Memorise: But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. 1stTimothy 5:6
Read: Revelation 3:14-19 (KJV)
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
It is amazing that many people are suffering today but they do not realise it. Is it even possible to suffer without knowing it? Of course, it is! The Bible passage in our memory verse points to one of such scenarios. A prostitute and his or her clients think they are enjoying life by indulging in indiscriminate sex and getting paid for it, but in the sight of God, they are dead. The reality of the word of God will knock on their door the day the doctor announces their HIV status. A drunkard also is one who is “suffering and smiling”. The Bible gives a vivid description of the pitiable state of a drunkard in Proverbs 23:31-35. It is also possible for people who profess to belong to God to be oblivious of their true state in the sight of God. For this reason, we must always look at ourselves through the mirror of God’s word, and wait on the Lord in the place of prayer to hear what His opinion of us is.
In today’s Bible text, we see the verdict of our Lord Jesus Christ on the state of the Church of the Laodiceans. After the Lord x-rayed their spiritual life, their self-delusion became apparent for all to see. He gave His assessment inRevelation 3:17:
“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”
This is food for thought for these churches in these last days which major on the so-called “prosperity gospel” to the detriment of the spiritual well-being of their congregation. Such churches are actually miserable, poor, blind and naked – they are suffering without knowing it. In Acts 3, Peter and John were going for a prayer meeting at the temple, and a lame man looked up to them in expectation of receiving alms from them. Pay close attention to these words of Peter to him in Acts 3:6:
“…Sliver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”
The lame man walked because the early disciples were rich in the things of God, even though they were poor in material things. Today, many churches have sliver and gold, but they no longer have the effective use of the Name of Jesus Christ. Beloved, let us go back to our first love, rather than groping in the darkness of self-delusion that we are fine. Many problems that were alien to the early Church are now common place in the modern Church. Ministers of gospel are being carried here and there for healing. May God have mercy on us.
Father, open my eyes to see where I have missed it, and help me to retrace my steps back to You, the Lover of my soul.
Bible in one year: Leviticus 15-16, Jeremiah 9:12-26