Be earnest and repent. Revelation 3:19
Temperatures where we live in Colorado can change quickly—sometimes within a few minutes. So my husband, Dan, was curious about the temperature differences in and around our home. As a fan of gadgets, he was excited to unpack his latest “toy”—a thermometer showing temperature readings from four “zones” around our house. Joking that it was a “silly” gadget, I was surprised to find myself frequently checking the temperatures too. The differences inside and out fascinated me.
Jesus used temperature to describe the “lukewarm” church in Laodicea, one of the richest of the seven cities cited in the book of Revelation. A bustling banking, clothing, and medical hub, the city was hampered by a poor water supply, so it needed an aqueduct to carry water from a hot spring. By the time the water arrived in Laodicea, however, it was neither hot nor cold.
The church was tepid too. Jesus said, “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” (Revelation 3:15–16). As Christ explained, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent” (v. 19).
Our Savior’s plea remains urgent for us too. Are you spiritually neither hot nor cold? Accept His correction and ask Him to help you live an earnest, fired-up faith.
What’s the temperature of your faith? If your commitment to God is lukewarm, how will you pray to seek more loving heat and zeal?
If my commitment to You cools down, Father, send the loving heat of Your Holy Spirit to awaken and warm up my faith.
Laodicea, a rich commercial city famed for its high-quality black wool and medicinal eye ointment, was dependent for its water supply on the hot springs from Hierapolis six miles north. By the time the piped water reached Laodicea, it had become lukewarm. The stern rebuke to the Laodiceans describing them as “lukewarm” and “blind and naked” (Revelation 3:16–17) as well as Jesus’ call to repentance in verse 18 are couched in terms of these economic activities. Earlier, the apostle Paul had expressed concern for the Laodicean believers. His letter to the Colossians was also meant to be shared with them and likewise a letter sent to Laodicea was to be shared with the Colossians (Colossian 4:16). Some scholars believe this letter is the one sent to the Ephesians.