Monday, 02 June 2014 16:37

Be Encouraged!

Written by  Jay Thompson, Cornerstone Christian Church
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Every believer experiences periods of spiritual coolness. It would be great if we could all be fired up 100% all the time, but experience proves that it is simply not going to happen. Sometimes we feel like we’re moving away from God instead of closer to Him. Perhaps the sense of intimacy is gone, or maybe we find our trust diminished. The lack of excitement seems to point toward a lack of purpose as we begin to go through the motions rather than worshiping and serving with heartfelt intent.  Pretty soon we find ourselves questioning our own commitment to Christ or looking for someone else on whom to blame our situation. As the spiritual rut gets deeper, excuses come easier, and there is a danger that our temporary coolness might settle into long-term apathy. And the response of the Lord to a lukewarm believer is clear (Revelation 3:16). The lukewarm state of the Laodicean church in Revelation 3 can be a mirror image warning to us (James 1:22-25) if we allow ourselves to slip into apathy about the Word of God and our personal ministries. It is a huge blessing that within the letter of Jesus to that church we find key ideas that show us the way back to spiritual health and a close walk with the Lord. Consider the following…

 

 

1. Meaningful and lasting resources come from God. In verse 17, the spiritual poverty of the Laodiceans is revealed. To counter that, the Lord advises them in v. 18 to buy from Him refined gold, white garments, and eye salve, so that they may be respectively truly rich, clothed in the symbol of purity, and healed of their blindness. We know from the writings of the Roman orator Cicero that Laodicea was a center of finance and commerce. There was also an extensive textile industry in that city. And the Phrygian eye salve specially formulated, mixed, and sold in Laodicea was known and prized throughout the region as a healing and comforting medicine. Christ’s message, then, was to recognize that the worldly things in which trust is placed are not the things that will bring salvation or meaning and purpose in life.  His call to “buy from” Him is reflective of God’s call to the Israelites in Isaiah 55:1-3 to buy freely and without cost the true necessities of life. Put your walk with God and the learning of His truth first (Matthew 6:33) and keep the things of this world in their proper perspective.

 

 

2.  Discipline is a sign that God loves us and is shaping our lives (verse 19). The goal is not to destroy us or discourage us further, but to inspire zeal (excited commitment) to the Lord’s work as well as repentance (changing of the heart and turning from sin). When God allows difficult times or experiences to come to us, it always has purpose and will ultimately be for our best. Usually we are strengthened and made into more useful servants for the Lord. See your hard times as tools in the hands of a master craftsman and look for the teaching God has for you. He’s pointing you in the right direction!

 

 

3. The same Lord who saves is also interested in keeping the relationship strong (verse 20). This passage is often thought of as calling to the lost…but remember, the people addressed are Christians in the Laodicean church! The meaning is clear- the same Savior who gives the free gift of life wants a closer walk with us. What an encouragement! He seeks us…wants us to open the door of intimacy and closeness to Him. There is no need to feel isolated; His power on our behalf comforts us (Romans 8:35-39). Can you perceive Him standing at your figurative door, knocking? The decision to answer and grow closer to Christ is yours!

 

Apathy is reversed into excitement when we realize we serve a mighty God who has a great work for us to be doing today. See yourself as His ambassador to those around you. Let the excitement spread!

 

 

Jay Thompson is the preaching minister at Cornerstone Christian Church, located at 301 Dalraida Road, in Montgomery.

 

 

 

 

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 16:40
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