buildingbodies4christ

building on the foundation of Jesus Christ

Archive for the tag “Lukewarm”

Keep it Hot!

What better message to send on a hot summer day than to fan the flames to make us even hotter. What? Okay, this morning I read the passage about the church at Laodicea in Revelation 3. That passage always checks my spirit. The church was considered to be lukewarm – neither cold nor hot. Laodicea was known for their lukewarm waters – it was disgusting and people would spit it out. Jesus said He wanted to do the same with their attitude toward God.

My spirit does a check to see if my attitude has shifted into indifference or stagnation – being lukewarm toward God. I don’t want it to go there, but oftentimes, I find myself easing back into patterns that allow this unholy attitude toward God. It doesn’t take much for my eyes to shift away from Jesus into worldly patterns. I spend less time with Him in the mornings because I want just a few more minutes of sleep. Or watch television at night taking me away from more godly pursuits.

I have heard it said the opposite of love is not hate but indifference. Indifference can stop any movement of God. I have found myself in those indifference moments because a social problem doesn’t concern me. However, our attitude toward social issues can become extreme. Tony Evans made the remark in a recent message “we are more concerned about what’s going on in the White House than what’s going on in God’s house.” That was a jolt to my spirit. We’re fanning the flames in the wrong place.

As Christians, our involvement in political things should be for the right reason. As Christians, we need to make sure we elect people who have godly values so that the government will be kept in check. However, as Christians are priority is saving lives – spreading the message of hope and restoration. We are to reflect Jesus to those around us. Many times though, we go through these seasons of dryness where nothing is happening in our spiritual lives to keep us on fire for the Lord. Our faith seems to have diminished and our hope seems to have fizzled when more and more of the world’s problems creep into our spirits.

It’s hard not to let those issues turn our heads into wrong actions and wrong words when our spirits have not been thoroughly cleansed by the presence of Jesus. My heart hurts when I hear words spewing out of person’s mouth that do not glorify God and these things are said by a supposed Christian. I also have to check my spirit when I want to judge that person. I don’t know what’s going on in that person’s heart to cause words to flow that are not edifying anyone. I am not to judge but to love. Sometimes it’s easier said than done.

I want to see God move again. It’s time for the spirit to be checked. A lack of faith or an attitude of indifference can keep God from moving. Maybe we’re not in a good place to hear or see God. Maybe we’re in a place where there is only lukewarm water flowing. Maybe we need to move to where the living water is flowing sweet and clear. Maybe we have lost our first love.

When the first church began, it was through the Holy Spirit’s tongues of fire resting on the people. The people had gathered together in prayer and worship before the Holy Spirit came down. They fasted as well. They were anticipating something to happen – Jesus told them to wait for it. They prepared for it; and when it happened, lives were changed dramatically.

I believe we can have that again. I believe God wants hearts turned toward Him again like it was in the beginning. He is waiting. Jesus is standing at the door waiting for the door to open to Him. There is no handle on His side of the door – the door has to be opened by us. Are we preparing and anticipating His knock? It could mean a world of difference – not only for us as God’s people, but the world is looking to us for the answers.

Our attitudes have to change. God is waiting on us to fan the flames into a holy fire. Indifference – no. Passion for Jesus – yes, please. Faith – white-hot. Jesus could do nothing when there is a lack of faith. I believe Jesus is waiting on us to remove the indifferent attitude toward Him and toward others. God is ready to move mightily among us. I’m ready for it. Are you? Fling open the door and say yes, Lord Jesus, come.

I know all that you do, and I know that you are neither frozen in apathy nor fervent with passion. How I wish you were either one or the other! But because you are neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm, I am about to spit you from my mouth. For you claim, “I’m rich and getting richer—I don’t need a thing.” Yet you are clueless that you’re miserable, poor, blind, barren, and naked! So I counsel you to purchase gold perfected by fire, so that you can be truly rich. Purchase a white garment to cover and clothe your shameful Adam-nakedness. Purchase eye salve to be placed over your eyes so that you can truly see. All those I dearly love I unmask and train. So repent and be eager to pursue what is right. Behold, I’m standing at the door, knocking. If your heart is open to hear my voice and you open the door within, I will come in to you and feast with you, and you will feast with me. Revelation 3:15-20 (TPT)

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Warnings Pt 2

I finished reading the book “The Harbinger” and wanted to follow-up with last week’s post. The first part of the book – the harbingers – were concentrating on the 9/11 attacks and the aftermath. The second part of the book was on the second warning issued through the financial meltdown in 2008 and beyond. I learned some history of America’s foundation through this book. I was deeply moved as I read through it feeling a bit overwhelmed at how much of the events could not have happened by chance. I could see God’s hand moving through the circumstances as only He could do it. There were too many coincidences that could just be explained away by mere human actions.

So if we are under the warnings before the judgment, what are we to do about it? If this were all true, is judgment inevitable? Many times we see in Scripture that warnings through the prophets were either heeded or ignored. When the warnings were heeded like in Nineveh, the king and the people repented of their sins (for a short period of time). For Sodom, for other nations, even Israel at times the warnings were ignored and destruction was complete. For Sodom, God looked for the righteous people to save the nation but none were found.

At the end of “The Harbinger,” I felt a great conviction come over me. The author (Jonathon Cahn) pointed to the Scripture 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT): Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. The author pointed to the statement, “if my people.” That’s me, I am His people. The ones who don’t call upon God or Jesus, they are not under the same authority that we as followers of Jesus are. We are to be imitators of Christ. We are called to be lights in our communities. We are to draw others to Jesus. If we lived like we should, would we be in the same boat we’re in today? Would we be living under a warning to repent or reap the judgment? Food for thought for sure!

In the early church, the followers of Jesus made such a difference in their communities people noticed. They were called “little Christs” (Christians). They were set apart from the normal crowd because they were different in their ways (it was actually called “The Way”). The Way drew people to Jesus. When people were confronted with the truth, they repented and turned back to God (by the thousands). Oh, but that was in the ancient days. That can’t possibly happen today, right? Who knows? For the most part, we don’t live any differently than our neighbors. We want to fit in with the rest of society. We’ll do our good works through our own efforts. What we lack is the power of the Holy Spirit living in us to draw others to Jesus. I don’t know if the events of 9/11 were a warning to us. I do know this, if I am living as I am called to do, then change would be happening around me.

Warnings – the Bible is full of warnings. John the Baptist was sent before Jesus to prepare the way for Him. John warned those who would listen, it’s time to repent. Jesus warned the church of Laodicea to be hot or cold. Jesus said (in Rev 3:16): “So, because you are lukewarm I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” He goes on to say (in Rev 3:19), “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” I believe we’re getting closer to seeing Jesus come back. If God is sending us a warning, we need to heed it. If we are sent warnings, it’s because of His love for us. Warnings are always sent to His people before action is taken against them. We are given an opportunity to repent for our land to be healed. I am convicted, are you?

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:11-12 (ESV)

Worthy of Worship

I am studying Revelation in the Community Bible Study group. We are finishing up chapter 5 as I am writing this blog posting. The chapter is all about worshiping God. I have come to realize I don’t know how to properly worship God. In my past, I have found I have worshiped many idols – oh I didn’t think they were idols at the time – but they were idols nonetheless. Anything that is worshiped instead of God is an idol. Revelation describes the worship going on in Heaven as the angels, the elders, the living creatures and everyone falls down in worship before the One who sits on the throne. They are singing songs of praise and lifting their voices to the One worthy of worship. One of the study questions asked, in essence, about the quality of my worship.

I don’t know why I am so reserved when it comes to worship. Is it fear of showing that kind of “falling down on my face” worship to others? It might be done in heaven, but it surely isn’t done here on earth (or at least in my country/my community of believers). But why is it not done on earth? Why am I so reserved? I know what God and Jesus have done in my life to turn me from my darkness into the light of Christ. I know the forgiveness of my sins and the washing of my heart from its effects. Yet, I can’t seem to gather the courage to really express my devotion to the one true God. I see other people of different faiths fall on their face with passion expressed for their God. I believe I am serving the one true God worthy of all my worship. And I fail to live up to the standards of the living God. I am sure He is not excited to see me worship Him. Revelation chapter 3 tells about the lukewarm church. God spits (translated as vomit) out the ones who come to Him lukewarm. This should be enough to change my way of worship and praise.

Let my heart truly be turned to worship and praise to the One worthy. There is no one else or nothing else that deserves worship other than the Living God. Everything I do should be a reflection of my true heart turned to God in love and passion to serve only Him. Let it be as He says! Amen!

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped. Revelation 5:13-14

Fence Posts

I don’t like this political season we’re in. I will be glad when it’s over in a couple of weeks. I also don’t like commenting on the political agendas of either side. However, there are issues that keep coming up that one day, I will have to get off the fence and stand my ground. God tells us in scripture that He doesn’t like us to be lukewarm. He would rather us be either hot or cold (Revelation 3:15-16). He tells the church at Laodicea, “I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Based on the Greek text, spit should be translated as vomit. Those are some pretty strong words.

I have been pretty lukewarm on several topics, understanding in a way of both sides of the issues. Does it make it right that I can sit on a fence post instead of agreeing with God? God has some pretty strong words when it comes to some of the political topics we’re fighting over. And the country is pretty divided right now on those topics. We are a divided nation. Race used to divide us and maybe in some cases still does. God doesn’t care about race, color of the skin, or anything on the outside. He looks at the heart. He also cares about sin. We don’t talk about sin anymore. We have justified our sins now. We’ve allowed many sins to infiltrate our morals without giving them a second thought. God’s book is pretty clear what happens to those who do not repent of their sins.

Jesus said in Mark 3:24 “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.” Jesus also said in Luke 12:51 “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” It’s not about how we feel about the Bible. It is the truth of God, and it will stand on its own merit. It is meant to divide. It is the sword of truth. Since I am a follower of Christ, I am to believe what I read. I have to quit setting on the fence. At some point, I have to stand by God’s Word or I will have to deny I know Him.

It’s tough to stand up alone. Peter couldn’t do it. But God wants His people to remember who He is. The Sovereign King, the Holy One, the Lord God Almighty. It’s time to take a stand for what is right in His sight and not in man’s even if that means I lose family, friends or respect from the community. I cannot deny my Savior any longer. He has done too much for me. I am forgiven, and I live because of Him.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

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