Over the last two days, Martha and Donna have taken us through the profiles of a Lukewarm Christian. I’m going to finish up the last three mentioned in the chapter and then end the post with some closing thoughts.
“Lukewarm people feel secure because they attend church, made a profession of faith at age twelve, were baptized, come from a Christian family, vote Republican, or live in America.”
I often come back to the Book of Acts when I think of the label of “Christian.” Jesus’ disciples were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26). They did not name themselves. Scripture tells us they were called Christians or “Christ-ones.” Something they were doing made them stand out. We see a glimpse of this in Acts 2:42-47:
“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals, and to prayer…And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity–all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people.”
Chan says that “We are not safe just because we wear the label Christian.” Indeed. We must continue to strive toward the Acts 2 model of what a “Christian” is. Our lives should demonstrate that we are followers of Christ rather than any vocal expression of naming ourselves a “Christian.”
“Lukewarm people do not live by faith; their lives are structured; so they never have to.”
Did this one hit you where it hurts? I know it did for me. I have control-freak tendencies. I like to plan for things and do not like it when things do not go according to MY plan. Boy, did the Holy Spirit do some convicting when I read this section! Living by faith is TRUSTING God even when you do not know what is going to happen. I did not expect my infertility diagnosis and it took me a very long eight years to realize that God was not punishing me; rather He loves me and has a plan and a purpose for my life. I just had to put my TRUST in His ultimate plan. I had to have FAITH. It is a continual, daily process of laying down my need to control and letting God do His work. He cannot work if we do not let Him.
“Lukewarm people probably drink and swear less than average, but besides that, they really aren’t very different from your typical unbeliever.”
Have you ever worn a mask to hide your true self from others? Have you ever tried to hide your true self from the One who knows you the best–your Mighty Savior? As much as we try to pretty ourselves up on the outside, God wants what is on the inside. He wants to change us from the inside out; He wants our hearts. Will you let Him in to help cleanse and rid you of anything that is holding you back from a full, rich relationship with Jesus Christ?
Now that we have investigated the profiles of a lukewarm person, Chan points us to 2 Corinthians 13:5: “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.” This is not an easy task. I know it is hard. You may be feeling anger or hurt or conviction. Accept the feeling and let it inspire you to action. Whatever feeling comes over you regarding any of the profiles mentioned, journal through your reaction–why did it make you feel that way? Pray through it. Let God into those hurtful places. Remember, He cannot do His best work if we do not let Him in.
As Chan notes, we are all growing. Not one of us is perfect except Christ alone. But, it is important to remember what Christ has called us to do as His believers; as those who claim His name. We should not be content with our “just good enough” status to get into Heaven. Read through the Gospels. Let Jesus’ words soak into your being. His commands are not easy, but they should inspire us to act in accordance with the faith we believe in with our whole hearts.
Lord God, we do not want to be lukewarm in our faith. Reveal to us how we can better ourselves to serve You in the Kingdom. Strengthen us and give us courage to face the tough questions and work through them. With You, all things are possible. We want to be on fire for You, Lord. Renew a passion in each of us for Your Word and our faith, Lord. Help us to grow daily and not to become stagnant believers. We love you, Lord. Amen.
Of all the lukewarm profiles we discussed, which one spoke to/convicted you the most? What is one action step you can take today to move forward in that area?
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