The letter to the church in Laodicea includes a powerful nugget of scripture describing the lukewarm faith of the church. The Apostle John, exiled on the small island of Patmos, received the vision and details to include in seven letters to seven churches. The six other churches received some positive comments. However, Jesus had nothing good to say about the Laodiceans.
The church suffered from spiritual blindness. Members thought they could see, and thought they were rich, without any needs. Worldly pride and arrogance compromised their beliefs. Christ counselled them to apply a spiritual eye-salve, so they could see how far they had fallen. Throughout the letter, Jesus encouraged them to repent and, quite frankly, to get their act together (Revelation 3:19).
One of the scenes in the Kendrick brothers’ 2015 Christian movie ‘War Room’ captures the essence of a lukewarm faith so well. This family drama explores the power of prayer and the importance of prayer strategy. Elizabeth, one of the main characters, a wife and a mother, describes herself as a spiritual person, God being very important to her. However, she admits to only attending church occasionally. When pressed about her prayer life, she sadly confirmed that she had a busy schedule, like most people, and described it as neither hot nor cold, but something in the middle (i.e. lukewarm). The scene concludes with her quizzically sipping lukewarm coffee, served by Clara, the film’s prayer warrior.
Seeing the Bible verse depicted in this way carried a very vivid reminder of the importance of putting God first in our lives. Where our eyes are focused, our hearts will follow. The point was made that, like the distaste of lukewarm coffee, God isn’t pleased when we don’t follow His will for our lives, and become half-hearted.
At the end of the letter, Jesus urges His people to listen. He spoke with compassion, assuring them that God’s grace and mercy were available to them, no matter how far they had fallen away.
Maybe we could consider if we’re sometimes like the church in Laodicea that John speaks of; tepid, neither hot nor cold. Christ says He’ll vomit and spew them of His mouth. Jesus says that there’s coming a day, perhaps we’re in it, when the love of men’s hearts will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:12-13). I’d encourage you today to go to the Word for God-breathed instruction.
We all have a personal preference for the temperature of our morning coffee, to fully enjoy the taste and flavour that’s brewed. However, it’s important that we do all we can to ensure our faith is ‘hot’, exciting, and in tune with God’s plans and purposes for us.
Prayer: Father God, help us to grow in faith today, and to understand Your will, and to trust You more. We’re sorry for the times when our faith has become lukewarm. We know that You love us, Lord, and ask that You would guide us every day, as we’re challenged in this life. Amen.
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