15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” Revelations 3:15-22 ESV
In order to go into work, I must stop at the door and have my temperature checked. With ‘a fever’ still being considered a major symptom of Covid-19, my employer (like many others) have been doing temperature checks and you aren’t permitted in unless you are the correct temperature.
This new practice gives new imagery to the above verses. I can see us in a queue, standing 6 feet from the person in front of us, waiting to get into Heaven and there stands an angel with one of those fancy thermometers that they point at your forehead to take your temperature. As I stand there in line, I think to myself, I have had a good life. I wore ok clothes, maybe some would call them nice. I managed through life’s struggles – call on God when I needed to. Oh look, it’s my turn next!
And the Angel checks my temp and a buzzer goes off and guards come to grab me saying I am poor, blind and naked! But I can see I am dressed!!!
It is as important to our health (and the health of everyone we encounter) that we take our spiritual temperature every day. We want to be hot! On fire for Christ. We want to be walking in the Spirit and doing God’s will – lest we become one of “those Christians”. You know, the hypocrites who turn people away from God instead of showing them God.
Verse 18: “I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. “
What beautiful symbolism.
Gold refined by fire is Faith, as we can see when Peter compares faith to gold.
“These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:7 NIV
Faith is given in measure – enough, mixed with grace, will get you belief. The Bible says we should have faith as a child. And that a small amount of faith, even the size of a mustard seed, can move a mountain. Faith is the work of the cross, in action, in our lives.
White garments – is the washing away of sins. One of the most beautiful acts of grace – forgiveness.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7 ESV
And later in Revelations this washing white a snow is a described action of the blood of The Lamb.
The nakedness in this verse is a spiritual one. It makes me think of those dreams people have of being out in public and not realizing they are naked! I suppose in this sense, it could alludes to being asleep. Maybe it’s time to wake up? (Did you see yesterday’s post.)
Salve to anoint your eyes – this verse was written to a city that exported eye salve, but Jesus is referring to a spiritual blindness – not being able to understand the scriptures.
“To open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may thus receive forgiveness and release from their sins and a place and portion among those who are consecrated and purified by faith in Me.” Acts 26:18 AMP
Are you understanding this? This is the gospel, the work of the cross, and the grace. Are your eyes open? Are you only understanding it a little?
Every day I pray for my readers; that God will open your eyes of understanding and that His word will get into your hearts. You can also pray like David prayed in Psalms:
“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” Psalm 119:18 ESV
Verse 19: “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.”
Once your eyes are open – you will know your spiritual temperature. You’ll know if you’re washed clean, all the way clean. And you will know if your faith is more precious than gold. And as a disciple of Jesus and child of God, he disciplines us to keep us on the right path if we start to stray, or fall asleep, or become lukewarm. If He didn’t love us he would just let us slip away – it is out of love that He is sounding the alarm clocks to wake up! To ignite yourselves in the love of Him! “Be zealous [enthusiastic, passionate, fervent, fanatical, and eager]”!! Be on fire!!!
AND “repent”! Repentance is not just asking forgiveness of your sins but to also atone and turn away from those sins and sinful ways. I could not change how I was on my own – God gave me the grace and helped me along the way. Belief in God is transformative!
Verse 20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
A nostalgic image of Jesus knocking on a door, comes to mind, when I see this verse. Who was it; who had that plaque with this verse by their door when I was a child? Anyone else remember those plaques?
This verse is simple in its metaphor – Your heart, mind, soul, and life is the door. (Yes – I intentionally listed multiple items and used a singular conjugation of the verb. Because heart, mind, soul and life are many things and is also one thing – which is you.) Jesus wants to be in your heart, but also in your life; doing everyday things like eating together and hanging out like a best friend. OOooo He really is a best friend – better than a best friend!
It is interesting that this verse follows the others. How lukewarm does He think we might be that he needs to ask to come back in?! Have we become so busy and lukewarm that we might have pushed him out the door – maybe without realizing? Maybe it’s time to check our temperature.
Verse 21: “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.”
Well ! – always a promise! Yes, there always seems to be grace in my posts and there always seems to be a promise in my posts! And here is your promise – the Kingdom of Heaven!!! To live in eternity with Christ, sitting next to Him in our Father’s throne room!
Keep focused on the prize! This is the very end result that God wants so bad he sacrificed His only Son. God longs for restored communion with us. He loves humanity that much!
Lord help us see people the way you do. Help us conquer our selfish desires, conquer our sins, conquer the obstacles and the enemy.
Verse 22: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
So, if we heard it right it is:
Are you lukewarm?
Let me remind you of the grace of the work of the cross.
I only correct you because I love you. Repent.
Let me back in!
I have a prize for you.
Just like the eyes being open so you can understand – ears have to be open for understanding. It’s kind of like yesterday’s post – they are asleep or dull. IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP!!!
Imprisoned – asleep – lukewarm – drought – famine
The church around the world as a whole have been in one or more of these spiritual states in recent history. Maybe all of those terms are different ways of describing the same state of being?
It’s time for the well of living waters to make us thirst no more. The Bread of Life to feed us. And our prisons shaken free as we learn to stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free.
We are the harvest, are we ready? There are many others in the world who are not part of the body of Christ yet, who are also waking up, heating up, drinking, eating and being freed – it is time to gather in the harvest.
Lots happening all at once during such a time as this – so stay focused on God; turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace!
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~