Thursday, April 28, 2016

What's Your Temperature?

Some of you have stuck a thermometer in your mouth recently because you were feeling tired and achy. You discovered you were running a fever. Your body temperature confirmed that something was wrong and needed to be treated. Following the diagnosis you  took some meds, went to the doctor, and/ or got some rest. 

Have you taken your spiritual temperature lately? Years ago Jesus took the spiritual temperature of a church in Laodicea and told them that they were lukewarm (Rev. 3:14-22). By lukewarm he meant that their passion for following him had cooled off. He said that their lukewarm condition made him sick--like lukewarm coffee or soft drinks do us. In their case the cooling of their spiritual intensity seems to have been due to their prosperity. Sadly and ironically prosperity, something we would call a blessing from God, is often the cause of spiritual apathy. I have seen it in my own life from time to time.  

I am concerned that the spiritual temperature in our city and our church has cooled. I have heard similar concerns from staff members at three other churches this week about their congregations. Two of them, like Canopy Roads, have completed building projects in the past 18 months. We all would attribute the successful completion of these projects to the blessing of God. Why then would attendance and/or giving be down? I have been puzzled by this and have prayed about it a lot in the past few weeks. I believe it is due at least partially to a cooling of the spiritual passion in many believers.

Our passion for God can cool off for numerous reasons including, stress, over commitment, fatigue, grief, sin, neglect, prosperity and more. I encourage you to take your spiritual temperature today. Are you hot, cold, lukewarm or somewhere in between? Be honest. If your passion has cooled, spend some time with God and ask him why it happened. If he reveals something to you, act on it. Ask him to renew, replenish and restore a white hot passion for Christ and the gospel. Find a friend to pray with you about it. You may discover he/she is struggling with the same thing.

God empowers the church when we pray (Acts 4:29-31). Pray for God to ignite the spiritual passion of everyone in our church family filling us with his Spirit and giving us the boldness to serve, give and witness for Christ. I realize that some of our members are very passionate right now while others are really struggling. The ones who are struggling the most may not read this. They need us to pray for them. Pray for anyone God puts on your mind. 

God's grace is too rich, his blessings too wonderful and his mission too important for any Christ follower to remain lukewarm. Ask God to give you a white hot passion for him and for the gospel.

From my heart to yours,

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