Center of Hope Devotion – September 21, 2020

Dear Friends,

In Revelation 3:14-22 Jesus, through John, addresses the church in Laodicea. The church in Laodicea has the firmest rebuke of all the seven churches and has nothing positive said about it. In fact, the church in Laodicea resembled the water supply coming into the city: lukewarm. Both hot and cold water have value, but lukewarm water was the least valuable. In the same way, the faith of the Laodicean church had grown apathetic and stale.

The Laodicean church, like the culture in which they lived, didn’t think they needed any outside help. (Laodicea was a more affluent city). Yet, Jesus challenges them on their faulty assumptions that they can become spiritually vibrant by their own doing. In many ways, the letter to the church in Laodicea is the most relevant to those in America today. If we are not careful, we can assume our own effort and achievement can grant us God’s favor and love.

Like the believers in Laodicea, we can allow our comforts to make us spiritually apathetic. We can turn away from God not because we want to, but because apathy is our default destination if we are not intentional with our faith. The truth is that following Jesus is an invitation to change, and following Jesus is a choice.

Matthew 7:13-14 shows us that the default path in life is the wide and broad road that leads to destruction. The narrow road leads to life, but we have to be intentional about trusting in Jesus over ourselves to go down it.

Amazingly, Jesus responds to apathetic faith with an invitation, not shame. He offers us grace, not guilt. The Laodicean church wasn’t pursuing God, and yet Jesus responded to them with grace and no condemnation. Just like He does with us.

Which means we need to be careful. Spiritual apathy leads to spiritual death. Spiritual apathy is the easy path, but is also the path that prohibits us from experiencing the life God has for us to lead.

Today’s challenge:

Choose one practical thing you can do today to stir your affections for Christ. You could fast, take some extended time in prayer, financially support someone in need, etc.