[Written by Joe Stowell for Our Daily Bread.]
I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. —Revelation 3:15
The city of Laodicea had a water problem. One nearby town had fabulous hot springs and another had cold, clear water. Laodicea, however, was stuck with tepid, mineral-laden water that tasted like sulphur. Not hot. Not cold. Just gross.
Given those facts, the words of Jesus to the Laodicean believers in Revelation 3 must have stung. Jesus rebuked them for being “neither cold nor hot” (Rev. 3:15). And when He thought of them, He felt like vomiting (Rev. 3:16)—like the effect of their drinking water.
What was their problem? It was the sin of self-sufficiency. The Laodiceans had become so affluent that they had forgotten how much they needed Jesus (Rev. 3:17).
When we say we have everything we need, but Jesus isn’t at the top of the list, He is deeply offended. Self-sufficiency distracts us from pursuing the things we really need that only He can give. If you’d rather have cash than character, if your credit cards are maximized and your righteousness is minimized, if you’ve become smart but aren’t wise, then you’ve been shopping in all the wrong places. Jesus offers commodities that are far better (Rev. 3:18).
He’s knocking at your heart’s door (Rev. 3:20). Let Him in. He will give you all you really need!
We must be careful to avoid
If sinful pride gets in the way,
God’s hand we will not see. —Sper
We always have enough when God is our supply.
Struggles and Fears
From: Streams in the Desert
—Days of Heaven upon Earth
‘Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’ Revelation 22:17
Suggested Further Reading: 2 Timothy 2:8–19
Some brethren have altogether forgotten one order of truths, and then, in the next place, they have gone too far with others. We have all one blind eye, and too often we are like Nelson in the battle, we put the telescope to that blind eye, and then protest that we cannot see. I heard of one man who said he had read the Bible through thirty-four times, but could not see a word about election in it—he put the telescope to the blind eye. Many of us do that; we do not want to see a truth, and therefore we say we cannot see it. On the other hand, there are others who push a truth too far. ‘This is good; this is precious!’ say they, and then they think it is good for everything; as if it were the only truth in the world. You know how often things are injured by over-praise; how a good medicine, which really was a great boon for a certain disease, comes to be despised utterly by the physician, because a certain quack has praised it up as being a universal cure; so puffery [exaggeration] in doctrine leads to its dishonour. Truth has thus suffered on all sides; on the one hand brethren would not see all the truth, and on the other hand they magnified out of proportion that which they did see. You have seen those mirrors, those globes that are sometimes hung up in gardens; you walk up to them and you see your head ten times as large as your body, or you walk away and put yourself in another position, and then your feet are monstrous and the rest of your body is small; this is an ingenious toy, but I am sorry to say that many go to work with God’s truth upon the model of this toy; they magnify one capital truth, till it becomes monstrous; they minimise and speak little of another truth till it becomes altogether forgotten.
For meditation: Are any Biblical doctrines your pet favourites? Are there some you love to hate? Doctrinal balance depends on us believing ‘all scripture’ (2 Timothy 3:16) and accepting ‘all the counsel of God’ (Acts 20:27) without picking and choosing as we like.
Sermon no. 442
7 March (Preached 30 March 1862)