Sunday, August 27, 2017

Medium to Mild

Medium to Mild
August 28, 2016
Revelation 3:15  "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!"

To the church in Laodicea, Jesus did not describe Himself as wielding a sword or with angry fireballs in His eyes. He described Himself as the ruler, as the one who had been given charge over the earth, and the one with the only true testimony in life. In other words, He had the final say and His final say was the truth. Jesus then told the church He was aware of their actions, but more importantly the truth about their hearts. He knew the condition of their hearts, in unbiased fashion, and their hearts were at a setting going from medium to mild. They were not on fire for the Lord, yet they were not ice cold to Him either. They were just tepid in their relationship with the Lord and fully content to stay there.

When he was describing their middle-of-the-road status, He was not talking about their maturity level in their walk with Him. A new Christian can be completely sincere in His faith, with the execution of it off slightly; Jesus has patience for this. Jesus was not talking about their knowledge of the Word or that they were following false teachings. He had no complaint with their doctrine, their belief system, or the method of handling the Word. He was frustrated with them because they had simply allowed their hearts to be set at medium. Apparently, Jesus does not like medium. He'd prefer all or nothing. In the letter, He wrote that they had become wealthy Christians by the world's standards and their wealth was allowing them to deceive themselves. Since Jesus had the only unbiased testimony about them, He told them that their hearts were not focused on the right things, their wealth was not helping them they way they thought it was.

Jesus recommended they trade for gold that had been refined in the fire by Him. The meaning of this is similar to laying up for yourselves treasures in heaven. His gold was truth, and faith, and being rich in deeds, not monetary treasure. True wealth has nothing to do with physical assets but everything to do with spiritual rewards. Their spiritual rewards were lacking, since they depended on their physical wealth while allowing their hearts to be set on medium. This is one of the biggest issues facing the church in first-world nations. Decorative housing, occasional vacations, ample health care, freedom to live out a personal walk with Jesus without persecution--these are actually dangerous to a person's heart. They give the feeling of comfort, which creates complacency. Complacency allows a heart to go from medium to mild. Jesus said He wanted to spit complacency out of His mouth. This imagery is similar to a person who thinks he is talking a refreshing sip of ice water on a hot day and realizes mid-mouthful that it is vinegar, spitting it out with vigor. That's how Jesus feels about most of the Christians in His churches today. He wants to spit them out of His mouth like vinegar. 

While you can evaluate your own life all you want, the opinion of Jesus is the only one that matters since He holds an unbiased testimony about you. Does He find that you are comfortable and complacent, that you've reach a level in life where you can coast in your walk with the Lord while focusing on your simple pleasures? Jesus wants your all or your nothing, not the middle-of-the road mentality that you think is enough to get by in life and church. Jesus wants hearts that are dedicated to Him. Half-hearted attempts at serving the Lord won't make it in His kingdom. In fact, Jesus promised discipleship for those who found themselves at a setting of medium. This discipleship, He said, will come in the form of discipline. Turn the dial up on your Christianity, lest you get ready for some discipline.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Matt 6:19-21, 1 Cor 3:11-14, Heb 11:26, Heb 12:4-11, Rev 3:13-21, Rev 22:12

No comments: