Spiking a Temp
Karen Ehman

"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. Revelation 3:15-16 (NIV)

Lawn chair? Check! Extra blanket? Check! Team roster? Check? Piping hot drink to ward of any chill? Check!

It was one of my favorite events of the year; opening day for my son's travel baseball team. On that early spring day, I'd gathered all the components for a picture perfect time and headed up to our town's ball fields. I unloaded my car and made my way to the sidelines. Now all I had to do was sit back and watch my son throw strikes and hit balls while I hollered and cheered for the red and black Redwings.

After about half an inning, I sensed something was missing. I ran through my checklist again in my mind. It was then that it hit me—my drink! I'd left it in the car. I waited for the third out and then quickly trekked back to the parking lot to get my drink and return so as not to miss any of the action.

When I got back to my lawn chair, I settled in and took a sip from my cup. Now, this wasn't just a cup of black coffee. Since it was opening day, I'd sprung for a treat. I'd ordered my current favorite: a tall, decaf, skinny, sugar-free mocha with a shot of sugar-free hazelnut, light whip, and no garnish. How I'd looked forward to sipping on that hot specialty latte! Only now it wasn't hot. It was lukewarm. And, it wasn't very appetizing. In fact, it tasted awful. When it was hot, it was delicious. Why, even when it was cold, served over ice during a sunny, scorching July baseball game, it was wonderfully refreshing. Now, in its subdued temperature, it was just plain awful.

Sometimes we are just like that ho-hum drink. We lack an extreme temperature. We are complacent, idle and ineffective. Today's verse tells us that God had the very same problem with the church in Laodicea. Because they were neither hot nor cold, but had turned a disappointing temperature of lukewarm, he was ready to be rid of them. While there are differing views of the interpretation of the temperatures hot and cold, Jesus words are simple and clear. "I wish you were either one or the other!" In biblical times cold water was good. It was refreshing. And hot water was good. It could be healing, as in a steaming hot bath. There was, however, little need for lukewarm.

May we see today's verse as a challenge. Knowing God has no need for lukewarm, may we seek to be those who offer refreshment and healing to a dying world. May our thoughts and actions not earn us the label of indifferent or ho-hum. After all, the God of the universe is on the sidelines watching us in the great game of life. May we please Him with our heart's desires and our deeds done only in order to glorify Him!

Dear Lord, teach me to be intentional in my spiritual life and not complacent. May my words, thoughts, deeds and actions please You and not be considered lukewarm. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Jesus?

Fresh Grounded Faith: Devotions to Awaken Your Spirit by Jennifer Rothschild

A Life that Says Welcome by Karen Ehman

For more on this topic and to take the spiritual temperature test, visit Karen’s blog and for more from Karen, visit her resource page

Application Steps:
What spiritual disciplines can help me avoid becoming lukewarm? Prayer? Scripture memory? Concentrated Bible study? A personal retreat to be alone with God?

Plan now to make time for some of these disciplines in your everyday life. See if a friend would like to journey with you in this venture.

When in my spiritual life have I felt I was really on fire for God? If that fire died down, what happened?

How do I feel when I am living a lukewarm life? How does it affect my attitudes and relationships?

Power Verses:
I Peter 4:11, "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." (NIV)

© 2009 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad that you have addressed complacency, lukewarmness which invades my life in such a subtle way that I don't even realize it. I get into Facebook or something I am very interested in and before I know it my desire to read the Bible fades or my time with the Lord is gone. I must not ever ignore that fading desire but take that to the Lord right away so it doesn't steal my time with Him. I must always be on guard, ready for that spiritual battle mostly with myself. Thanks for this reminder.

Blogger Karla said...

As a Starbucks Iced Mocha fan, I can totally appreciate and relate to this post. What a great life lesson! I had been way too complacent (mixed with rebellious) for way too long. Lord, help me every day to be either that "cold, refreshing drink" to those who are parched for You or the "hot chocolate" to ward off the chills of being too far away from Your warmth. Thanks for sharing today!

Anonymous Jessica said...

This hits home! Thanks for a great devotion!

thank you so much for this. I've always felt uncomfortable with that passage but now I no longer fear it but find great hope in it!
The 'refresging drink - or hot chocolate' analogy is great!!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"skinny, sugar-free mocha with a shot of sugar-free hazelnut, light whip, and no garnish"

Are you serious with this description of a drink? Good grief. You know natural sugar is better for you than all that sugar free junk. Sweeteners actually make you crave sugar because they tell your brain that something sweet is coming in and then when it's not the real thing your body starts craving it worse.

Everything in moderation.

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