You have to just read this passage to get the full effect, but Jesus basically tells the church in Laodicea that their deeds and motives were lukewarm--rather than hot or cold. Because they were lukewarm He is about to spit them out of His mouth. Ouch.
Their "lukewarmness" (I love making up words by adding "ness" onto the end) was due to their dependence upon material wealth. They had come to believe in their hearts that they did not need anything else--their lives were comfortable. But Jesus informed, "You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." (3:17b)
He then called them to repent with earnest heed, that they may be overcomers. Two things I want to meditate upon today from this text:
- Is there any aspect of my faith that is lukewarm? Lord, reveal it to me.
Do you know what lukewarm means in the Greek? Lukewarm. Hmmm. It is synonymous with tepid. Tepid means something is marked by a lack of enthusiasm and conviction. Wow. How goes our enthusiasm for the God of the universe? Have we grown comfortable with His presence or does seeing Him afresh send us to our knees? Do the things that "affect" Him also affect us? Something to ponder.
- The second thing that hit me was the very fact that Christ rebuked those who had grown lukewarm. He did not just "spit them out" without warning. He loved them--which He declared in verse 19. Because He loved them He rebuked them. That is the role of a faithful Father--out of his great love He disciplines that His child might stay in the safe, healthy boundaries He created. Thankfully He does the same thing with us today. If He did not love us, then He would not counsel us back to Himself. Thank you, Lord. So as His children, are we going to listen and respond to His Word?
Thinking of my earthly relationships helps me to tangibly grasp this concept. Totally hypothetically speaking--If I walked into the room and my husband was completely indifferent to my presence, how would that make me feel? If he was so familiar with my ways that I no longer kept his gaze, what response would that evoke in me? "I would rather you be hot or cold--to know that I had some effect over you." Oh, that we would never grow so indifferent to the infinite worth and uncontainable glory of God.
Get into His Word and see His face. Enthusiasm will follow.