4/2/2023 靈修分享 ~譚李麗梅執事
Devotional Sharing ~Deaconess Michelle Tam
Jesus says to a church in Revelation that because you are not hot or cold, I am spitting you out of my mouth. What does that mean? Jesus was rebuking the church in Laodicea. He says I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other. Now is Jesus saying I wish you were on fire for me or I wish you would just go live for the world? Is Jesus asking them to pick one and make up their mind? No, it’s actually much deeper than that. About 6 miles from Laodicea was a town call Hierapolis known for their hot springs. It was the place to go for healing. There was another town 10 miles away from Laodicea call Colossae and they were known for their cool, refreshing pure waters. Both cities known for their water; both were highly coveted and useful in its own ways. Laodicea had no such advantage. By the time water arrives to Laodicea through miles of underground aqueducts, it was dirty and lukewarm. Visitors to the city would sometimes react by spitting the water out. The water of Laodicea was just like the church of Laodicea, lukewarm, worthless, no redeeming qualities. In fact, the church in Laodicea was the only church that Jesus did not give any affirmation to. He offers zero words of encouragement or praise.
The city of Laodicea was wealthy. It was located at a crossroad of two trade routes. Two major industries thrived there, black wool and medicine. Their luxurious, black wool was prized around the world. They were renowned for medicine and was home to a medicinal school. Their most famous product was an eye salve, which cure various types of eye diseases. These two trades contributed to their thriving banking industry. Their banking center was home to a gold exchange and many came for loans. The city was famously self-sufficient. This attitude spread to the church. The people were well off and materialistic. They became prideful, focused on worldly wealth. In their riches, they have forgotten God. It was a church in name only. In Jesus’ rebuke, He described them as wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked. They had so much wealth but not where it counted. They were poor because they were spiritually bankrupt. People came from far and wide to purchase eye salve from the Laodiceans. They thought that not only could they see well but they could help open the eyes of others. They were blind and they did not even know it. They should have come to Jesus to have their own eyes opened. The Laodiceans prided themselves on their luxurious textile industry. They sold the rich, black wool to nobles and the wealthy but Jesus was not impressed. They strut around in their fine wool but God see them in the condition they are, naked. Jesus is saying to the church in Laodicea that they have become so much like the world, so much like culture that they now serve no purpose. They’re not hot, not healing for anyone. They’re not cool, not refreshing. They were not providing anything to anyone. They were good for nothing. Jesus said because of that I’m spitting you out.
Brothers and sisters, please evaluate your spiritual condition. Do not be like the Laodiceans. Do not trust in your earthly riches. Do not value materials and success over a proper relationship with God. Not everyone who says. “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven. We must realize that without Christ we are blind, naked, wretched and poor. Humbly come before Him and repent, asking Him to clothe us, open our eyes and make us rich spiritually. Let’s be doers of the Word and not allow culture and fleshly living corrupt our lives and delay or disrupt our mission. Let’s fix our eyes on the prize and run the race with endurance.