Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Cure For Lukewarm Christians

Chuckle: "Mama," asked the little girl, "if men go to heaven, too, why don't angels have whiskers?" "Because, dear," her mother answered, "men get to heaven by a very close shave." --Gertrude Pierson
Quote: “Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies.” --Elie Wiesel
"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold or hot. I wish you were 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 NIV).
If, after yesterday's lesson, you find yourself "lukewarm" toward God and His church and you have been convicted by the Holy Spirit of your need to change, how would God have you go about it?
First, we must see ourselves as God sees us. If we have grown indifferent, comfortable, self-reliant, content, and without a burning spiritual purpose, we are lukewarm. Each of us has likely been lukewarm at some point in our Christian life, but God does not want us to stay that way.
Second, we must have a sincere desire to change. This desire comes from the Holy Spirit as we yield to His direction. This may be where you are right now. If so, please listen to these words from our Lord to the lukewarm Christians in the church of Laodicea. "I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so that you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on you eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat (fellowship) with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:18-20 NIV).
Third, we must repent and allow God to change us. Let Him totally rework our attitudes and priorities. Listen to these words with an open heart! "Never be lacking in zeal (lazy in your work), but keep your spiritual fervor (enthusiasm) in serving the Lord" (Romans 12:11 NIV). "Maintain your spiritual glow" (Moffett). Also, the psalmist says, "Zeal (passion) for your (God's) house consumes (burns within) me" (Psalm 69:9 NIV). Repentance and cleansing are the keys to regaining that spiritual fervor. Our renewed zeal will result in the following (See Romans 12:12):
(1) We will be a joyful people. "Be joyful in hope." (2) We will endure difficulties with patience. "Be patient in affliction." (3) We will "Be faithful in prayer." (4) We will serve others. "Share with God's people who are in need." (5) We will "Practice hospitality to everyone" (Romans 12:12-13 NIV). (6) We will seek opportunities for service. The body of Christ (church) "grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work"  (Ephesians 4:16 NIV). (7) We will speak boldly about Jesus. "For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20 NIV). (8) We will not neglect church attendance and fellowship. "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together" (Hebrews 10:25 NIV).
God's kingdom, and this church, urgently need God's people to return to the "red-hot" zeal for Him and His work. We need spiritual revival! We need to get excited. We need to get back to the basics of being a Christian: (1) One in whom Jesus dwells; (2) One whose life Jesus controls; and (3) One through whom Jesus is revealed. If you have slipped into spiritual apathy, indifference, or unconcern, won't you ask God's forgiveness and ask Him to restore the joy and excitement of your salvation and the fervor for His service. Become a contributing and happy Christian.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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