Clouds Parting Revealing the Heavens

A daily devotion for July 28th

The Age of Laodicea

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.

Rev 3:17

There is a big difference between you say and you are. Our Lord points out this difference. This is the Faithful and True witness speaking, the one who tells the whole truth, even though it hurts. This church at Laodicea was smug, self-sufficient and complacent. They had plenty of money. Perhaps they had beautiful buildings, gifted preachers, great music, and the respect of the community. They thought they were doing well. But when Jesus looks at it, he says, You are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. Why such a difference in these two views? It is because they were being measured by two different standards.

I might say to you, What is the temperature today? and you would look at a thermometer and say, It is 32 above zero. But I might check another thermometer and say, No, you are wrong. It is zero. The truth is, we would both be right, because one thermometer was Fahrenheit and the other was Centigrade. Zero in Centigrade is 32 above in Fahrenheit. If you use two different standards of measurement, you will never be able to agree on what the true temperature is. That is what was happening here. They were being measured by two different standards. Laodicea was using the standards of the world. It was pleasant, comfortable, approved by the community around, and they thought they were doing well. But Jesus is using the standard of what he intended his church to be like.

Jesus tells us plainly what his church is to be like. It is to be salt. He said, Salt that loses its saltiness is good for nothing (Matthew 5:13). A church that is salt should be salty. It should be spread throughout the whole area, flavoring whatever it touches. The church is to function not only when it meets on Sunday, but out where people are during the week. That is where it is to tell the good news and to be salt, flavoring life with a different flavor, which does not go along with the willful, wicked ways of the world, but which chooses to walk in truth, righteousness, love and honesty.

Laodicea is much like the church of the 21st century. It is characterized by the phenomenon of the people dictating what will be taught. Laodicea is where the people tell the pastors what to preach. There was once a time when the church taught that the natural life with which we were born, was something that needed to be crucified. Jesus said it himself, He that comes after me must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24). But we are living in a day when churches are openly advancing self, saying we should discover its possibilities. Once the inerrancy of Scripture formed the bedrock of all evangelical churches, but now churches that call themselves evangelical are denying the inerrancy of the Word. Once there was a great urge within the church to evangelize the lost, but in many churches we are being told that God is too loving to condemn anybody. This is truly the age of Laodicea.

Lord, you have called me to be as salt in this world, but I confess that so often I prefer to blend in. Help me not to lose my saltiness. Amen.

Life Application

By what standard do you measure your spiritual condition?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

The Poor-Rich Church

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