If you live anywhere in the midwest, you know that the weather has been extreme. It was warm, then it was incredibly cold – the record setting kind of cold; and this past week-end, the weather once again become warmer. We went from 13″ of snow earlier in the week to dry pavement and green grass on Sunday. It’s difficult to believe that the school system here in Carmel closed the schools for the entire week. So today was the first day of classes in the new year for the grammar and high school students.
I can’t remember a year when we have been off to such extremes during the first 2 weeks of the year. Normally, things don’t change that fast. In fact, this is the time of year that we just sort of settle in for the winter doldrums. Same stuff, different day. And whether you like the cold or not, it has been an interesting week. You remember what days it snowed and the days that the temperature dropped. And believe me, yesterday will be memorable for its lack of rain, blue skies and sunny afternoon.
When it comes to matters of faith, God watches us as much as we watch the weather. And you know what? God doesn’t like it when we’re lukewarm. When we go through the motions of our faith without really getting on fire for Him, we are falling short of what God wants for us. God expects us to have memorable days – not those days that blend into one another when we can’t separate one from another. It’s like when we go on autopilot and are just along for the ride with God.
God wants us to live our faith lives to the fullest. Memorable events, reaching out to others, incredible worship experiences and also serving the poor and marginalized. A faith life worthy of God – the Creator of it all. So how do we get our faith lives amped up this year?
For starters, personal devotional times that allow God to speak into our lives. Giving God the best part of our days for moments of reflection and listening for the leadings of the Father. Likewise, using our talents for the kingdom of God. That means knowing our spiritual gifts and then leveraging those gifts to benefit the people of God. Of course, it also means using our financial resources in a way that honors God and the things that are important to Him. These items delineate the essence of what God wants from us. In summation, He desires for us to have bold faith and to lead productive lives.
The verse for this evening highlights the notion that God hates a lukewarm faith. John, in writing his book of Revelation, starts out with a narrative of the visions he had and the recognition that he had heard a voice that directed him to write down the things that he saw and heard. God had words for the seven churches in the region our verse for the evening embodies the words that John heard. In Rev. 3:14-16, we are told, “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 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.” In other words, don’t be lukewarm about your faith. God wants passion!
My encouragement this evening is that we all can be more passionate about our faith and that is exactly what is expected from us. Let’s not disappoint God. My prayer is that you will consider leveraging your time, talents and treasures for advancing the kingdom of God. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…