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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT – TUESDAY - WHO’S COMING TO DINNER? #1

HOLMAN HUNT'S... THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

The secret of true obedience is the clear and close personal relationship to God. All our attempts after full obedience will be failures until we get access to his abiding fellowship. It is God's holy presence consciously abiding with us that keeps us from disobeying Him. I must consciously include the Lord in every thought, activity, and conversation until the habit is established. -- Andrew Murray.

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"And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: 'The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation. "'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. - Rev 3:14-17. ESV

If we could invite someone, anyone, over to have dinner with you who would it be? What friend, dignitary, hero, sports idol, movie star, etc. might we ask over to eat with us? Perhaps our imagination is running wild to think whom we would like to have dinner with. Who would we invite to dine in our house?

Would anyone invite Jesus to dine with them? Sounds like something a preacher would bring up! The question is not to draw a response of, "Oh yeah, I guess I should invite Jesus."

But the question lays before us in the words of our Saviour... 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. - Revelation 3:20.

Why would Jesus make such a statement? Perhaps because our lives have been filled with everything but Him and without knowing it we have shut Him out. He desires the fellowship of dining together so that we might come to know one another better. Dining together is not your casual conversation on the street or in the supermarket aisle of "Hi! How are you?” It is intimacy at its best . . . just us and Jesus.

"I had an overwhelming experience of the Lord's presence. I felt so powerfully overcome by the nearness of the Holy Spirit that I had to ask the Lord to draw back lest He kill me. It was so glorious that I couldn't stand more than a small portion of it." - Mordecai Ham.

Dining In Laodicea
If we were to travel to Laodicea to dine for the evening we would soon discover it was a city of great wealth. Its influence and affluence were highly noted. The streets would be filled with dignitaries telling of their rich and "no need" lifestyles.

For life there was neither hot nor cold, but just that right lukewarm "let me rest" atmosphere. In dining we would soon become well satisfied knowing things just don't get any better than this. The people of Laodicea loved dining in with themselves for they were self-satisfied and self-sufficient.

Self-Satisfied from being Lukewarm
Water was piped into Laodicea ...
the hot water was from Hieropolis and cold from Colossae. However by the time it reached Laodicea it was neither hot or cold . . . but lukewarm. Christ uses this to speak to them about their spiritual condition.

They were neither hot nor cold but lukewarm like the water. They were "self-satisfied" with their relationship with Christ. They had become lethargic about who they were "in" Christ and what they were to be doing "for" Christ.

The lukewarm trends are still around. We recognize them as . . .
Becoming "tolerant" to the way of the world.
Becoming "leveled-out" ... plateau ... no longer expecting.
Becoming a "whatever" person ... complacency (don't want to be bothered) rules.

Their lack of zeal for the living water Christ offered, caused Him to want to spit them from His mouth. What an indictment! Where are we in our thirst and zeal for Christ, today?

Self-Sufficient from being Rich
They were not only “self-satisfied”
but they had become "self-sufficient" from being so rich in man's scheme of wealth. Laodicea was known for its wealth that stemmed from the manufacturing of eye salve and black wool cloth. Much like the painters house needing painting, the church in Laodicea was blind and naked, though the city manufactured salve and cloth.

The catch phrase of the day was, "… I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing…" They saw themselves as so self-sufficient they had no need of Christ. When in reality they were in great need of Him. Christ said they were “…are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” Without Christ we are destitute in body, mind and soul.

In reality Laodicea was . . .
The church no one wants to be like.
The church no one wants to ever think they are like.
The church no one wants to admit they are most like.

"Many are willing that Christ should be something, but few will consent that Christ should be everything." - Alexander Moody Stuart.

Who is coming to your place for dinner?

Loving Father, help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to hunger and thirst after my Lord and Saviour , Jesus! Help me Lord, not to become complacent, but to open the door of my heart and let Jesus come in and dine with me, I ask this in His mighty name! Amen!

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