zeal is the norm

Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Jesus introduced Himself to the church at Laodicea as “… the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation” (3:14). Jesus as the faithful and true witness was accurate in His assessment of this Church but also a total contrast to them. They were far from being faithful and true Christians. This is the only Church among the seven Churches in Revelation (1-3) that He did not commend. They had become complacent, indifferent, and were spiritually blind to their own condition.

Two of devil’s stealth weapons against believers are indifference and complacency. Indifference is the lack of concern, feeling or interest; to be uninterested, inactive; it implies neutrality or apathy (without emotion). Complacency is to be self-satisfied, self contented, at ease, slack; accommodating; to be pleased and contented with ones accomplishment. Each of these strategies of the enemy work slowly, secretly, and silently until a believer becomes a lukewarm casualty. Slowly and silently their intensity, fervor, and passion for the things of God gradually cools. This is not the time to be indifferent and complacent.

Complacency and indifference is not only a problem in the Church but also in America. Evil rises, darkness advances, rights are taken away and very few seem concerned enough to act. An interviewer went out to survey Americans about what was the the two greatest problems facing America? The first man approached in the survey was asked but he responded, “I don’t know and I don’t care,” to which the interviewer responded, “Right.” That pretty well sums it up.

Do you realize that what God means to be a blessing to us can become a curse to us. These people were rich, wealthy, and had need of nothing. Their prosperity caused them to become independent of the need for a vibrant on fire relationship with Jesus. He was an outsider to intimate fellowship with them to the point He had to knock on the door of their heart for entry. It was a Church out of fellowship with Jesus. One of the greatest “chillers,” to fervor and fire is prosperity that makes one independent of God. God never intended to bless us to the point He no longer needs depended upon.

Lukewarm can be when we are neither overly sinful or overly holy, somewhere in the middle. Lukewarm defined metaphorically means to be nonchalant; without warmth, enthusiasm or showing interest. The opposite is zeal which is intense enthusiasm, as in working for a cause;intense heat and flamelike fire of emotion/passion; extreme, compelling, and vigorous devotion. Zeal is to be the norm not the exception.

Our normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees but lukewarm water is about the same temperature. If you think about it, when people are hot they know it and when people are cold they know it but WHEN LUKEWARM YOU DON’T KNOW IT. They think they are normal and OK. They usually won’t listen to anyone who tells them they are lukewarm. It might not be a compliment to be called a normal Christian. The Good News is that Jesus can restore our zeal and fire. We need to be zealous and if not, we need to repent.

Pastor John Rasicci is the founder and Pastor of Word of His Grace Church in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where we are building people who are building the Church. Pastor's ministry mission is to help people discover God's dream for their Life, the Local Church, and the Last Days' Harvest. With a strong emphasis on the grace of God and with a prophetic voice, Pastor John preaches and teaches in churches, conferences, and crusades both locally and throughout the world. He has produced books, tapes, and other teaching materials to empower, enable, and equip Believers with the Word of God. Pastor John is married to his wife Candy who with their three children, Krista, Joanna, John Anthony, and two son-in-laws, Matt and Doug, serve together in the ministry. After graduating from Kent State University, Pastor John pursued a career in professional baseball before accepting the call to the ministry. He and his wife, Candy, received their ministry training from Rhema Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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Posted in #Body of Christ, #Character, #Christian, #Christian #Spirituality, #Devotion, #Disciples, #Discipleship, #Lukewarm, #Maturity, #Overcomers, #Relationship With God, #Spiritual Growth, #Zealous, Christ-Like Spirit, Self Examination, Uncategorized, Zeal

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