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03

Mar

Lukewarm Love

     Everyone’s heard the saying before that says, “When we’re in love we do crazy things.” When we’re in love it doesn’t matter how far we have to drive to see that person. We just do whatever and give whatever it takes and we’re so happy to do it.   When we’re in love serving doesn’t ever feel like a burden. It doesn’t feel like service when we’re in love. If we’re looking at our relationships with God with attitudes that say “I don’t want to do this but I’ll do it anyways.”…”I’d rather do this and that instead of getting into the Word.”…If this is the case then we need to question whether we’re really truly in love with God. Have we lost (or ever truly had) that love relationship with Love itself?

    If we look at the church of the New Testament and read about people so fired up about Jesus and so dead set on living for Him that they were willing to give their lives, and then look at the church we see today.. it’s possible to begin to wonder about stuff not matching up. Could it be possible that everyone is off and we’re all missing it? Are we even for real? In Revelation 3, Jesus is writing to the entire church in Laodicea. Not just part of the church but the ENTIRE church. He says starting in verse 15, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one of the other! So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Jesus is saying this to the whole church and we know this because when he wrote to the church in Sardis at the start of Revelation 3, Jesus nails them on a lot of stuff but at the end says that a certain group is fine and the other people, should they overcome will be like those who are fine. But when he talks to the lukewarm church in Laodicea, he says they are neither hot nor cold-lukewarm- and that he is going to spit them out of His mouth. We’ll see this passage and we’ll start to feel convicted by it and begin to question whether we’re really on fire for God and then do nothing about it. This seems so absolutely crazy since we know the consequences. God says he’s going to spit us out of His mouth!He’s telling this church that they’re not the real deal and when they come with this lukewarm love, He’s going to spit them out of His mouth. The consequences are too great to just live our lives in a lukewarm way. Are we really in love with the Lord or have we sunken into a lukewarm church or a lukewarm society that is so quick to label a person Godly or spiritual when they show even an ounce of spirituality because we live in the most ungodly and self-centered society that’s ever been? Are we really in love with God or are becoming a part of this lukewarm church that God is talking about?

     What is so absolutely amazing is what comes later on in Revelation 3, verse 21. “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.” With this verse, chapter 3 ends. In chapter 4 verse 1, John is taken up into heaven and shown the throne of God. John sees 100,000,000 angels surrounding the throne and so many other things that display the infinite glory of God. To describe everything would take so much time and would need to be an entirely new note but what was so apparent was the glory of God was so ridiculous that John couldn’t believe his eyes. All of Heaven surrounding the throne going “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,” and God says in verse 21, “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.” If we read this and truly understand it we have no choice but to be so fired up that we will do anything for Him. If we hear this and come back with a lukewarm attitude, it’s almost as if God’s saying “Are you kidding me?! Did you hear what I just said? You can be my son. You can be my daughter.”

     The reality is that we can have all this. The only natural response is to serve Him with everything we have. If we truly get this and understand the treasure God has in store for us then there’s absolutely no way we can live our lives as lukewarm Christians. Those who God is going to spit out of his mouth are those who hear all this and respond with a completely lukewarm attitude towards a hot and on-fire truth. Are we so on fire and so in love that when we see the throne of God, it becomes all that matters. Are we in love? Are we willing to do crazy things for this God because it just makes us so happy to serve him and so happy to be his child? When we’re in love serving doesn’t ever feel like a burden. “When we’re in love we do crazy things.” If we understand that, because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we know how the story ends and we don’t just believe that fact but we live it- live a life unafraid of sacrificing whatever it takes because we know we’ve found the treasure- then there’s no option to live lukewarm. People in love do crazy things, but people passionately in love with God don’t see what they do as crazy because they know how the story ends. We’ve found the treasure.
    
    

18

Feb

Trampling Over Death by Death

In preparation for this Sunday night, while going through the different chord changes and songs, I came across something that’s really stuck with me today. Matt Maher was talking about his song “Christ Is Risen” and how it was inspired by a sermon from the 3rd century given by a man named John Chrysostom. The main tag line from the sermon is “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling over death by death and redeeming us from the grave.” If you’ve ever spent any time in a church (or around Christians, for that matter) you’ve probably come across the verse in 1 Corinthians, 15 that says “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” I thought all along that I had a good grasp on what this verse was saying but I’ve literally had my world rocked by listening to this 3rd century saint’s take on it. What blew my mind in all of this is that God used death itself to conquer death. God used death to destroy death and that’s something that only God can do. We view death as such a negative thing, when in reality it was the very thing that gave us life. On the day when everyone gathered around saw Jesus on the Cross (which, by the way, was the most gruesome death possible in biblical times…very similar to the electric chair today) they weren’t thinking “This is such a great day!” they were thinking “This is the worst possible thing to be happening right now…” But when we think of the Cross today, it’s a beautiful image representative of His love for us…NOT a torture device. God truly can turn anything and any situation around. He is bigger than anything we’re going through and will never leave us or forsake us. We’re living for a God who defeats death by using death itself and who can turn around any circumstance. If that’s not reason to get excited then I don’t know what is

-TW