Revelation 3:14-16 ESV
“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.
“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
The picture that the Lord is giving me today with regard to this passage of scripture is of those who are vacillating (dragging their feet) with regard to leaving their lifestyles of sin behind them to follow Jesus Christ with their lives in obedience to his commands.
Yet, they call him their Lord. They profess faith in him and in his salvation from sin. They make verbal confessions of faith and of adoration and of faithfulness. But, their professions are empty and meaningless, because they don’t mean what they say. Their confessions are just vapor. They profess one thing while they do another. They won’t really commit their lives to the Lord because they don’t really want to let go of their sinful addictions.
They are much like an airplane which is taxiing before takeoff or after landing and before coming to a final stop. They are just moving slowly along the ground, and the ground is made of dirt, and dirt is sin, and it is corrupt, dishonorable, immoral and wicked. Thus, they are still living and moving along in the filth, putting off repenting, being unwilling to let go of the world and the lusts of the eyes, and the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.
Their relationship with Jesus Christ is much like someone who has a boyfriend or girlfriend, yet they are unwilling to make that commitment of marriage. So, they just use Jesus for what they think they can get out of him, but then they cheat on him with other lovers. And, then they make light of it, too, saying they know they have played around, and they have let him down, but that their many indiscretions don’t really mean anything.
And, they just expect that Jesus will be there waiting for them whenever they decide to spend time with him, and they assume that he is all smiles and affection with them, and that he will hold on to them, even though they are unwilling to hold on to him.
They say they hate their sin and their sinful practices, and yet they keep going back to them time and time again. And, yet they promise that one day they will make that commitment to Jesus as their Lord, but not yet, for they are not ready to let go of the world and their sins of idolatry and adultery. In their pride and arrogance, they are still taxiing along in the dirt, still vacillating about making that commitment of marriage to Jesus Christ.
And, they just assume that when they finally do decide to truly give up their sins to follow Jesus in obedience that he will be there, and he will, if they are in earnest. But, the Lord could come back before that time to judge the earth and to take his bride home to be with him. And, then he would not be there waiting for them, for the door to heaven would then be closed. And, it would be too late, for they vacillated too long, and they missed their chance.
Revelation 3:17-19 ESV
“For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.”
Too many people are taking God’s grace for granted. They are self-sufficient, stubborn and unwilling to yield control of their lives over to the Lord Jesus. So, they continue to operate in the flesh, making their own choices, good or bad. They don’t really see their need of the Lord unless they are in trouble, or unless they think he can help them out of a tough spot, or unless they think that he can supply some need that they think that they have.
They are self-deceived, and thus they don’t really see the wretchedness of their spiritual condition, not because it hasn’t been shown to them, but because they were unwilling to see it. So, they are like the man who looks into the mirror and sees his reflection, but then walks away and forgets what he looks like. They choose to forget and to claim ignorance because they don’t really want to be responsible for what has been revealed to them.
So, the Lord Jesus is counseling them to believe him, to believe his Word and what it teaches, and to apply the truths of His Word to their daily lives. He is counseling them to repent of their sins and to follow (obey) him and to walk in his ways and in his truth. He is counseling them to surrender their lives over to him and to let him truly be Lord (owner-master) of their lives. And, he is counseling them to walk (in lifestyle) in holiness and in accord with the Spirit of God, in truth.
And, then he is warning them of divine correction, discipline and chastisement if they do not repent of their sins and truly be zealous for their Lord, and for His Word, and for walking in His Ways.
Revelation 3:20-22 ESV
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
Jesus is standing outside their hearts’ doors because they have shut him out, they have denied him by their lifestyles, and they have refused to let him be the Lord (king) of their lives. They are still wallowing in the mud, still vacillating in their sins, unwilling to yield to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
So, for them to open the doors of their hearts to him means to receive him, in reality, as Lord (owner-master) of their lives and to let him deliver them out of their slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin, and to allow him to empower them to walk (live, conduct their lives) in his holiness and righteousness.
Then, they will enjoy sweet fellowship and communion with their Lord. They will be united with him in love because of God’s grace, and because of the faith God has given them to trust their lives to Jesus Christ, God the Son. They will desire him and his Word and to obey his commands. And, so they will now yield their lives over to his control to do whatever he says to do.
Now, in the power of God’s Spirit alive and at work within them, they will have conquered the grip that sin had on their lives so that they no longer walk in the ways of the flesh, but they now walk in the ways of the Spirit. They are not perfect people, but they are being made to be like Jesus, and he is maturing them in their walks of faith with him, and he is making them holy, set apart from the world, because they are being conformed to Christ’s likeness.
And, they now have eternal life with God in heaven because of God’s grace to them, and because they have followed Jesus Christ in obedience, by their God-given faith in him. They have been crucified with Christ in death to sin that they might live to Christ and to his righteousness. Sin is no longer their master, but now Jesus is. And, he empowers and strengthens them to resist Satan, to flee temptation, and to draw near to God in full assurance of faith (Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
God is With Us
An Original Work / June 11, 2019
Based off Psalm 46
God’s our refuge. He is our strength,
A present help to us when in pain.
Therefore, we will not be afraid,
Although the earth beneath us gives way.
Though the mountains be moved to the sea,
Roaring waters abound so free,
And the mountains now tremble so,
We will not fear, God is near, we know.
God is with us and He makes glad
The hearts of all who to Christ have fled.
Christ is in us, so we’ll not fall
When on our Savior our hearts do call.
God will help us, as mornings arise,
To be faithful to His design.
Nations raging, and tempers flare.
Our God is with us. We know He cares.
Come and see the works of the Lord.
He’s armed for battle with His great sword.
He’s the Word, and He is the Life.
He gives us strength in all of our strife.
Be still and know that He is our God.
He’s exalted where’er He trods.
The Lord Almighty, with us still;
The God of Jacob, our citadel.
Wednesday, August 14, 2019