The enemy of the great
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We are looking at the letters Jesus himself sent to seven churches in Asia Minor. He referred to these seven churches as the seven golden lampstands because the role of the church is to be a bright light in a dark world. This week we looked at a church in Revelation 3, the church in Laodicea, that was flirting with the wrong things.
Have someone read Revelation 3:14-18.
What appears to have made this church so distasteful to Christ that He had nothing good to say about it?
A group of believers lived quite comfortably in the city of Laodicea, but all was not well with them. Jesus rebuked the church because, having come to rely on their material wealth, they had become spiritually lukewarm and blind to their complacency and spiritual deficiencies.
How would you describe a lukewarm church?
Have you ever found yourself merely going through the spiritual motions? How did you break out of that routine?
“I am going to vomit you out of my mouth,” reveals Jesus’ intense disgust with the believers. The church’s spiritual lethargy made Him sick. Whatever we may say about the Christian faith, we must understand that it cannot be a merely a casual addition to a well-ordered life. The attitude that says, “I have my home, my job, my family, my hobbies, and, oh yes, my religion” is not an option. Jesus calls each of us to make our commitment to Him a passionate priority.
Have someone read John 4:7-13.
We try to quench the thirst in our souls with so many different things, but the fact is all of that leaves us still thirsty. Through a relationship with Jesus, the Samaritan woman’s thirsty soul would be quenched and her whole life transformed. Gene pointed out that every day we are surrounded by people with thirsty souls that need to be refreshed and healed by the living water Jesus provides.
Are you thirsty for Jesus to do something deeper in your life? How can you move in that direction?
Though Jesus’ message to the church at Laodicea contained no praise, it did contain grace.
Have someone read Revelation 3:19-22.
How does the mind picture of Jesus knocking at your door strike you?
Their problem had a solution in Christ. He urged the believers to invite them into their lives, promising that if they did so, they would enjoy intimate fellowship with Him and spiritual victory. Jesus could heal their spiritual blindness. Jesus’ discipline arose from His love for them. Today we, as followers of Jesus, can also wander off the path, but Jesus’ discipline can lead us back to closer fellowship with Him.
What does it look like to “eat with” (NIV) or “share a meal with” (NLT) Jesus (v. 20)? Why is this an appropriate picture of spiritual intimacy with Him?
Gene said, “I think maybe the first thing Jesus is trying to say to us is “You can’t just sit there!” Are you lukewarm in your devotion to God? If so, how do you sense Him drawing you back to Himself? If not, think back to a time when you were. What did you learn from that season?
Break into two’s and spend time praying for passion and confess if and where you have been lukewarm. Ask God to help you assess your true attitude toward Him and renew your love for Him. Pray for opportunities to love and serve those around you. Pray for Eastside to be a dangerous church.