How Hot Was It?

How Hot Was It?…

 It was so hot….

            Chicken were laying hard boiled eggs

            Birds were using pot holders to pull worms out of the ground.

            And, Satan decided to take the day off. 

You expect it to be hot in Atlanta during the summer.  We are used to our cars sizzling, burning your hands on the door handles, and seat belts that are like branding irons.  We know we can cook dinner on the sidewalk and that the water parks are going to be crammed.  This summer we have had over 57 days of better than 90-degree weather, which doesn’t seem so bad until you add the humidity to it.  I have felt like my hair was a chia pet swelling bigger and bigger in the humidity most days this summer. 

But, you don’t expect it to be that hot in the church. This past Sunday it was so hot in the church…(drum roll please)…the sanctuary the altar candles were bent over into a full bow. Apparently, sometime Friday or Saturday, our air conditioning system froze up.  The lines to the AC were frozen solid while inside the temperature kept rising. The men were sweating and the ladies were glistening.  Bulletins, hymnals, and choir books became fans.  I tried to convince everyone it wasn’t really that hot we were just on fire for the Lord.  For some reason, I don’t think they believed me.   

In Revelation 3, Jesus reflected on just how hot it was in the church of Laodicea. He said,

15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17

 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”

I wish you were hot or cold, not lukewarm. I would have thought lukewarm was a good thing.  Isn’t it almost hot or almost cold (Guess it depends on whether you see your cup half full or half empty)? Jesus isn’t talking about the weather, though.    He is talking about our faith and he says I would rather you would be hot or cold rather than just lukewarm. 

He goes on to explain it in vs. 17.  A lukewarm Christian thinks they are good enough on their own.  They don’t realize their dependence on Jesus.  Coming to church once a week, listening to a 20 or 30 minute sermon is all they are doing. They aren’t studying.  They aren’t growing in knowledge and love with God.  They aren’t really acknowledging or living God in their daily lives.

It is akin to “comfortable” Christianity.  You got just enough Jesus to say you have Jesus but you don’t really want Jesus to change anything in your life.  You are content and complacent in your faith.  Lukewarm Christians have no passion or enthusiasm for living like Jesus.  And Jesus says you don’t even realize you are just as empty and self-satisfied as someone who doesn’t even believe.  You are halfheartedly committed to faith in name only.  Jesus says he would rather have someone who is cold that he can show the way to then to have someone who is smug and unconcerned about the things of God. 

Jesus wants us to love God so much so that we are passionate about living life to the fullest, demonstrating the joy of Christ in everything we do and shining the light on His truths in our life for all the world to see.  He wants us to live a life that shows possessions and achievements are worthless compared to the everlasting hope of eternal life today, tomorrow and into eternity.  His desire is that we be on “fire”, ‘fired up,” excited and dedicated to doing his will so much so that we can’t contain it.

So, I ask you just how hot are you really?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s interesting that Jesus said He would prefer either hot or cold. You would think He would have said, “I would rather you be hot. But if lukewarm is all I can get, it’s better than nothing.” 

You would think that lukewarm would be more acceptable to Him, because it is somewhat close to hot. But Jesus was saying, “I don’t want lukewarm. I don’t want half-hearted commitments. I want you to decide. I want you in or I would rather you were out.”

Here’s why. If you’re hot, you’re in. If you’re on fire, if you’re walking with God, then you’re where God wants you to be. But if you’re cold, hopefully you will at least realize you’re cold and one day realize your need for Christ and come to Him.

But the lukewarm person is in the worst state of all because he is self-deceived. The lukewarm person says, “I go to church. I read the Bible sometimes. I kind of believe in God—when it’s convenient.” That is the worst state of all. What is your spiritual temperature today?