This Day in History: 0000-03-16

March 16 – Revelation 3:15-22 

I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from Me – gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on the throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on His throne.
Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying to the churches. 

This is the letter to the angel of the church of Laodicea. The last of the seven letters found in Revelation 2 & 3. In each letter we find an opening statement declaring which angel/church is being addressed, and something that is true of the One who writes the letter (Jesus). (That part can be found in verse 14, which is not included here.) Next, a statement is made bringing both grievances and praises (depending on the church) up for the church to consider. At the end, there is a promise, and finally, the declaration that anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying to the churches. 

Won’t you pray with me, as I do each time I read through these chapters of Revelation, “Lord, I have ears eager to hear Your message. Help me to hear your Spirit, understand what is being said, and receive the message You have for me with a heart of obedience, ready to change for You. Amen.” 

Each of these letters has a valuable lesson for us, but I believe this message to the angel of the church of Laodicea is the most relevant to the state of the westernized church today. Like the church being called out here, we are (not all of us, but the body as a whole) neither hot nor cold. We’re comfortable and “rich” by worldly standards. There is no urgency in our lives either for the things of God or against. We’re simply focusing on our own lives: amassing wealth, enjoying freedom, and spending time on pleasure. We chase our dreams rather than chasing our Lord. Our hearts beat for ourselves rather than beating for our Savior.  

All the while He stands knocking at the door, eager for us to open it so He can come in and enjoy sweet fellowship with us. May we hear His voice today and be aroused to action! May we wake up from our lukewarm ambivalence, take our eyes off ourselves and spend our lives on the stuff of eternity instead. May we be rich according to His standards, and dressed with the purity of His righteousness at work within us! May we have eyes to see, ears that hear, a heart that understands, and feet that are quick to obey!