The Seven Gifts of Christmas #7

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Cold water refreshes. Lukewarm water is great to gargle with when you have a sore throat. Hot water cooks the carrots—among other things! All three temperatures have their value—when we are talking about water. But when it comes to spiritual fervor, only “hot” will do the job.

The seventh congregation to receive a message from God through John was the church in Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22). The warning to this group of people was a solemn and scary one.

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other. So because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth” (3:15, 16).

As the message continues we see a church that thought it was doing well (3:17). It appears to have been a well-off church, perhaps the biggest and the most secure in the neighbourhood. But the Lord describes it as: “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked” (3:17).

It’s easy to be deceived into thinking that we, whether corporately or personally, are doing well. All’s right in our world—except when we look at our enthusiasm for the things of the Lord. As we allow the Spirit of God to examine our hearts we sometimes discover that the glow has worn off and we no longer live for and serve Him with the same fervor that we had before. We have grown lukewarm.

And that is not acceptable to the Lord. The message that John delivered was ended with an invitation to “...be earnest and repent” (3:19) and then the beautiful picture of Jesus standing at the door of our lives, knocking (3:20). He wants to restore that spiritual fervor—or plant it there for the first time—and he waits patiently to perform the miracle of transformation that will turn us into “hot” believers.

The seventh gift that I can give Jesus in honour of His birthday is an invitation to come in and restore the spiritual fervor, the enthusiasm, the joy of living for, and serving Him.

It’s simply a matter of opening the door and letting Him in.

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