To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: “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. 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. 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 him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”—Revelation 3:14-22
I want to focus here on the love God has for us. It is God’s love, not our own spirituality, that gives us hope.
How do you spell love? In this case, Jesus spells love with r-e-b-u-k-e. In this case, God’s love is expressed as rebuke and discipline.
Does that strike you as a little strange? It does me. I don’t like being rebuked. I don’t like being disciplined. I hide from those things. I avoid those things.
But Jesus says, “Come here. You are in great danger, and you don’t know it. I need to wake you up.”
There are some things we must know about a rebuke from Jesus: First, it is always restorative. Jesus doesn’t cut us down to make us miserable. He redirects us to make us whole. Second, as we embrace His rebuke, He embraces us. Third, His rebuke is aimed at His eternal plan to lavish good on us. He wants to get us lined up with the right runway so we can land in the right place.
Each person is different. Some respond to a gentle word. Some need something more. Jesus knows exactly what you need, and He won’t use somebody else’s discipline on you.
PS. Can we trust our feelings? What role does emotion play in our faith? Does God care how we feel? What are our feelings good for? We’ll be addressing these questions and more on 8/3/2019 in Inner Wealth.