Lukewarm Living

There is something wonderful about a hot beverage on a winter’s day. Not only does the smell of coffee, the flavor of tea or the delight of hot cocoa please the palette, but even the warmth of holding the cup brings comfort.

One would think the simple pleasure of lingering with a cup of coffee would be an easy habit to establish, but I can’t count how often I have prepared a steaming cup only to allow some distractions to interrupt the moment.  I set it down to engage in something I’m convinced just can’t wait and return to an uninviting lukewarm cup; the taste and benefits lost from my neglect.  If the lapse of time hasn’t been too great, I reheat it or pour it over ice for refreshment, but a lengthy  span means it’s dumped.  Let’s face, no one enjoys lukewarm.  It just doesn’t go down well.  According to God’s Word, lukewarm has no spiritual value either.

Exiled to the island of Patmos for his profession of faith in Jesus, the apostle John received a vision from the Lord of what is and what is to come. The third chapter of Revelation contains insight he received concerning the church at Laodicea:

“These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm ~ neither hot nor cold ~ I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.”  Revelation 3:14-20 (NIV) 

The warning to the Laodiceans is a warning to us all. It is so easy to become distracted by worldly things and think we are doing well. The further we move away from our essential relationship with Jesus Christ and His ever-present invitation to abide in Him, the greater the risk that we will find ourselves living a faith that is lukewarm; and that makes us ineffective vessels for the power and hope of the Gospel.

Day by day the Lord stands at the door of our hearts and knocks. Answering requires everything else to be put aside to meet Him, but oh the benefits and blessing when He comes in!  Those moments of quiet insight strengthen and prepare us to live wisely in a distracting world.

Yes, there is something wonderful about starting the day with a hot beverage ~ but it can be made even better. Pairing it with uninterrupted time in God’s Word transforms every sip into a blessing that warms the soul and refreshes the spirit.  You may find yourself wanting seconds!

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