Do Your Best (Revelation 3:14-22) - October 27th 2013

    The ancient city of Laodicea stood near the river Lycus. This prosperous banking center was home to a thriving textile industry and a strong medical practice. The people of the area carried a self-sufficient approach to life. About the only thing they thought they needed was a better water supply.

    14 To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 
    Jesus is identified as the Amen (reference to Revelation 1:6). He is both faithful and true. The reference to ruler of God’s creation is likely a reference to Colossians 1:15.

    1. Live for God’s Approval.
    Nothing in our lives escapes the knowledge of God.
    15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold— I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
    The people of Laodicea appreciated the medicinal benefits of Hierapolis’ hot springs and Colossae’s cold, clear water. Unfortunately, the water system transporting water to Laodicea picked up mineral sediment as it moderated the temperature of the water. The respectable but passionate church made our Lord want to spit the church out of His mouth as certainly as the people reading had spewed out distasteful water. 
    16b I am about to spit you out of my mouth…About speaks of God’s grace. The people were not in danger of losing their salvation but of losing their effectiveness.
    17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. Our Lord saw the self-satisfied people, not as rich, but as blind beggars. As a person fails to grow in faith, spiritual vision is affected.
    Peter reminds us to: Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind…       2 Peter 1:5-9

    2. Listen to God’s Advice.
    18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
    The Lord gives counsel, not a command.  Buy from me gold refined in the fire…Riches are measured in faith, not money (2 Corinthians 8:9).
    White clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness. God sees the contrast between the white robes of purity and the expensive black woolen fabrics worn to impress.
    Salve to put on your eyes, so you can see…Phrygian powder could not address spiritual blindness. They needed God’s healing touch to see.
    19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.
    Words exposed their sins for correction. They needed to repent, change their lifestyles and allow the Spirit of God to ignite their passion for God.

    3. Leap to God’s Appeal. 
    20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. The Lord is knocking and knocking and knocking at the door of His church. In blind self-sufficiency the church had excommunicated the risen Jesus from their gatherings. They went through the motions of repeating the messages but their hearts were unchanged.
    20 If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. God takes the initiative and sets the agenda, but the church must respond.
    20 I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Our Lord wants acceptance in the church. This acceptance is not confined to verbal statements. Our Lord wants our friendship and fellowship. He wants to be included in our conversations.
    21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 
    22 He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

    The New International Version is the translation used in today’s study.