This summer the temperatures have been up and down. During the daytime, it can become very warm but some mornings and evenings are extremely cool. These fluctuations in temperature can present me with the challenge of what I want to drink – hot or cold? Do I desire a hot cup of coffee or would an iced coffee be more appealing? If thinking about a coffee connoisseur’s menu, shall I choose a hot latte or an iced cappuccino? My decision most likely will vary from day to day. However, one thing is certain, I either want my coffee hot or cold – definitely not partially hot or cold. Lukewarm coffee is not my first choice. Okay, I know these decisions are not a worthy topic of a total blog but I am reminded of some verses of scripture.
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.
These are words spoken by Jesus to the people of the church in Laodicea. They were Christians – and yet Jesus spoke harsh words about them and to them. Just like I do not appreciate lukewarm coffee, neither did Jesus tolerate lukewarm believers among the Laodiceans back in the time period of 70-95 AD. Jesus still has the same opinion today of those who call themselves believers and yet do not follow Christ by their actions. Am I one of those people? I certainly do not want to be spit out of the mouth of Jesus and hear Him say that He has never known me! (see Matthew 7:21-23)
At first glance, I am quick to say I am not like the Laodiceans but when I think about it more seriously, I realize I am not so holy that I could never be like them. In verse 17, Jesus said to these church people that they did not realize they were wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. What words do I speak and what things do I do without realizing the type of witness I am being for Christ? I admit that I do not always get everything right! However, it is my desire to consciously try to do what Jesus would do.
I notice that Jesus said that He would even prefer for the Laodiceans (or me) to be cold in regards to a relationship with Him rather than to be lukewarm. Wow! I think Jesus made this statement because if one has not accepted Jesus as his/her Savior and Lord, one may be more open to the gospel message than a person who has heard it all his/her life but not taken it seriously. A person with a coldness in his/her heart might be more receptive to hearing about and responding to how to live a vital life with Christ than would a lukewarm person. A sinner may be more likely to hear the rebuke of the Lord than a nominal believer. I want to examine how I live for the Lord. So, now I ask, how can I sincerely be on fire for the Lord? Currently, do I daily pray earnestly asking for the Holy Spirit to convict me of my lack of love for the Lord and inspire me to live as a person seeking God’s own heart? (see Acts 13:22) I know what lukewarm coffee tastes like and I do not like it. Is that how Jesus feels about me when I am nonchalant or indifferent towards how I live for Christ?
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 that person, and they with me.
I like the promise of this verse! Whether my heart be hot, cold or lukewarm, Jesus is asking for a bigger place to live within my heart. My responsibility is to listen when He speaks to me and to do what He asks. As I think about what it might mean for Jesus and me to eat together, I come to the conclusion that He wants me to partake of His life and then He will take part in my life. If I open my heart and life to Him, I will experience His presence. Who knows? We might even share a cup of hot coffee or a glass of iced coffee! Instead of adding sugar or cream to the drink we share, I imagine Jesus would add grace and mercy. There is one thing I know for sure – we will not share a lukewarm drink or a lukewarm life!