America is a land of plenty, if not excess. When we are surrounded by those with more, we easily forget how blessed we really are. Of all the letters, this is the one that has most often convicted me. It speaks to a loss of passion, replaced by complacency. And our complacency causes us to take Jesus for granted.
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness,the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.Revelation 3:14-16
How often we go though the motions as we go to church, sing hymns, and pay our tithe. We claim to be Christians, but our hearts have turned from serving Jesus to striving for prosperity and success. If we forget that our success is a gift from God, then we become proud and self-satisfied. This complacency leads to stagnation in our effort, our passion, and our purpose.
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. 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.Revelation 3:17-18
Who would guess that prosperity and success could be bad things? But there is an inverse relationship between money and God. The less we have, the more we can feel our need for God. Yet the more we have, the less we can see our need. As we focus on attaining greater wealth and success we lose ourselves and our true purpose.
Though we are rich, we’ve become poor. Though we can see, we’ve become blind. Jesus spoke of it being easier for camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. This is not because wealth is bad. Rather, it’s the change of priorities that often accompanies it.
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 with that person, and they with me.Revelation 3:19-20
Despite our selfish nature, Jesus loves us and longs to open our eyes. Listening to his words allows us to repent and reprioritize. If we humble ourselves once more, we will hear him knocking at the door of our hearts. We only need to let him in to let his love burn inside of us again.