Have you ever wondered about your usefulness? I know I have. One of my devotional readings this morning came from Revelation 3–the Church at Laodicea. You may not immediately recognize this church, but I’m sure one of the phrases from the passage will stand out to you.
“I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” – Revelation 3:15-16.
These are some of Jesus’ harshest and gravest words to a church. But what is Jesus saying?
Jesus does not mean here that he would rather us to be for him (hot) or against him (cold) rather than lukewarm. Rather, this description highlights the geography of the region. Laodicea had its water piped in from Hieropolis, a city known in the ancient world for its hot springs. People would travel to Hieropolis to bathe in the hot springs as a means of healing and relaxation. Another city in the region, Colossae was known for its cold springs which people would drink for its refreshment. By contrast, the water in Laodicea (traveling from Hieropolis) was lukewarm and useless. It could not be used for for healing or refreshment. Jesus illustrated the church’s lack of usefulness in his kingdom’s work with the lack of useful water in Laodicea.
Jesus wants us to be useful. He wants us to be good for something in the work of his kingdom. This time of year affords us the opportunity to be useful for our Savior. Here are just a few ways we can be useful. If you think of others, feel free to share as a commend below.
- Volunteer your time at a shelter or with a ministry that provides assistance for families at Christmas.
- Give something extra to a ministry or to a family around the holidays.
- Find a place to serve at your church.
- Encourage someone who is grieving or facing a health challenge.
- Pursue a closer relationship with Jesus so you can be more aware of needs and opportunities for ministry around you.
I’ll be posting regularly a Monday Meditation from my previous week’s devotion. Look for it. If it’s helpful to you, please share with someone else.