Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023
Happy New Year! Many of us set new goals at the start of the year for our careers and health, but we often forget to give the proper attention to our spiritual lives. In the early chapters of Revelation, John records a vision of Jesus speaking directly to him an array of letters to various churches. These can be interpreted in several ways, but one way is universally for the church — as in, somewhere someone is dealing with something that Jesus words to these churches directly applies to. These words apply so directly because they all follow a pattern: Jesus (typically) commends a church for what they’re doing right, addresses what they are doing wrong, and offers a message of repentance and encouragement to have them get back on track. Interestingly, the last church addressed, the church of Laodicea, receives no commendation, simply a stern rebuke of their deeds and a call to repentance. There is much Biblical evidence that this letter applies to the time we are living in today, so this year, read this letter and take Jesus’ words to heart. Be not lukewarm in your faith! Turn from worldly riches and seek the riches of heaven that Jesus offers! Understand that trouble will come but, like good Fathers do, it is the Lord bringing discipline and not ruin to those whom He loves. Victory is found in faith in Jesus as the Son of God who died, was resurrected, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father, so that all who believe in Him may have eternal life. Let this year be the year that you burn hottest for the Lord.
"To the angel of the church in 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. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hearwhat the Spirit says to the churches.” - Revelation 3:14-22