Lukewarm.. does it mean what you think?

laodicea

Hello Friends,

So I have been recently studying scripture and came across this subject and wanted to share it with you.

So most Christians when thinking about the term “lukewarm” think of the following scriptures…..

And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.

“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 

So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 

For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 

 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

Revelation 3:14-22

So growing up I was always taught that the hot, cold and lukewarm were referencing if you were on fire for God, back-slidden, or teeter-tottering between the two.

However, I now recognize that interpretation may not be accurate in regards to what John was trying to write to the church in Laodicea.

In Laodicea, it is believed that they received their water sources from three places. The cold springs that came from the mountains and ran into creeks and streams.  The hot mineral springs about five miles from the city. The warm, sulfur water from their advanced aqueduct which they built. The warm sulfur water from the aqueduct was nauseating to the taste and smell and was useless to them.

So the interpretation I learned as kiddo being that lukewarm was about the struggle of doing, not doing and the in between, was actually a talk about the effectiveness of the work we are doing rather than doing more.

So some suggest that John when talking to the church Laodicea was referencing something they knew all too well. No matter how much work, money, time you put into something it can be rendered useless.

This makes me think of all the different ministries out there. The intentions are well meaning. They may be well funded or planned. Friends, if God is not in the lead, if He did not prompt us to start those things they may render useless.

Often times, we may fall into the comparison trap- Lord, look at what so and so is doing. I should be doing more….

Are then we not doing our own will? That is not to say the Lord is not going to prompt you to do more. He can and He probably will if it is in His Will.

It makes me think of two things…

First I think of the last post I wrote you can read it here. If we are looking to Him, if He is our focus, the Spirit will lead us to what is in God’s will for our lives. We only need to be focused on Him and listening for His command.

Second, it reminds me of these verses….

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’

 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Matthew 7:21-23

I also wanted to show these verses in a different version for this instance I am going to use the message…

 “Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills.

I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’

And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’

Matthew 7:21-23 MSG

Ouch! Lord let us not be one of those who you have to say depart from you!

did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name…  This reminds me of the Revelation… the lukewarm…They were working… but for who’s will?

Friends, in doing this study I learned a couple of things. One is the effectiveness of our work matters. Don’t just do things and hope God jumps on “your” wagon.

Second, I learned that as a person who usually likes to take the scriptures literally, there may actually be more going on there than what is literally written.

I was recommended and will pass on this recommendation to you all. When reading scriptures look for two translations. Translators often have two concepts in mind when translating; either they are translating what is literally written as best they can to the common language of the current time or they are translating what they believe the author was trying to say to the audience they were writing to.

However, it takes a little more than that… you see out of all the versions I searched none of them showed the historical background of the Laodicea. Thinking about the context or historical background changes things.

Did you know what John was referring to when he said ” lukewarm”? Let us not be lukewarm but be walking in His Will, not ours.

Thank you, Father, for giving us understanding, for showing us your will, let our focus be only on you father. Amen

As always,

Be Blessed!

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Faith and Works

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Hello Friends,

It’s been a while since we last spoke. This is where I would usually apologize, but I am not going to do that this time. In fact, this will be the last time I start a letter off this way and if you catch me doing it, call me out!

You see by apologizing about the timing between my posts is like me saying the timing of them should be any other way and quite frankly, they are in His time and His timing is perfect. I will not follow the standards of this world and feel pressured to post more frequently than I feel led to do.

So…. Faith and Works…

Today in my Bible study the question was posed… ” Life and pleasure of the wicked is temporary. Sin ruins feelings of happiness and joy. How can you ensure that this simple truth doesn’t play out in your own life?”

This question comes from reading the following…

that the exulting of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless but for a moment?

Job 20:5

Without going into too deep…

I realize the flaws of the statement and the question. The statement is not a “simple truth”. The second sentence of the statement is NOT in the scripture!

Also, we need to take into consideration what is going on…Zophar is speaking to Job. Later on in Job, we read about how God is angry with him because he did not speak what is right about Him.

After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.

 Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves.

And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.”

So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the Lord had told them, and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.

Job 42:7-9

Friends remember the coward tries to twist the scriptures! he did it when he was trying to tempt Jesus in Matthew 4  he will do it to you as well.

So back to the question…

So my response to this question was..

First I would look at how I define joy and happiness. Does it match up with scripture or does it match up with the world’s definition? The world’s and the Lord’s definition cannot be the same, they cannot even be similar because the are opposites as day and night.

Then I would look at is my joy and happiness focused on “me, my” (selfishness). Is it wrapped up with a bow of entitlement me and pride (I deserve… I earned …)

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Happiness in its very definition is just an intense feeling of joy.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.

I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Galatians 5:16-26

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.

For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

Luke 9:23-27

The Spirt and the flesh are opposed to each other…

The fruit of the Spirt … Friends that fruit you cannot earn you cannot will yourself to have it.Self-control is a part of that fruit of the Spirit! They are produced by walking in the Spirit.

Delight yourself in the Lord… He will give…GIVE… the desires of our heart.

And then God does like He always does with me. He showed me more. What I thought he had revealed to me as a wide open door. He showed me that was just a peek because there is more…

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.

But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.

Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

James 1:12-18

Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin….

Our desires give birth to sin… It makes me think twice about what am I desiring!

Then to recognize that every good gift is from above… Not some of the good gifts, not something we earn but a gift!

And then he solidifies it for me by showing me this….

By Grace Through Faith

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins

in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—

among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ

—by grace you have been saved—

and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

For by grace you have been saved through faith.

And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:1-10

We can not do it… It is a gift from God…

So often we try to fix our mistakes. We try to earn or will ourselves into not sinning. In which we know that we fail miserably.

I think it is deeper and more complicated than just not sinning. In fact, I think the enemy has twisted our thoughts to try and make us focus on what “we” can do about any given situation.

You see self-control and faithfulness are also a part of the fruit of the Spirit along with joy.

And as the scriptures I posted above states we are lured and enticed by our desires. Which God gives to us IF we delight ourselves in Him. If we delight ourselves in Him can our desires be desires of the flesh?

So I think and I want to emphasize the “I” here because I could be wrong and more than likely am missing some things because God’s ways are not truly able to be boiled down into a few simple sentences but hear me out.

I think that when we walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh the factor of sinning falls off because if we are in the Spirit we are not/can not sin because the are opposites.

I think the enemy would like us to focus on our sins to make us think “we” can change them. Therefore we continue to focus on ourselves and what “we” can do about things.

However, it’s when we focus on Him and give Him control of our lives He does the work we cannot. Then we see the fruit we cannot produce on our own. We receive His gifts.

And then I truly believe with all my heart, the coward tried to twist scripture and throw this thought at me…. “You’re crazy, don’t you know the Bible says faith without works is dead being alone.”

So then I looked it up…

The Sin of Partiality

My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.

For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,”

have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?  

But you have dishonored the poor man.

Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court?

Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?

 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.

But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 

For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.

 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.

 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.

 For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy.

Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Faith Without Works Is Dead

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?

Can that faith save him?

If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?

 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.”

Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?

 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?

You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.

 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?

 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

James 2

Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works….

You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead

When we walk in the Spirit and are following God, we will do the work of the father. The Spirit does not sin. It is the flesh that sins. ( review the verses at the beginning)

I see you, coward! I am calling you out!

The coward would like for nothing more than us to think “we” can work our way to a sinless life. While most of us realize the obvious we can not work our way to salvation. The coward wants us to think after salvation we need to will ourselves to a sinless life.

That’s not how it works! We seek after God. We surrender to Him. We walk in the Spirit and crucify the flesh. You know simply by seeking God we are turning our backs on the flesh because they are opposites.

Focusing on the sin is where the coward wants our focus. Focusing on Him is where the Father wants our focus.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

How many times have we piled up a list of our faults feeling like we will never get it right? What if we nailed those faults to the one who has already paid the price for them and followed Him? What if we chose to walk in Spirit? Would not the works follow because we are walking in the Spirit?

I think that was what James’ point in chapter two.

Nice try coward but I am not biting! I will choose to walk to Him and not try to will myself sinless. Watch the power of God work in my life! Watch the gifts He gives freely, undeservedly change the things I could never will myself. Watch the desires of my heart change from desires of the flesh as I seek Him!

Friends, what are the desires of your heart? Which direction are you walking are you walking toward Him or toward the flesh?

As Always,

Be Blessed!