Updated: Mar 5
Are you a cold glass of water on a hot day kind of Christian? Do your words, attitudes, and actions refresh others? Do you bring the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus wherever you go? If you’re like me, there’s room for improvement. The church at Laodicea had a lot of room for improvement. Let’s consider how they missed the mark and how we can hit it.
They had a lot going for them. Their town produced soft, black wool that made them rich and famous. Their medical school produced an eye salve that was much in demand. It wasn’t the perfect place to live, however.
A spring six miles away provided inferior drinking water. Jesus told them their Christianity was as unrefreshing as their water. He knew their true spiritual condition. They could refresh others only by abiding in Him (John 15:5).
Jesus labeled their worthless works “lukewarm.” They provided neither refreshment for the spiritually weary nor healing for the spiritually sick. They were self-satisfied, idle, and indifferent. They thought they were thriving while they refreshed no one. The church gave herself an A. Jesus gave her an F. He said she was “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked” (Revelation 3:17, NIV).
Jesus counseled the Laodiceans to buy things they thought they already had. Like them, Jesus warns us that superficial faith doesn’t change our character and conduct. It doesn’t make us useful. It isn’t the faith commitment necessary for salvation. Like them, we need white garments to cover the shame of our nakedness. Those garments symbolize God’s righteousness credited to our account through repentance and faith commitment to Jesus Christ. They needed eyes to see their true spiritual condition. So do we. Spiritually healthy Christians are never self-satisfied.
Like a shepherd, Jesus sought them, and He seeks us. He continued to knock with the hope of a response. He promised He’d immediately react to an opened door by entering and joining in the main, unhurried meal of the day. He wanted to be their friend and companion. He wants to be ours. Have you opened the door to Him?
Jesus promised faithful Christians that they will sit and reign with Him on His throne (verse 21). He overcame through the way of the cross and was then highly exalted. We also overcome through the cross. Taking up our cross means saying no to our plans, desires, and goals so we can say yes to His. We give ourselves away to meet the needs of others. We spend our lives for that which will outlast them. Jesus only trusts us to rule if we’re willing to serve sacrificially.
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Photo: Saint Mary of the Presentation Catholic Church/Wikipedia Commons