Monthly Archives: February 2022

Lukewarm tea is not the same as hot tea

Do you ever come home after a long tiring day and say “I fancy a cup of lukewarm tea”?

Strange question?

I felt challenged this week by a sermon I heard and as I pondered over the verses and prayed about it I felt I should share it with you and encourage you.

Have you ever felt you don’t really need Jesus in your life? Have you ever considered you know enough now of this “Christian” life that you are ok. You can do it. Maybe if it gets too hard I know I can pray to God and He will help me. Have you been so distracted by culture/society that you have changed your views to accommodate theirs and feel you are in with the times? Do you feel outraged when you hear people taking God’s name in vain or blaspheming? Does it make you want to cry when people say that they would never read parts of the Bible either because they are too difficult, or full of rules, or just outdated? Do you find yourself taking control of your life and completely ignoring the One who gave it to you, through His Son? When was the last time you spoke to God just because you enjoyed His painting in the skies above or just because you felt the cold air as you opened the door in the morning? I am addressing these questions firstly to myself and those who have met Jesus and given their lives to Him. If you call yourself a Christian, think about these questions.

When we first meet Jesus, there is a fire burning in our hearts and all we want to do is to spend time with Him. We open our Bibles and we are hungry. We want to know more of Him. Prayer is a bit difficult at first but as we are assured it is just like having a conversation with Jesus we pray a lot. We want to talk to Him. Our lives are so much better and we feel so loved and cherished that we even tell our friends that we have found Him. Or better yet, we tell them He has found us. He died for us and forgave us. He promised us life eternal if we believe in Him. We are so in love with Jesus that we put a lot of effort and time into getting to know Him. This is great by the way. It is normal too. It is by His grace that we are changed and that we want more of Him.

Are you confused? Are you asking yourself what the point of this blog is? Bear with me. We are getting there.

Very often when we have been a Christian for a while, our attitude or our view of Jesus tends to change. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we don’t want to spend time with Him or know Him. It doesn’t mean we don’t love Him anymore. We are just busy. Too busy. There is not time or very little time for Jesus. Sunday mornings. Yes. Thank you Lord for Sunday mornings. I love Jesus, but life has not stopped, you know? I will read my Bible later today because my “to do” list is just a mile long. I don’t have time to go to the Women’s breakfast on Saturday morning? Are you joking? Have you seen my house? Church prayer meeting on Zoom? You must be having a laugh… I work in front of a screen all day… no. I will pray before I go to bed. I will buy the book being promoted for Lent but I have no idea when I will find time to read it. I will put it on the ever growing pile of good Christian books I have bought over the years and haven’t read yet. One day I will. I promise.

Sometimes we say all of the above and yet we find time to binge watch a Netflix series someone at work recommended. We find time to play video games or listen to our favourite music all day long. We engage in meaningless conversations and get distracted by the world around us and all it brings with it.

If this sounds a little familiar, read on.

There is a great danger that we could become lukewarm Christians. Not cold. Not hot. Not possible, I hear you say. I could never feel like that towards Jesus. Well, think of when you so wanted to have a hot bath and run it and whilst you were waiting for the bath to be filled you got busy with other things and by time you came back to it the water had gone lukewarm… What did you do? Did you jump in with excitement? Did you drain the water or added more hot water? Or maybe you poured yourself a nice cup of hot tea and set on the side just to find it 20 minutes later lukewarm. You tasted it a bit and either threw it away or drank it quickly pulling a face as you did it. Lukewarm tea is not the same as hot tea.

There is a warning for a church in Revelations about being lukewarm. The Church in Laodicea. As you read the verses remember that these words of Jesus are directed at Christians.

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. 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. 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. 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.

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 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 with that person, and they with me.

21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

In verse 16 the words I am about to spit you out of my mouth”, mean Jesus is about to be sick – to throw up”. Strong image, isn’t it? A lukewarm Christian makes Jesus sick. That is probably not the kind of reaction we would expect from Jesus, but it is what we need to hear. Do we think we can do it? Do we think we have enough knowledge? Have we forgotten our first love? Are we so centred on ourselves that we think we don’t need Jesus? Verse 17 says:  “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”. Again, these are harsh words. May they pierce our hearts and produce in us repentance.

Jesus loves us and this passage bring a warning as we have just considered but it also brings hope. Verse 19 says: “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” There is hope. We must look at our hearts and repent. We must be zealous in our walk with Christ, by His grace. We are united with Him through His work at the cross and what it has accomplished. We are now justified and saved, made righteous with God through Jesus. That is never going to change but our communion with Jesus, our “relationship” with Him changes depending on how we walk with Him. Verse 20 is an amazing verse: “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 with that person, and they with me.” Jesus is saying to us, even though we might be lukewarm, wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked He is at our door, knocking, waiting to come in to have communion with us. Take heart my friend. This love is incomprehensible. Who loves like this? Only Jesus. His it is true. Jesus is offering it to us, all of us, that might find ourselves sometimes in a lukewarm place in our faith. Consider His words to the Laodicea church and examine your own life, as I have mine.

May our gracious God help us as we refocus on Him.

Looking for Treasure!

My husband and I love watching movies or documentaries about treasure, especially, treasure that has been lost at sea. It is fascinating to see how much effort people put into researching a ship’s history, its voyages, the people on board it and all events surrounding its tragic disappearance at sea. Many spend their entire lives searching for a treasure – perhaps they are just after the feeling of accomplishment. Maybe it is the fame that comes with finding an impossible-to-find treasure! It could also be the monetary aspect of finding a treasure – what kind of money will I get for this treasure and what will I do with it. Whatever the reason might be for pursuing a quest to find a lost treasure, people put their lives and relationships on hold in order to do it, and in many cases, they will never find what they spent their whole life looking for.

I also find it interesting that in many fantasy stories we can find treasure too. Take the world of Middle Earth, for example, where Dwarves dug so deep in the earth that they found so many gems and treasures untold. The mines of Moria and the kingdom of Erebor (The Lonely Mountain) are good examples of places where such treasures were found.

We also can see what happened to those who found such treasures. In the case of Erebor (spoiler alert!) the king was consumed by a sickness of the mind and all he could see was the gold, all he wanted was the gold and it transformed him into a greedy and unkind man. His treasure brought him and his people more sorrow than happiness as the treasure was coveted by a dragon – destruction and death came to that kingdom and survivors were scattered.

What are some of the things people might regard as treasure in real life? Is it the jackpot on Euro Millions? Maybe it is the multi-million-pound mansion, the shiny new Tesla in the garage, the Rolls-Royce, the jaw dropping magnificent Mega-Yacht moored in a Marina somewhere exotic, expensive and nice. For some it will be anything Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Prada, any Picasso and so on. For some their treasure is their fame and reputation. The things people desire the most will be their treasures. Some will spend all their effort in order to find these treasures. 

I know about a treasure which is far greater in value and far more important than any treasure ever found or yet to be found. That treasure is a relationship with the Creator, Mighty Saviour, Ruler of all things – God.

God created all humans in his image (Genesis 1:26-27), and He set eternity
in the hearts of man and only He can fill it (Ecclesiastes 3:11).  He is the only treasure which will satisfy us. All good treasure hunting involves research, adventure, discovery to be made along the way. Tools are needed for the journey and, of course, a map.  

The Bible is the place we need to journey to when it comes to “finding” our relationship with God. In a treasure map the “x” marks the spot where the treasure is hidden. The same can be said of our terrain and our map to finding our most valuable treasure. Jesus marks the spot. It is through Him that we gain access to the Father. Jesus said in John 14:6-7

“6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Jesus is the only way to the Father. God loves each one of us and He desires to have a relationship with us. Some might find it difficult to have a relationship with an invisible God. The Bible tells us all we need to know about God and as it is stated above in verse 7 of John 14, Jesus said: “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.”

In Colossians 1:15-20 Paul gives us a bit more details about Jesus:

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Jesus’s perfect sinless life, His death in our place and his resurrection mark the “x” on our most amazing and interesting treasure map of all time. All we need now is to start our journey and begin to dig. We need to read our Bibles with enthusiasm and dedication in order to discover the gems hidden in each page, between each line and story about our Father God. We must ask the questions in our hearts and look for the answers deep within the sacred lines penned for our benefit, through the work of the Holy Spirit. What an amazing Creator, God and Lord we have! He loves us in this way, that He sent His Son to die for us and to be the way back to a relationship with Him. (John 3:16)

Happy treasure hunting!

God bless.

Photo by Suhash Villuri on Unsplash