Have you ever spent time choosing a special gift for someone? Perhaps you spent more money than you’d planned, but it seemed so perfect for them and it was truly an expression of your love and appreciation for them. At last you have the opportunity to give them the gift and you anxiously await and anticipate their response, only to receive an indifferent “thank-you,” or “that’s nice.” Perhaps you never see them use or wear the gift and you are left feeling hurt and disappointed. We have each been offered the most costly and amazing gift anyone could give—the gift of salvation and eternal life in Christ! Yet, how many truly embrace what Jesus did on the cross, his sacrifice. No one can imagine the heartbreak of our Lord and Savior when we treat his precious gift with indifference and unconcern. Jesus gave John a message to send to the church at Laodicea. The message recorded in Re 3:15-16 tells exactly how Jesus feels when those who call themselves “the church,” call themselves “Christians” do not treat the sacrifice he made with respect and enthusiasm. “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.” It’s time to get the fire going! God wants us to be ignited and burning for Him in a world that needs good news.
Scriptures – Mk 4:19; Lk 6:26; 1 Jn 2:15; He 11:6; Js 2:17; Re 3:15-17
Verse – “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.” (Re 3:15-16)
Many things can cause spiritual indifference. One is self-sufficiency. When we depend on ourselves, our strength, our intelligence, and our resources rather than on God, we disconnect from our relationship with Jesus. Another cause for spiritual indifference is distraction. The busyness of our lives can easily overtake our minds and time until our spiritual life if crowded out. We detach from Christ and His church as we are overrun with things “to do.”
Some indicators of spiritual indifference include: 1) When we desire to please people more than pleasing God. 2) When the things of this world (money, power, things, etc.) take a priority in life. 3) When we rationalize sin ie: If it makes me happy, it can’t be sin. This indicates that we don’t fear God. 4) When we don’t share our faith with others. This indicates that we don’t really believe the truth of the Gospel. 5) When we only turn to God when we have a crisis or need. 6) When our lives don’t look any different from the world.
We don’t have to fall prey to spiritual indifference. If we read God’s Word, worship Him, pray, listen to Him, share our faith with those who don’t know Him, encourage and help those who are struggling, commit ourselves to be in church and fellowship with other believers, we can stay strong and keep the fire God placed within us going and glowing for Him.
Do you think self-sufficiency or distractions cause more spiritual indifference? In your life, which is a greater battle? Do you care what others think of you? Explain how and why? Do you rationalize sin? What specifically? Do you share your faith? Does the way you live your life look different than the way the world lives? How? How does the spiritual indifference of others affect you? How can you guide with grace someone who is spiritually indifferent?
Stay connected by reading God’s Word daily, praying, and connecting with other Christians. Make it a point each day to do at least 1 thing that requires faith, such as: stand up for someone or something that’s right, share something Christ has done for you with someone you know, pray with someone who is going through a tough time, share your faith with someone.
Prayer – Dear Lord, keep me near the cross that I may never take lightly the great gift you have given me. Renew my spirit and the joy of my salvation, and help me share the Good News with others. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.