“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” (Revelation 3:19)
It’s often when I am not paying attention, reading a book or writing something like this that I make the mistake. I reach out to grab my cup of coffee, and much to my disgust I get a mouthful of tepid bean juice. In the grand scheme of things it is not the worst thing that can happen, but it is not the most pleasant experience either.
Why? Well it was something that should have been hot and it is no longer fulfilling its purpose, that’s the reason I am disappointed. And it seems that there is something of a cross over with what Jesus is saying to the church in Laodicea. They are not cold cups of coffee, but they are lukewarm believers, no longer fulfilling the purpose that they were created for in Christ.
It’s easy to see what has happened. The churches have become over confident, trusting in themselves and what they are doing. After all, they are rich and have a measure of security. I may be young, but I have seen enough to know that prosperity can be a very dangerous thing for the people of God. There is a simple reason for this; our hearts. It doesn’t take long for us to think that we have achieved, we have done, we have, we have….
However this is not the message that we heard and this is not the Christ that we follow. The only thing we have brought to the table is the sin that needed to be dealt with, and we do well to remember that. You see, when we get that picture straight in our minds eye it is far more difficult for us to begin thinking that we are the reason things are different, that things are working. When we once again realise that we need Jesus for clothing and compassion, forgiveness and restoration our outlook is very different.
So as a community of people passionate about what God is doing among East Asia’s peoples we need to ask a key questions in light of Jesus challenge to the churches. In what ways have we been over confident in ourselves? I know this is not pleasant, I had to ask the question of myself first. That being said, it is not a bad thing to spend time before Jesus asking this question. He delights to build us up through repentance so that our passion is channelled correctly for his glory.
Isn’t it a beautiful picture of Jesus; he is everything we are not. He is humble, he moves first, he speaks to us and he desires to bring us into closer relationship with God. No matter where we are serving, this is the one we serve and this is the one all peoples need to know.