Christ’s response to being lukewarm in Revelation 3:16 is not pleasant one. The church at Laodicea was planted by an apostle, was financially secure, and successful by the standards of their community. There is every reason to think they thought they were doing well as a church. In reality the church was so repugnant to Christ that he told them he would spit them out of his mouth! This church was not salt and light. Using the world as a gauge of success, particularly in parenting, is taking a huge step towards being lukewarm.
The Holy Spirit has provided important insight about how to be hot for God. One of the places he has done this in Psalm 103. The first six verses of the psalm remind of us why God should be praised from the very core of our being, from the deepest place of our heart. David says we must not forget all that he has done for us.
He forgives all of our sins!
Forgiveness of sins is not a big deal to the world. Our culture has devoted itself to justifying its sins. But God’s people have been redeemed from the pit. We have been crowned with God’s love and compassion. We actually have the ability to be truly satisfied. Our culture knows nothing of this. Don’t expect the culture around you to be excited about forgiven sin. On the contrary, our culture cannot get enough of sin and its deceptive promises.
In the next 4 verses David reminds us of how gracious God is. He is slow to anger and abounding in love. He does not treat us as our sins deserve! Okay parents, now it is time to stop and savor this truth. It is time for application.
You are not treated as you deserve to be treated. This is the great reality of the gospel.
You see, the world does attempts to treat people as they deserve to be treated. I was shopping at the grocery store the other day. A three year old had a different choice of isles that she wanted to explore from the one her mother did. The mother spoke to her child in a cool and calm way. She said something like this, “I knew it was a mistake to bring you shopping. If you don’t come here right now, I’ll never take you shopping again.” The little girl sadly turned back to her mother with her head down. She was being treated as her mother thought she deserved. Mom seemed pleased that her power play worked. Often this tactic does not work, but for this little girl, earning her mom’s approval was all that mattered.
How do you treat your children when they sin? Do you treat them as they deserve to be treated?
If we are to turn from being lukewarm parents, this is where we must begin. We must not treat our children as their sins deserve.
Think about it!
Specifics to follow.