4 Ways to Avoid Becoming Lukewarm – Revelation 3

Starbucks sells hot coffee and iced coffee, but lukewarm coffee is not on the menu.

The reason for this is because no one likes lukewarm drinks! Being lukewarm spiritually is one of the worst places to be because you are not getting the spiritual benefits of passionately following Jesus and you are not enjoying the sinful things of the world either!

1. Take your spiritual temperature.

“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!” Rev 3:15-16

God knows if you are really lukewarm. You may be doing the right things, but if you are not doing them out of a love for God you might be moving toward becoming lukewarm.

2. Beware of the comfort of riches.

“You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.” Rev 3:17-18

Riches can be deceiving. When you have all your needs taken care of it is easy to be lazy. Many people who are well off start trusting their money instead of trusting God. God would rather have us be poor and dependent on Him than rich and lukewarm.

3. Realize that indifference is a sin.

“I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.” Rev 3:19

Did you know that indifference is a sin? Next time you are bored in your relationship with God, ask Jesus to forgive you. There are so many exciting things about following Jesus, it is not his fault that you are bored. Confess your indifference to God and start pursuing Him wholeheartedly.

4. Open your heart to Jesus and fellowship with him.

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” Rev 3:20

This verse is often used when sharing the gospel with nonbelievers, but it was actually written to lukewarm believers. The greatest way to shake your lukewarmness is to spend quality time with Jesus. He is waiting to spend time with you; will you open the door?

If you have never started a relationship with God, then the invitation is still open.  He wants a friendship with you and all you need to do is repent of your sin and open the door of your heart and choose to follow him with your life.

Why do you think people are so prone to lukewarm living?

Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Revelation 3 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Don’t loose sight of love. Revelation 2

Jesus had a specific message for the church in Ephesus that applies to many churches today.

They were doing well in many ways. They were working hard. They were patiently enduring suffering. They were standing for truth and not tolerating false teachers. But they lacked the most important thing. Love.

“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first!” Rev 2:4

“You’ve lost that loving feeling.”

When you a person first comes to Christ everything is new. They are infused with a consuming love for God and others. This passionate love had been lost at the church in Ephesus.

Our love for God should not be based on feelings, but should be a commitment to follow him.  A healthy marriage is a good example of this. The first few years of marriage a couple has the “honeymoon” stage. Everything is new and exciting. But after that, the love can either grow deeper or they grow apart.

With God it is similar. Many people don’t grow deeper after the initial exciting start of their relationship with God. This is sad because they are missing out on so much depth in their relationship with God. What about you?

Have you lost your first love?

Many Christians today know how to go through the motions of church, but many are  are not really experiencing love for God as they should. Here is what Jesus said to the church in Ephesus.

“Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.” Rev 2:5

Loosing sight of love is a sin.

We must repent and turn our focus back on loving God. The proof of that love will be good works. Repentance is the key to restoration.

The way to renew your love for God is to start doing the things that you did when you first came to Christ. Some things could include; Reading your Bible, praying, sharing your faith, or investing in other Christians. Do something!

As you start obeying Jesus your love for Him will grow in depth.

What do you need to do today to renew your love for God and others?

Share on Facebook or Twitter or post a comment. Get daily updates by subscribing by email. From my reading in Revelation 2 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

What Is The Purpose Of Christian Teaching? – 1 Timothy 1

From my reading in 1 Timothy 1 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

What is the purpose of Christian teaching?

Paul shares his purpose for teaching with his disciple Timothy.

“The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5

In other words, Paul’s desire is that people would become more like Jesus.

To live like Jesus is the live a life of love. In order to be filled with God’s love we must have a clear relationship with God. That is why Paul says that a heart full of love comes from a pure heart before God, a clear conscience with God, and genuine faith in God.

If you don’t have genuine faith then you won’t be filled with God’s love.

If you are hiding things from God or lying or cheating then you won’t be filled with God’s love. Confess your sin to Him and allow Him to forgive you and fill you with this love. Not having a clear relationship with God will shipwreck your faith.

“Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.” 1 Timothy 1:19

Cling to your faith and don’t intentionally do something you know is wrong.

If you make having a pure relationship with God a priority you will be filled with God’s love and be able to offer that to others!

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The Privileges Of Being A Child Of God – Galatians 4

From my reading in Galatians 4 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

God loves us so much he wanted to adopt us as his own children.

In a very powerful passage Paul shares how Jesus bought our freedom through his death so that he could have us as his kids!

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. Galatians 4:4–7

God sent Jesus to buy our freedom!

Our freedom was not free. Jesus had to die in order for us to be set free from our sin and our slavery to the law. Through Christ’s death he made it possible for us to have a Father-child relationship with God. His sacrifice was the only way to make that possible.

We are no longer slaves to the Old testament law. Instead we are children of God. If we have received Christ then the Holy Spirit lives inside of our hearts and connects us with the heart of the Father.

As children of God we are heirs of God.

A “heir” is “the person who inherits possessions.” As God’s children we inherit all the good things that come with being a follower of Christ. We receive peace, joy, and purpose here on earth. But we also receive eternal life and unhindered fellowship with God for eternity!

As God’s kids we have the most privileged position in the world. We can come to him in prayer with our every need and he will hear us. God doesn’t promise to make our lives perfect, but as his children we are safe in his love.

How does it make you feel to know that you are God’s child?

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4 Possible Distractions To Living An Eternally Focused Life – 1 Corinthians 7:20-40

From my reading in 1 Corinthians 7:20-40 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Life Is Short!

Paul warns us to not get to distracted with less important things and forget to live for eternal things.

“But let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage. Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away.”  1 Cor 7:29-31 

Paul lists some things that can distract us from God’s purposes. Several of these things are great things that are gifts from God. But when things of the world become more important to God they can become idols. Here are 4 possible distracters thet can derail a lot of people.

1. Focusing on your marriage more than your relationship with God.

“The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage.”

Marriage is the most important human relationship, but it is not more important than your relationship with God.

Some people don’t follow God wholeheartedly because they are more focused on having a perfect family. This strategy actually backfires because a family needs to have God at the center to be truly healthy.

This is one reason Paul preferred to be single.

“I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided…  I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.” 1 Cor 7:32-34a, 35

A single person can single-heartedly focus on serving Jesus.

It is important to note that this is not a command, but personal preference of Paul. If you are currently single let this be an encouragement to use your single years to undistractedly serve Jesus. As a single you are not a second class person, you are actually more free to serve Jesus undistracted!

2. Focusing too much on your pain.

“Those who weep…should not be absorbed by their weeping…”

Life is hard, but focusing on how hard everything is will not get you far. Don’t focus on the negative things in your life so much that it derails you and distracts you from God’s purpose for your life. I realize this isn’t easily done especially for those with chemical depression and other issues, but in general we should not get so wrapped up in focusing on negative things.

3. Focusing too much on celebration.

“Those… who rejoice…should not be absorbed by their… joy.”

As Christians we should be some of the most stoked people! But if our life is a continual party then we might not get much done! There are a lot of things that we have to celebrate and should do it often. But In our joy let us not make the point of our lives just having fun, we should also be about the hard work serving Jesus.

4. Focusing too much on acquiring possessions.

“Those… who buy things should not be absorbed by their… possessions.”

Possessions are not bad unless they possess you. You should not make it the goal of your life to buy a house, car, or whatever your dream is. Your dream should be to see Jesus glorified. It’s ok to have goals and desires but let us not get our priorities out of whack.

Don’t get me wrong, Paul is not against possessions, celebrations, or marriage. He is just warning us that they can distract us from wholeheartedly serving Jesus.

“Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away.”

Let us not be so attached to the world that we forget that life is temporary and heaven is forever!

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How Perfectionism Kills Your Relationship With God – Luke 10:25-42

From my reading in Luke 10:25-42 in the One Year New Testament.

The Danger of Perfectionism 

There is a powerful story in the Bible of two women who both wanted to please Jesus but had different approaches to relating to him. Martha and Mary were hosting Jesus at their home. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened carefully to his teaching. Martha, on the other hand, wanted to make everything perfect for big dinner for Jesus.

Martha complained to Jesus that it wasn’t fair for Mary to just sit and listen while she do all the work, and she told Jesus to tell Mary to go help her.  First of all, it’s not a great idea to tell Jesus what to do, but Jesus graciously responded in a way that gives us two powerful lessons.

“My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41–42

1. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

The fact that Martha was working hard to prepare a meal was a good thing. The problem Jesus had with her was that she was worried and upset over the details.

One of the reasons we get worried about the details is not because we want to serve the people but because we want everything to be perfect so that we look good.

The perfectionist gets their idently from their performance instead of from Christ.

Men and women both struggle with this desire to make everything perfect in the name of serving God. I encourage you to make sure that as you work hard for God’s glory, you don’t get so focused on minor details that you forget what life is really about – loving God and others. Jesus is our first priority, and other people are our second priority. Next time you find yourself worrying about the details ask yourself…

Am I really motivated to serve God and others or make myself look good?

2. Don’t sacrifice time with God for service of God.

Martha was doing a great service for Jesus, but was missing out on valuable time with Jesus. Those of us in ministry can get so caught up in spending time working for God, we fail to get adequate time simply enjoying his presence and listening to his voice. Jesus modeled a life of sacrificial service while maintaining healthy amounts of time in prayer to the Father. He modeled this principle…

Our relationship with God is the fuel for effective service of God. 

Stop focusing on minor details and make sure that you take the time you need to slow down and connect with Jesus. Another danger of perfectionism is that it not only hurts your relationship with Christ but it also hurts your relationships with people. Don’t get so busy focusing on petty things that you forget about the people in your life. Ultimately, though, if you are focusing on your relationship with God, then a love for others will naturally flow out of that!

Slow down, take a chill pill and just sit at Jesus’ feet for a while; it is the most valuable thing you can do!

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