March 13 In the Lord's words to the Laodiceans he said: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I WILL VOMIT YOU OUT OF MY MOUTH." Revelation 3:15-16 Many, if not most believers are neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm and uninvolved. How can God use them? He can't. A ship isn't made to sit in a harbor, and a ship cannot be piloted unless it gets out into the waters. As long as it sits idly in port, it's of no use. There are believers who don't become hot out of fear of the cost, fear of being made to look foolish, fears of all kinds actually. So they just sit there and that's as far as they're going to go with the Lord. There are other believers who stay cold. They have never grown in the Lord. They're too busy. Their priorities are elsewhere and the cares of their lives keep them from spending time with the Lord, never-mind serving him. They are in control of their lives and are proud to have attained to what they have been able to procure for themselves. vs 17: “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked." The Lord is speaking here to just this kind of believer, warning him to forego the world and to get serious with him. vs 18: "I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich;" Yes, there IS a cost in serving God. When one is born-again, the Lord begins the process of cleansing that person and maturing him/her. That's what "gold refined in the fire" is all about. When gold is refined, it is heated up to the boiling point so that impurities will rise to the top to be skimmed off. Then it is heated up again, for more impurities to rise to the surface to be skimmed off. This process is repeated until the gold is totally refined. And yes, refining is painful; sometimes VERY painful. But who wants dirty gold? Who wants an immature believer? Who can use a ship parked in a harbor? Friends, this is the kind of believer that makes the Lord so sick to his stomach that he says he will vomit him out of his mouth. It is vitally important that Jesus be not only our Savior, but our LORD. Anyone making a full commitment to him is going to be purified, it's a process that is necessary. If you have a self-willed child and allow that child to continue that way, you'll have a disaster when he becomes an adult. The Word of God tells us in several passages that it is incumbent upon a parent to provide correct discipline to the child lest he grow up a spoiled brat. "He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly." Proverbs 13:24 God our Father is the perfect father, and he loves us too much to leave us as we are. He wants maturity for us, he wants to find wisdom and truth in us, he wants us to be usable by him to reach others. He will spare us no trial until we have had our lives transformed by him. The wise will gladly cooperate, knowing that all is intended for his good. "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent." Revelation 3: 19 If you are lukewarm toward the Lord, he bids you repent. If you are hot he can moderate you and use you, if you are cold he can deal with you to warm you up. The danger is only in those who are lukewarm, who don't care about the God they profess, and who are not interested in spending time with him, nor are they interested in being of any use to him. Be careful then, that you are not vomited out of the Lord's mouth ...as many will be. vs 22: "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."