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Friday, December 26, 2014

Reaching Out in Love

Revelation 3 : 14 - 21, "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' -- and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked - I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore 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 dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. NKJV
You’ve probably read and/or been taught by a minister about how the believers in Laodicea had become lukewarm in their love for Jesus. Today, the Lord has given me fresh insight into this scripture that we need to know, especially in America.
There is a mindset that exists within the body of Christ that has probably been there since the fall of man. Whenever someone doesn’t act responsibly, or they have sinned, there have always been folks who believe these wrong doers should be thrown out of the church. This mindset of cutting people off isn’t based on Paul’s teaching on correcting and restoring a fallen brother. Rather, it is one that prejudges a person as unredeemable.
When we read the passages from Revelation today, we can clearly see the heart of Jesus. Although the believers had allowed their hearts to grow cold toward their relationship with Christ, He took the time to reach out to the church in love. First, He told the church very specifically what their spiritual condition was. We must not try to discipline someone, unless we first let them know what exactly they have done. Jesus let the believers know that they had fallen away from their intimacy with the Lord.
Secondly, He let them know that they had deceived themselves into believing they were fine spiritually. James tells us that if we don’t obey the Word that we hear, we will become deceived. We must be more than just hearers of the Word; we must also be doers as well, if we desire to be blessed by the Lord.
Finally, we reach the point of today’s word. After Jesus rebuked the church at Laodicea, He then counseled them, so that they would know where they had erred from the faith. Afterward, He let them know that He rebukes and corrects those He loves. Isn’t that amazing? Jesus loved them, even though He was about to spew them out of His mouth; He loved them even though their love and worship for Him had grown cold, and He loved them enough to correct them for the error of their ways.
Jesus loved that church enough to “go to them” and reach out in love as only our Lord can do. He sought to restore them through love. He also told them that He was standing at the door and knocking, if anyone would hear His voice and let Him into their hearts, He would come in and dine with them. Wait a minute! Why does the Lord of the church have to knock on the door of the hearts of the people? He knocked because they had shut the Lord out; they had become so blinded by their love for earthly blessings that they had forgotten from Whom those blessings had come.
Jesus is knocking on the hearts of believers all across America and in various nations around the world. He wants us to allow Him to reenter our hearts and lives so that He can commune with us. Jesus wasn’t trying to cut this particular church off. He sought them out so that He might restore them into a right-relationship with Himself. Where is your love today? Is your heart consumed by the things of this world? If so, won’t you allow the Holy Spirit to redirect your desires back to the Lord so that you can be restored today?
It’s Time to Dine with the Master,
Pastor Asa Dockery

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