Sermon Overview & Prayer: "Hot and Cold and...Not What You Think"

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Revelation 3:14-22 – PRAYER POINTS
"Hot and Cold and...Not What You Think" CJ Mahaney
These written prayers are intended to fuel your meditation on this passage and your enjoyment of God in prayer.

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. “‘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. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” (Revelation 3:14-15, 19-20, 22)

As we overhear the Lord himself describe the taste this church leaves in his mouth, we are meant to look up and ask, “What taste does my spiritual condition leave in the mouth of the divine supertaster?”

PRAYER: Lord, wanting to please you in every respect, and desiring to bear fruit in every good work, please convict me of any practice or pattern in my life, or any neglect, that leaves a foul taste in your mouth.

The Laodicean church was seduced by the culture and conformed to the culture. They were no longer a distinct witness to the transforming effects of the gospel. They were in no danger of persecution from the culture because they bore a striking resemblance to the culture. This message is meant to be preventative not corrective; this letter is meant to put us on high alert.

PRAYER: Father, I acknowledge that the culture around me – politics, race, gender, social media, entertainment, the marketplace, health, education, etc. – all compete for my attention, my allegiance, and my conformity. May my life shine with such a distinct light, and provide such a unique flavor, that many will be compelled to ask, “What makes you different?” Spirit of God prepare and empower me to answer with the gospel.

Immediately following this rebuke, the compassion of Christ for this church is on full display. Though their present condition nauseated Him, His love for them remained steadfast. The remedy for their condition is beyond their resources. It cost more than they can pay but the good news of the gospel is they can come and buy because Jesus paid it all!

PRAYER: Lord God, I am humbled to recall that I was once, not only distasteful, but dead – your enemy, lost, and without hope. But you, being rich in mercy, made me alive. By grace I have been saved! May that glorious reminder, each and every day, inform the words of my mouth, the meditations of my heart, the deeds of my hands, and every step of my feet!

“God never reveals our hearts to discourage us. Convicting us of sin is one of the most profound ways he demonstrates his love for us.” (Paul Tripp)

PRAYER: Holy Spirit, thank you for mercifully convicting me of sin, that I might become more discerning and increasingly free from remaining indwelling sin. Thank you that conviction and repentance from sin, free me to experience more of the “all things that pertain to life and godliness” that Christ secured for me on the cross!

“Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it does not see in God’s gift that God himself is to be desired more than the gift. If the gift is not awakening a sense that God, the Giver, is better than the gift, it is becoming an idol.” (John Piper)

PRAYER: Lord, you have blessed, prospered, and provided for me beyond my ability to thank you. Please keep my eyes and my heart open to the greatness of the giver rather than the gift. May my heart never find more joy, satisfaction, identity, or hope in the temporal things of this world, than I do in the one who has given me life for all eternity.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (verse 20)

“In their blind self-sufficiency, they had, as it were, excommunicated the risen Lord from the congregation. In an act of unbelievable condescension, he requests permission to enter and reestablish fellowship.” (Robert Mounce)  

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I thank you that there is never a time when you are not at the door of my heart, poised to enter and bless in whatever form would bring me the greatest good, and your greatest glory. Amid all else competing for my heart, give me ears to hear, believe, respond, and obey what it is that you are saying.


OVERVIEW OF THE SERMON:
Jesus’ letter to the church in Laodicea is characterized by rebuke for sin. The Laodicean church resembles her culture’s self-sufficiency and love of money, which has resulted in her spiritual poverty. Even in the Laodiceans’ greed, having effectively cast Christ out from their worship, we find the Savior graciously condescending to ask his people to welcome him back into divine fellowship. Our LORD continues to discipline his people, offering for free what they could never afford: his payment for their sins and eternal fellowship with him.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: 

  1. CJ said “we are breathing Laodicean-like air here in Louisville.” In what ways are our culture and temptations similar to the Laodicean christians?
  2. In response to the Laodicean christian’s sin, Christ is “standing at the door and knocking”. How does this inform our view of God’s character?
  3. According to the passage, what motivation(s) does Christ offer us to fuel our fight against the love of money?
  4. “Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is not permeated with gratitude...Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it does not see in God’s gift that God himself is to be desired more than the gift. If the gift is not awakening a sense that God, the Giver, is better than the gift, it is becoming an idol.” - John Piper

    In what specific ways can we, even this week, enjoy the financial gifts of God in a way that directly leads to our enjoyment of the LORD himself in an even greater way? How have you seen others in your community group exemplify this well?