To the angel of the church of Laodicea write:
The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:
"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth." Revelation 3:14-16
When I read the book of Revelation, I am aware I am treading on holy ground. I pray you will be aware of that also as you read this devotional. My prayer is we will all hear what the Spirit of God is trying to speak to His true followers. In the first verses of Revelation John tells us this revelation was given to show His bondservants the things which must soon take place. I encourage you to read not only the message to the church of Laodicea, but all seven churches reading chapters 1-3. It is worthy of your time to say the least. Revelation 1:3 declares to us:
"Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near."
If you study all seven churches each church receives a different description of the God who is speaking. He assures them all He knows their deeds. He commends them and He corrects them. He makes us aware repentance is necessary in all our lives. Perseverance and holding fast to our faith to the end is also required to be found an overcomer, which we all must be, to receive the reward He promises to all. We must all remain faithful unto death however it may come.
In our devotional today I want to focus on one church even though you would do well to study all. I believe there is a Word for us in all the churches. However to avoid writing a lengthy essay instead of a devotional I must abbreviate my writing by focusing on one, Laodicea. As we look closely, these prophecies refer to God’s bondservants and John describes himself as a bondservant. Perhaps we need to take a closer look at what the Bible considers qualifying characteristics of a bondservant.. No one is ever enslaved by God. We are told in Galatians 4:7 by Paul:
"So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since your are His child, God has made you also an heir."
However, throughout the New Testament you will find the disciples of Jesus referring to themselves as bondservants of Christ. This is a choice each true follower of Christ is faced with. If we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, He must be the Lord of our lives. Scripture looks very different from what we are seeing lived out in today’s world in the church professing Him as Lord. We need to wake up before it is too late and we are found with our deeds not completed as God warned the church in Sardis. (Revelation 3:1-2) Bondservants are not lukewarm Christians. They follow Christ’s example of how to live in this world and not be of it. They don’t spend their time asking God to do for them, but what they can do for Him. It is no longer their will they seek, but His will. They are free from the approval of men, and only seek the approval of God as Christ did. They love not their lives unto death as Jesus did. They willingly give their lives for the lives of others out of the love of God and His Son, Jesus. They have learned until they love God more than themselves, they can never truly love others as He has called us all to do.
God is a radical God. Jesus was a radical lover and servant of God. God withheld nothing in sending His only Son, that we might become His once again. Jesus withheld nothing, laying down His sinless life for the Father, so we might receive eternal life and the promise of heaven. He loves with His all, and we are expected to return that love as we experience it from the Trinity. It is in the power of that love we can be overcomers as we are required to be in Revelation. We were made in God’s image. I want to be loved deeply. How about you? When you commit to marriage what kind of partner do you want? Maybe a more important question is what kind of partner do you want to be? There is nothing more painful in a relationship than when one who is totally committed, is married to a lukewarm partner. For a successful marriage as God intended there must be total commitment from the husband and wife. How much more is this true in the professing bride of Christ today in the church! As we are repulsed by mediocrity, so is God the Father as we see in His response to the church of Laodicea. Basically, He is saying I will puke you out of My mouth. You make me sick! Only people who are radical in their love and faith will fully understand this.
You will notice the church of Laodicea thinks they are rich and healthy and have no need for anything. Does this sound familiar to us in America? God’s response is they are wretched, miserable, naked, poor, and blind. He responds with these words in verse 3: 18-19:
"I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments, so that your may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes that you might see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent."
The same fire, tribulations of this world, is what refined Jesus, and it is what surfaces our impurities that we might repent, and be cleansed of all through the blood of Jesus, that we may be clothed in white garments. How desperately we need the love of reproof and discipline from our Father. Yes, we are His children who have the privilege of choosing to become His bondservants. I am overwhelmed how He pursues our love and devotion: Verse 20 states:
" Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and will dine with him and he with Me."
It is a constant invitation and it is never too late if you are still breathing! How He loves you and me! What possible invitation in life is more important than accepting this one? I conclude with His conclusion to the church of Laodicea in verses 21-22:
‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches."
We as individuals make up the church. So you must understand every word you have just read and will read in the first three chapters of Revelation are written to you personally, and it is up to you to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and what He is speaking to you specifically. He tells us over and over as He addresses these churches I am coming! Wake up! Be zealous and repent! Perhaps you, like me, need to repent for allowing our love and commitment to Him for becoming lukewarm, when we look at the One we profess to be following and the example Jesus left us. Let us purpose in our hearts now, for the love of God, to be overcomers faithful to death knowing the rewards far outweigh the sacrifice. Let us keep our eyes on the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords that we may take our place promised by Him!
In His love.
This lovely couple comes each spring to the pond to lay eggs and hatch their goslings! Another gift from the Father as I observe the perfect order and miracle of it all!