April 7, 2017
Hot or Cold
So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth (Revelation 3:16, NIV).
Friend to Friend
I have a habit with my coffee that some of you will relate to. Others may be tempted to think less of me, but I will just have to risk that for the sake of this devotion.
I am a coffee re-heater. I take my morning cup of coffee and I nurse that same cup for hours. I take a few nice hot sips and set my mug down. Several minutes later, my coffee is lukewarm. It’s no longer good. I head to the microwave to make it hot again. I take a few sips and repeat this process a few more times throughout the morning.
Coffee’s good either hot or cold. There is no in-between. The example of lukewarm coffee can remind us of the importance of having a hot faith. You’re either an all-in Jesus follower or you’re not. Listen to the words written to the church of Laodicea in the Book of Revelation, “Because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold - I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
This example of lukewarm liquid would make a lot of sense to the Laodiceans. One of the city’s problems was a poor water supply, which made them very vulnerable to attack. If an enemy surrounded the city, they could easily cut off the water supply. The main supply came on a six-mile aqueduct from the hot springs of Hierapolis. By the time it flowed into Laodicea, it was lukewarm and uninviting.
Just like drinking lukewarm water is terribly unpleasant, so is being a lukewarm believer. This is a picture of apathy, indifference, or compromise. Being spiritually lukewarm is like being hot enough to make it to church most Sundays but cold enough to play down Christianity when it’s not convenient or profitable to you.
When you try to serve both God and world, you end up being rejected by both. The hot Christian is zealous for God, wanting to have an on-fire love for Him. This person is blessed. But why would God prefer someone to be cold than lukewarm as it says in verse 15 “I wish you were either one or the other”?
If someone is cold towards Christ, he or she may hit rock bottom and discover the need for Jesus. When we are away from God, that emptiness can drive us back to Him. But when we have just enough of Jesus to think everything is okay, yet we’re embracing much of the world, we are growing lukewarm and that’s a dangerous place to be.
I was in a café recently and the coffee served was lukewarm. I try to be a flexible person, but I figured I paid for that cup of coffee and I wanted it hot. I ended up using the microwave, not the classiest experience but at least my coffee was hot.
You know Jesus has paid the highest price for us. We don’t want to give Him a lukewarm life. May we burn brightly for Him, constantly stoking the fire of our faith to guard ourselves against lukewarm living.
Dear Lord, forgive me for being neither hot or cold sometimes. I want to be completely devoted to You. Give me an undivided heart that I may fear Your Name.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Would you describe your relationship with God as hot, cold or lukewarm?
More from the Girlfriends
Feeling a little lukewarm in your marriage? Reignite passion for your precious role as wife in Arlene’s book 31 Days to a Becoming a Happy Wife.
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Originally published Friday, 07 April 2017.