“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”
Do we fall into the lukewarm category? That sense of being content while not really seeking God in our lives – maybe we go to Church on Sundays but we don’t really engage. Scholars suggest that Jesus was talking about two springs near Laodicea, both the hot mineral springs at Hierapolis and the cold water springs at Colossae. Both had unique characteristics in that the hot springs were thought to possess healing powers while the cold springs were refreshing. Therefore a spring that was lukewarm would be good for nothing – neither healing nor refreshing.
That is how Christ was referring to the Church of Laodicea. They, like us got so comfortable with their prosperity and freedom and forgot what it meant to be a Christian. When we get to comfortable we forget how desperately we need Christ and forget about living out the Great Commission.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Our lives in America are so comfortable; we forget the suffering that many Christians are faced with around the world. We forget that when we read about the early Church we are reading about a persecuted Church. Just look at Stephen in Acts 6. He was full of the Holy Spirit, performing great miracles, absolutely on fire for Christ but society couldn’t handle his message and he was stoned to death. Stephen was definitely not a lukewarm Christian.
It’s easy to see how we got here. Our post-modern society tells us that all things are relative and that you can believe whatever you want. Surely, this mindset has spread itself at least somewhat into our contemporary Christian culture – even if we don’t immediately notice it.
Our emphasis on evangelism, missions, and making new disciples starts to wane – and the focus shifts to what God can do for us. As Christians we have two major tasks – one inner and one outer. To both, transform ourselves into the likeness of Christ, and to make disciples of all the nations. Let’s not build up one at the loss of the other. We need to be like Stephen, living radically for the cause of Christ.
This kind of life, not lukewarm, but fully committed, could take many shapes. It could mean serving in our neighborhoods or committing ourselves to share the gospel message through the means of safe water to the millions of people who lack it. Imagine the impact such a ministry could have. It would be revolutionary, capable of transforming the lives of people across the world.
Young girl in Kenya.
I have a question I want to present and I’ll lay it out without any pretense.
What If the Church decided to serve? What if we didn’t act so reserved?
What if we actually reached out our hand? Would Jesus be proud, our #1 fan?
Our hands, our feet, our eyes, our ears, let’s use them all to HIS glory! Now, let’s be clear.
People are suffering, their dying alone, from dirty water and diseases that are known
Without a chance to know your name, the Gospel is urgent, it’s spread not in vain!
So What if the Church decided to serve? What if we didn’t act so reserved?
300,000 Churches all across the land. Let’s put our heads together, and come up with a plan.
Let’s make a commitment to act with speed, to bring safe water to those in need.
Boy in Kenya carrying home safe water.
Not only water, but your Word too. A life-giving combo, what good news!
I just ask that you join this movement today! And tell all your friends, even Aunt May.
God has given us all something – gifts, talents, and skills so we can bring. Glory to God, so the whole earth will sing!
Recently, I read a story on the Samaritans Purse website about three girls hoping to raise 1,000 dollars by selling cookies.
“Taylor, 9, has been studying natural disasters such as earthquakes and tornadoes at school, and understood what the impact of such a disaster might be.”
What an incredible response! The other day, I was greeting people as they were coming into the Water Missions office and a group of four girls came in with their mothers. The girls came up to the front desk and pulled an envelope out of a bag. They handed it over with smiles on their faces to go to the people of Haiti.
They had set up a lemonade stand on the side of their road, after hearing about the earthquake and all the people hurting in Haiti. Inspiring stories like this are popping up across the country as people respond to the disaster.
It reminds me of when Jesus fed the 5,000 and it only happened because a boy had some bread and fish. He was willing to give what he had and God multiplied it beyond belief. What a testimony!
The response of Churches and people across the country has already been immense. Let us continue to join in the effort to bring relief and share God’s love! What if the Church, and Christian relief organizations were the ones that headed the relief effort. How God’s love would shine!
I would like to hear how people are getting involved to bring relief to Haiti. What are you or your Church doing in response to this disaster? We all have the ability to help! What are you doing?
So send stories about how you or your church are getting involved with the relief effort to firstname.lastname@example.org. Allow them to be used for the encouragement of the body!
In the meantime, here are some pictures of the latest Living Water Treatment Systems being utilized in Haiti.
A living, active, moving, constantly changing
Body, Congregation, group, fellowship
United in Faith
That there is
ONE GOD, ONE HOPE ONE SALVATION
Through God’s son Jesus Christ, who died so that we may live
For eternity with Him
We will Serve, We Will Love, We Will Care, and We Will Break Free
Living radically through Faith in Him who saves us
By: Dr. Barry Corey, President of Biola University
For the American Church in the 21st century, the question of whether or not we should be actively engaged in ministry of compassion is no longer really a question. Not when the news of worldwide suffering and hardship is so instant and pervasive. Not when there are so many shocking statistics placed right under our noses, daring us to ignore them.
Statistics like this:
Statistics like these (especially that third one…) should convict us to action. It would be un-Christian and inhumane to ignore a problem as elemental as not having enough drinking water to survive!
So we’re all on the same page I hope: Something MUST be done. The Church must act. But what can we do? We can start by being more mindful of how we use our own water. Take shorter showers. Don’t leave the faucet on. Surely we can survive on less than 100 gallons of water a day! We can lead by example as Christians, committed to more wisely stewarding God’s creation and the life-sustaining resources within it.
But we can also take steps to more directly address the problem.
One of our recent graduates at Biola University, Danika Dahlin (’09), has been an example of how even college students can make a difference in this global effort. Ever since she was 18, Danika has spent her summers in Malawi, working with her parents’ nonprofit, Water Wells for Africa, where she has helped build wells for the many in that country who do not have access to clean water.
My prayer is that Biola would be a university where that sort of action-oriented attitude is cultivated—where students, staff and faculty recognize that the Gospel isn’t just an inert idea for Christians; it’s a movement of action and grace for the world.
At Biola University, we believe that social action is a calling for all of us—to make a difference in the world for Christ by serving the world in his name.
And it comes first and foremost out of God’s love for us and our love for Him. We can’t help but spread it to others and let the good news of the Gospel spill out from our classrooms and church walls and into the streets, slums, and parched corners of the world.
That’s why I’m thrilled to see organizations like Water Missions Int’l calling on the church to mobilize and direct its Gospel energy outward. The global water crisis is something the people of Christ cannot ignore. If we truly believe that Jesus is the living water, how could we stand by as millions across the world go thirsty day after day?