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"Passion vs. Warm Bodies"

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“Passion vs. Warm Bodies”
Earlier this year, I started a study on the Book of Revelation.  I found it particularly interesting to read the letters Jesus gave John to give to the seven churches in Asia Minor in chapters 2 and 3 of the book.  Do you know that the modern-day Church is presently struggling with many of the same issues of the ancient church: busyness, idol worship, and the complacency of some…just to name a few?  I guess the old saying is true, “There is nothing new under that sun!”  In Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus said to the Church in Laodicea, “I know your deeds, you are neither cold nor hot.  How I wish you were one or the other!  So because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth!”  What a strange picture that conjures up! 
I think back to a time when Paul and I were on a Caribbean cruise.  We had just sat down for one of the gourmet meals they served to us on the ship.  The waiter brought out a delightful-looking bowl of soup which he set in front of me.  I could hardly wait to see if it tasted as delicious as it looked.  I dipped my spoon into the soup and took a small amount of it so as to not make a mess.  I slowly lifted the spoon to my mouth and cautiously took a bite thinking that the soup might be hot enough to burn the inside of my mouth.  Immediately upon taking that first bite, I was tempted to spit it out.  It was not that it tasted bad, the problem was that it was not hot like I expected…it was actually room temperature.  Now, I realize that some people might like their soup on the cool side, but this was new to me and I was not sure that I cared for it.  It seemed unnatural for soup to be cold.
When I read these couple of verses describing Jesus spitting out the lukewarm Christians, I couldn’t help but think that perhaps such a dramatic action might be because Jesus expected that those who had chosen to follow Him might be more passionate and enthusiastic about their decision, but that is not what He found.  Could He have been surprised by what He was seeing in the Church; followers who were too tired, too preoccupied, and unmotivated to share the love they had experienced through His death and resurrection with the rest of the world?
Today, the Church struggles in much the same way.  There are many people serving because there are things that need to get done, but who lack passion and excitement for what they are doing.  This leads to burnout!  Jesus does not need a bunch of burned out (lukewarm) souls trying to keep the Church going, Jesus needs Christians who are passionate about their relationship with Him.  When we are passionate about Jesus, all the rest just happens.  When we are excited about our faith, we can’t wait to share what we have experienced with others.  When we see Jesus working in our lives, we want others to experience the joy that we have had the privilege of experiencing. When we are growing spiritually, others take notice and want to know more. 
If we want the Church to grow, we cannot be lukewarm Christians!  The world will spit us out faster than Jesus will!  If we want to be passionate and excited about our faith and ministry, we must look to Jesus first.   He must be our first priority; all else will follow.

~Pastor Shannon
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