Neither hot nor cold - Hope 103.2

Neither hot nor cold

By David ReayThursday 14 May 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Revelation 3:14-22

14 Write this letter to the angel of the church in Laodicea. This is the message from the one who is the Amen-the faithful and true witness,the beginning of God’s new creation:

15 “I know all the things you do,that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water,neither hot nor cold,I will spit you out of my mouth! 17 You say,’I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. 18 So I advise you to buy gold from me-gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness,and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. 19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.

20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door,I will come in,and we will share a meal together as friends. 21 Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne,just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.

22 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.” (NLT)

This is a church sadly lacking in self-awareness. It took pride in its natural resources and appearance of prosperity. And yet it was spiritually impoverished. All the precious metals and textiles and medicinal applications meant nothing. In fact,God is telling them to give up reliance on them and seek help from him.

They were lukewarm,practitioners of an insipid and tame religion. They lacked the warm effectiveness of the spring waters nearby. They lacked the cool refreshment of the sea water nearby. They were neither therapeutically hot nor invigoratingly cold. To quote another Scripture passage,they seemed to have the form of religion without the power.

The remedy is to invite Jesus in to shake things up a bit. The image of a knocking Jesus is often used as an evangelistic aid urging a spiritual seeker to let Jesus in. But in fact the text is applicable to Christians who need a bit of shaking up. We who drift into complacency or self-sufficiency are invited to let Jesus in to change things. Not as an intrusive marketer of a product but as a friend and companion who wants the best for us.

We may be willing to let him in to do a bit of cosmetic remodelling. But beware: he wants to do some radical spring-cleaning as well.

David Reay