ODJ: lukewarm

July 17, 2015 

READ: Revelation 3:14-22 

I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! (vv.15-16).

By God’s grace, my family has few financial worries. We have everything we need, and nearly everything we want. This frightens me, because it sounds exactly like the church in Laodicea. They said, “I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!” But Jesus replied, “And you don’t realise that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Revelation 3:17).

The city of Laodicea had booming banking, textile and medical industries. The one thing it didn’t have was water. Its neighbour to the south, Colossae, had springs of refreshing, cold water and its neighbour to the north, Hierapolis, was famous for its hot baths. Laodicea piped steaming water from Hierapolis, but by the time it arrived it had cooled to room temperature. People loved the chilled water in Colossae and the hot springs of Hierapolis, but the tepid water of Laodicea made them want to spit it out.

Jesus felt the same way about the church’s works—works and ways that were left wanting (vv.15-16). He wished they were either hot or cold, for each is refreshing in its own way. But because they were neither, they didn’t refresh anyone, including our Lord. Jesus said that when “even a cup of cold water” is given to “the least of my followers” is actually offered to Him (Matthew 10:42, 25:40).

—Mike Wittmer

365-day-plan: Matthew 14:13-36

Read Proverbs 19:1-17and consider why helping the poor is “lending to the LORD”. 
Who needs your help or encouragement today? How can you give your best to them and to God?