Tuesday, July 29, 2014

DAY 798 - Conquering Luke-warmness (請按此處收聼廣東話Cantonese podcast click here)

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                               Today's Reading: Revelation 3:14-22

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Please click this link to read Revelation 3:14-22

Bible Study

     Today we come to the last of the seven letters of John to the churches of seven cities, and perhaps the most famous of all seven letters. Verse 15 about the "luke-warmness" and verse 20 about Jesus knocking on the door are two very famous verses in the Bible. Laodicea was the banking centre of the whole region, boasting a fine medical school specialized in ophthalmology, the healing of the eyes and also a fashion centre of having clothes made from black sheep of a kind high quality black wool. Jesus uses that three success namely rich, eye sight and black clothes to say that they were poor, blind and need white clothes rather than black one. Jesus uses the situation of this city having lukewarm water supply due to the chemically charged water came bubbling out of the ground far away to warn them of their luke-warmess. It made Jesus sick. There are two strong pictures that Jesus wants to give to them and all of us. 

Let's take a look at what Bishop N.T. Wright says (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N._T._Wright ) :
     'Look! I'm standing here, knocking at the door.'…The echoes of stories in the gospels suggest that the one knocking on the door is the master of the house, returning at an unexpected hour (as in the warning to Sardis in 3.3), while the one who should open the door is the servant who has stayed awake.  It is, then, Jesus' house in the first place; our job is simply to welcome him home
     "I will come in to them and eat with them, and they with me.'  No early Christian could have heard those words without thinking of the regular meal, the bread-breaking, at which Jesus would come powerfully and personally and give himself to his people.  Such meals anticipate the final messianic banquet.  They are advance 'coming' of the one who will one day come fully and for ever.
     Those who share this meal, and who are thereby strengthened to 'conquer' as Jesus 'conquered' through his death, will have the most extraordinary privilege… They will share his strange, sovereign rule over the world, the rule to which he came not by force of arms by by the power of suffering love.  This is what it means to be 'a royal priesthood'.    

N.T. Wright. Revelation for Everyone. Louisville,KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011, p.40-41.

      Do you think you have the problem of this kind of luke-warmness that you are unprepared, unable or unwilling to open the door to welcome Jesus when He comes back? 

Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe":  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmax47l2hLU

Spiritual Journal

    The title I heard from Jesus today is: Conquering luke-warmness

    What I got from Jesus today is an eye opening as well as a paradigm shift to a well-known picture and message most Christians have in our minds. Most of us think that we need to open our hearts to Jesus when He knocks on the door of our hearts and welcome Him in and give us light so that we can see.

     Bishop N.T. Wright tells us clearly that this is a wrong understanding of the passage. It is Jesus house! We are just stewards and servants and when the owner returns we need to be able and willing to open the door to welcome the owner of that house. But, the reality is we take it as our house, our lives, our time, our wisdom, our money and our everything inside us is "me, me, me". A steward and servant becomes the owner. A soldier or captain guarding a castle becomes the king!

     How can that happen? Because of our thinking we are rich and do not need anything. Because we are blind, not able to see. Because of our luke-warmness wearing the 'black clothes" and not the 'white clothes' signifying our new lives in Christ.

     Are you able to conquer this kind of luke-warmness to admit that you are poor in spirit, repent so that you can put on the white clothes and get rid of the luke-warmness so that you can live out the royal priesthood? 

Dear Lord Jesus,
Help us to conquer our luke-warmness so that we can see and be able to live out the royal priesthood under your daily presence to be our King. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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