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by on October 19, 2014

Laodicea – Revelation 3

“So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ –and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked–

This is us. Where are we? God has harsh things to say to us and about us. Of course, we all know that He means the other people, the other church, the other religion. We are fine, We are God’s chosen people. ‘Is not the Lord among us? No evil can come upon us.’ But, God goes on: we are lukewarm and He will ‘vomit us out of His mouth.’ Graphic language. So, where and who are we? How are we living? Just look around.

We have the luxury of marriage struggles, pornography, romance novels, R and X rated movies, counseling, church problems, entertainment, wealth, pride, arrogance, expensive clothing, movies, TV, console games, professional sports, vacations, social stratification …anything – but God. Christians are strung out over entertainment. Any thing – but God

We are in-grown and complacent. We focus on me and us and my. Where will it stop? When will it stop? How will it stop? It is time to stop.

Jesus told us to pray to OUR FATHER, not to my father. Of course He is my Father, but most of all He is OUR FATHER. We are a body. The focus of the Reformation was (and still is) personal. Personal, even religion is about me. OUR FATHER is about US. All believers. Not just me and God.

We need to get that nailed down in our hearts and minds. We are His body, the Church of Jesus Christ. Indwelled and controlled and led by His Holy Spirit. We are a community.

We are dividing and splitting and splintering the body. What could be sadder? How many different churches will it take to satisfy everybody?
These basic things should be done-deals. Finished. We should not be taken up with little (or big) details of physical, material life that are so basic to life. They should be settled long ago in our minds. Family, home, work, etc.
We have created a life of perception and image. We look good on the outside. We ‘say we are rich and increased in goods.’ We are actually impoverished. In God’s eyes we are: ‘wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.’ We hoard stuff and money. We withhold love and care. We are the center of our universe.

We are playing little king-on-the-mountain games where I am better than you and my church and my ideas are better than yours. My doctrine is right and yours is wrong. Pride is killing the church. You better do it my way or else. Or else what? Or else I will make your life difficult. I will make sure that your life is hard.

Powerful people control and manipulate. How sad can this be? How did we get here?

While we war, the enemy is advancing. We will fall easily. We are falling easily. We have so many capable people but they are not in the front lines. We are distracted by the lure of the world and its pleasures. We should all be evangelists. We know so much that the world needs to know. We should all be preachers. Get out there and preach the gospel of the love of God. The world needs to hear the message. We are sitting on the message of life in a dying world. Send Paul one way and send Barnabas the other way.

What does it matter what kind of car you drive? What kind of house you live in? What does it matter? We are the rich man in the story of the rich man and Lazarus. Fun now, Hell later.

Church politics is killing our children. God will hold us accountable. Pride is killing our marriages. God will hold us accountable. Lust is destroying our moral life. God will hold us accountable. Our neighbors do not hear about God. God will hold us accountable.

Bigger tractors. More trucks. Fancier clothes. More land and houses. For what? I ask. For what? ‘Having food and clothing,’ Jesus said, we should ‘be content.’

Worship is a distant concept. We need to fall on our faces and repent and ‘count the cost.’ ‘Neither do I count my life dear unto myself,’ the Apostle said. Our focus needs to be on Creator, God and we need to worship Him with our whole heart, soul, mind and body.

It was my blessing to grow up in a simpler time. Grandpa would take time to lie on the grass on his back as dark settled over the farm. He looked up and spoke of the God who made all those stars. We had enough hay in the mow to feed our ten cows and few heifers. We were not trying to buy the neighbors farm and get bigger and bigger. Neighbors worked together to get the work done. We helped each other. We did not try to out-do each other.

We tried to bless people by meeting their needs. We did not close at five O’clock. We did not take two week vacations. Our goal was not to make money. Our goal was to bless those around us. We took their needs seriously. People talked and laughed. Life was not always perfect but we made the best of it.

Dating was fun, instead of traumatic. Church was a constant, instead of a variable. Family was fixed, instead of in flux. We were content, not confused. Life was not perfect but we made the most of what we had.

Sure, people had problems. But, people cared about people and we met each other’s needs. We took time to go sledding on the hill behind the barn. No need to go to an expensive ski slope and mingle with the world and spend a ton of money.

We have allowed the world to tell us lies. Unfortunately, we have believed those lies.

We may soon have the blessing of blessing each other in suffering. We will then look back at the opportunities we missed. Our things will be worthless. That is the way cycles of life work. We have ridden the crest of the worldly wave.
Now is the time to re-evaluate.
Now is the time to put your house in order.
Now is the time to invest in people.
Now is the time to love.
Now is the time to care.

There is no time for politics.
There is no time for power plays.
Ideological wars are just as deadly as physical wars.

It is time to stop.
Turn back to God and stop and live.

“I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

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