Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Mid-Week Message - Guaging Spiritual Temperature

"To the angel of the church at Laodicea write:  These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.  I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I am about to spit you out of my mouth."  Revelation 3:14-16 (NIV)

I worked in childcare for many years.  In fact, my first job in a company was at a Kindercare in Austin, Texas while I was in high school.  One of the fun parts of working with children in a child care facility or school is the field trips.  I got to tour a lot of fun places.  We visited a bakery and had fresh baked bread and butter, a Coca-Cola bottling plant, and a car manufacturing plant where we got to see an entire car put together from beginning to end.  In the summers we went to movies every week, the swimming pool and to various playgrounds.  One summer in Dallas, we went to a wonderful place that had playground equipment and a petting zoo.  The kids loved it!  Unfortunately, it was over one hundred degrees outside so the adults were miserable.  When we finally got back to the building, I hurried to the first water fountain that I saw.  I bent down and took a drink of what I was expecting to be refreshingly cold only to find myself with a mouthful of lukewarm liquid which I immediately spat out.  It was nothing that I wanted in my mouth, let alone to go down my throat!  I asked our assistant where a better fountain was and was told that they were having trouble with all of them so if I wanted something cold I would have to get it after leaving.  
I tell you this story because it made the above verses very real to me.  I can understand the concept of something being neither hot nor cold and wanting to rid yourself of it.  When I began to think about it from a spiritual point of view I found I had a lot of introspection to do.  How was my love for the Lord?  Was I totally disengaged?  Was I on fire?  Sadly, I found that I was more in the lukewarm vicinity than I realized. 
So what do we do when we find ourselves in that predicament?  Gratefully, we are capable of changing.  One-on-one time with the Lord is where we need to start.  We need to renew our relationship with Him through prayer.  He is alive and active in our lives whether we realize it or not and we need to be aware and acknowledge that with gratitude.  We need to spend time in His Word, reminding ourselves of what is written and allowing the Holy Spirit to show us what the passages mean to us personally.  We need to make sure that we are in a place of worship and with other Christians regularly so that we are being nurtured and can nurture others in the faith.  And we need to share the gospel with those around us so that they may know Jesus and accept the salvation that He offers.  This is an ongoing process.  As we do these things, we grow closer to Him and stronger in our faith.  We will see Him use our lives for His glory as we gain spiritual insight and become more open to sharing what He has done for us.  
I pray that this week will bring the opportunity for you to see firsthand whether you are cold, hot or lukewarm.  For me, it is something I have to gauge each day.  It is so easy to put things off and before I know it, I am slipping back into being lukewarm and I don't want that to happen.  That spiritual thermometer has to stay with me at all times.  Have a refreshing week.  God bless you!

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