God either. Yet, he loved them so much that he couldn’t allow them to continue down that path, so he sent a word of correction through John’s letter. I’m so glad that he loves us enough to correct us!
Well, as I soul searched with the Father over the last few weeks, I was led to address our pursuit for life, liberty, and happiness here on Earth. Now, wait a minute! Why do we need to address that? What’s wrong with that? We are blessed to be Americans. Our Declaration of Independence tells us that “… All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” We’re just trying to protect the rights that God gave us!
The problem is: some of us are becoming lukewarm in our faith today. We are dependent upon our “human” rights, just like the people in Laodecia were dependent on their wealth. As long as we have the right to express ourselves freely, we feel empowered. As long as we have the right to bear arms, we feel protected. As long as we have the right to be in our homes without unreasonable search and seizure and our private property can’t be taken for public use without just compensation, we feel safe to put down roots and establish a life for ourselves. As long as we have the right to choose what happens with our bodies, we feel like we are in control. “No one can make me wear a mask. It’s my body. They are infringing on my rights. No one can make me get the COVID-19 vaccination. It’s my body. They are infringing on my rights. No one can make me choose life over an abortion. It’s my body. They are infringing on my rights. No one can censor me. It’s my mouth. I can say what I want to say. They are infringing on my rights. And the conversation goes on and on…
Yes! It’s true. God gave us these rights; however, he did not give us these rights so we could live independent of him. The rights themselves should not become our God. We need our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ now more than ever! We need to consult him before we make any decisions regarding our lives because our lives belong to HIM. We should not comment on social media without consulting God because blessings and cursing shouldn’t come from the same mouth. (By the way, you can curse someone without ever using a curse word. It’s much deeper than that.) We should not share our opinions without consulting God. We should not make decisions about our body without consulting God. We should not vote in an election without consulting God. We should not fight for our rights until we’ve consulted God because we need him to order our steps. God’s steps are paved with LOVE!!!! Love is patient. Love is kind. Love doesn’t dishonor others. Love is not easily angered. Love keeps no record of wrong. Yet, we will burn down cities, fight each other in the streets, scale government buildings, and rip each other a part on social media because someone is infringing upon our rights. Some of the comments on social media about the current administation’s decisions about COVID-19 is unacceptance. The vile prejudice words being spoken by people who quote scriptures in the same comment is unnerving. Some of the things I said about the previous administration’s stance on police brutality and voting rights was unacceptable! I had no business talking about that man’s weight, hair, or skin tone! What does that have to do with policy changes? God is NOT pleased with that. As believers in Christ Jesus, we must be honest with ourselves!
If you thank God for the rights, but you’re not consulting him on how to excercise your rights, you should probably go to the Father right now and ask him to check your temperature! You just might be lukewarm. Just think about it. Then, go to the Father and pray about it.
#Soul searching with Our Father#