Sermons & Sunday Schools

Laodicea: The Church of Spiritual Indifference

In this sermon, Pastor Babij preaches on Jesus’ message to the church at Laodicea in the book of Revelation. This is the last of the warnings to the churches of Revelation. Jesus offers no commendation for Laodicea but condemns the church for its indifference and lukewarm attitude toward Him. Jesus also counsels the church to purchase refined gold, white garments, and eye salve from Him. Pastor Babij explains how Jesus’ words are a call to all lukewarm Christians to zealously repent. Pastor Babij also advises Christians not to fear or resent God’s chastening since Jesus declares that He chastens those whom He loves.

Full Transcript:

Let’s take our Bibles this morning and turn to Revelation 3:14-22. We’re looking this morning at the last of the five warnings in Revelation. I’ve been saying that because the Lord is the sovereign Head of the Church, He walks among the lampstands which are the churches. He has the seven stars in His right hand, which are the leaders and elders and pastors. He has been evaluating the churches as we have talked about for a few weeks, because He wants the church to continue to share the light in the area where He has planted that church.

The things that will diminish the light of the gospel include declining love of the church of orthodoxy, or a church who allowed the truth to slip by tolerating bad doctrine. A third thing that diminishes the light of the gospel is compromising sin within the church, and a fourth thing is being complacent or spiritually apathetic. Today we are going to look at the fifth and final warning to the church at Laodicea, a church that is steeped in spiritual indifference.

Complacency means being satisfied without being aware of the possible dangers. Indifference means a lack of interest, care, and concern for something. In this case, it would be that they have lost concern for a sense of need for the Lord. Let’s pray.

Lord I pray this morning as we look at this church to see how You examine it. Teach us what happens when a church gets into this place. I pray that You would challenge us never to go there. I pray that if we see signs of it, we would quickly take care of it, and I pray that our desire to have an ongoing and growing intimate fellowship with You would always be the obsession and motivation of our lives. When we see that waning, Lord, I pray that we take care of it as soon as possible. Teach us the lessons we need to learn from this passage today. Holy Spirit, I pray that You would use it to bring revival to Your people. Revive us from inside, that our love for You would be intensified and our desire to know more of You would increase and would become more important than anything else in life. And I pray this in Christ’s Name, Amen.

So in another of stating this issue is that the need for the Lord is gone. This church is characterized by its indifference and getting too comfortable in its culture and success. Those are great dangers, including wealth, is not. Jesus Christ is sovereign over His Church and walks among His people to be present in their midst to examine their spiritual condition to see how they are doing. As we take a look at Laodicea, the city was located some 40,000 miles east of Philadelphia in Asia Minor. On the road to Colossae, it stood on traffic routes that went east, west, north, and south. That means that all kinds of commerce came through this area. The strategic position of this city brought it enormous wealth. Among its residents, they could find bankers, merchants, and financiers. A school of medicine was there famous for its eye medication. It was probably the medical school that developed what’s known as phrygian eye powder in the ancient world which became very famous. Laodicea was a natural fortress and posed a challenge to anyone who tried to invade it.

Although it also had a very serious weakness. The water supply came principally through a vulnerable aqueduct that laid on the ground for about six miles. By means of this aqueduct, the water either came from the hot springs of Hiropolis and cooled down to lukewarmness by the time it came to Laodicea. Or it came from the cool water in Colossae and warmed up to lukewarmness when it got to Laodicea. A place with its water so exposed it could scarcely stand a siege against it because all the enemy army had to do was block the aqueduct and the city wouldn’t get any water. And you know what happens when there isn’t water.

Historical records show that Laodicea’s importance and wealth was known for its banking specifically. And a product of the city was its glossy, black wool from a strain of long haired black sheep bred for the trade. Now all those features are actually identified in the message that the Lord gives to the church. So they provide a pattern for the scorn that is going to come against the church. The black garments were exported all over the Mediterranean world, and they were famous for this eye ointment. The city’s wealth formed a basis for John’s writing and the stinging reproaches that he brings against them. So for all the wealth of this city, they had very poor drinking water. That’s important because it’s going to come up in the message.

Let’s first look at the character of Jesus Christ. In Revelation 3:14 it says:

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this.

Now you’ll notice that this character of Christ and the character the Bible gives us of the person of God has to do with the message. Three things are said about the Lord’s character, and this is the last message and warning to the churches. The first thing is that He is the Amen. Amen means truly, indeed, and points to the stability of God, that the Lord Jesus is not stable or fickle and it’s often translated, ‘so be it.’ In other words this is the fixed and final revelation of God and all promises in Him are yes and amen, which is from 2 Corinthians 1:20. This means that they are certain to be fulfilled.

Our Lord is steady and untenable in His purposes in His promises and that means for us that the Lord is dependable in His character. The second thing it says there in verse 14 is that Jesus is the faithful and true witness. The testimony of Christ on earth is absolutely reliable and genuine. So God’s testimony to men ought to be received and fully believed. If not, then a swift and true witness will be against them and their indifferent, lukewarmness that is found within that particular church. This means that the Lord is dependable in what He says. Him and the Father witness and bring a true witness to us because it is confirmed by more than one. It also says that Jesus is the beginning of the creation of God.

This means that Jesus is the uncreated Son of God, who is eternal like the Father. Jesus is the superior to creation and even prior to it. He is the very tane arxane, which means the Originator, the First Cause, the Creator, the Governor. Because He is the source of the creation of God. And if He had not been, there would be no creation. All creation exists only in rerference to Him. He is the Creator of the world, and in Colossians 1:15-17 it says:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

And if He takes His hand off of the, they will all explode and all will be dismantled. We know that’s going to happen and I’ll elaborate when I get to 2 Peter. John 1:3 says:

All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

The Creator of the world was not known by the people and the world He created. Not only that but Jesus is the Creator and Head of the church and the body. He is the first fruits of the resurrection and all those who believe in Him and follow Him as Lord and Savior, will be raised to be with Him in the new Heavens and Earth. It says in Colossians 1:18:

He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.

The church’s only in reference to Him! He is the first in time and position, and that means for us that the Lord is dependable in who He is. These three characteristics may strongly suggest that a major reason for the development of such indifference in the Church is a neglect of these things. As a matter of fact, these are the things where the light of the gospel becomes greatly diminished since it is about Christ! If you set aside Christ and He doesn’t become the focal of the preaching and the Word, then you have lost it. In other words, the this church came to the place where the sufficiency of Christ wasn’t as important. His reliability, faithfulness, and the inerrancy of Scripture wasn’t as important. Of course the special creation of all things by God wasn’t as important either and all these things are heavily attacked today and set aside.

The Lord is about to evaluate the spiritual condition and the state of the church. And just like the church at Sardis, there is no commendation. In other words, Jesus as the Evaluator doesn’t commend this church for anything. He has nothing good to say. That’s not a good place to be. Also this church doesn’t seem to be plagued by false teaching in the sense that there are false teachers or a lot of persecution by religion opposition. There are no outside threats to the church, and everything appears to be going as normal. If you had no drama in your life, you wouldn’t grow very much or do anything but comfort your flesh. Living by your passions and desires does not produce any kind of forward spiritual movement and growth.

So it’s this kind of situation which makes people comfortable to the point that they begin to neglect what is really important. They would conclude that prosperity and success equalled God’s favor. That’s exactly what the health, wealth and prosperity movement concludes. And if you don’t have those things, they think it means that God’s not blessing you. But that is the furthest thing form the truth because when you look at Scripture and see people being persecuted because they are holding to the truth, you might conclude that they are not being blessed by God. But they are very blessed by God because they were counted as worthy to be going through that.

So now let’s look at the condemnation by Jesus in Revelation 3:15:

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.

The Lord knows their real spiritual condition even if they can’t discern it themselves. Not to be cold or hot is a very precarious position to be in as a believer. A neutral position is no position, with no convictions and takes no stand. It’s hard to find out where someone is at when they land somewhere in the middle, especially when it comes to doctrine and truth. By nature, doctrine is positional and polemical. You have to have a position about it and know what you believe! How do you know whether you’re going to Heaven or not and how are you supposed to be made right with God. It’s either “I know,” or “I don’t know!” If you are in the middle, then you probably don’t know much.

For your information, by the way, most people would take this passage to mean that Jesus would rather you be cold OR hot. But that’s not a conclusion we should have because it means that you can be cold, which is in opposition to God, OR hot, which is on fire for Him. It is better to interpret this passage by its historical and geographical context. Laodicea got its water either from the hot springs from Hiropolis which cool to lukewarmness, or the cooler water from Colossae which warms to lukewarmness. The water was nauseating which represented their deep, deplorable spiritual condition. Our Lord’s point to them is something like this: “You provide neither healing for the sick, nor refreshment for the spiritually thirsty. You have nothing to offer.”

It was Matthew Henry who said: “If religion is a real thing, it is the most excellent thing, and therefore we should be in good earnest in it. It it is not a real thing, it is the vilest imposter and we should be earnest against it. If religion is worth anything, then it is worth everything and indifference here is inexcusable.” This is like the pastor who visited a church member to probe further as to what he really believed conquering his eternal destiny since he was at the point of death. The man, Jim, was asked, “What do you believer?” And Jim said, “I believe what the church believes.” And the pastor said, “Well what does the church believe?” And Jim said, “I believe that it believes what I believe.” And finally the pastor asked, “Well what do you and the church believe?” And Jim’s reply was, “Pretty much the same thing.”

It’s funny but it’s sad, because I don’t think that this response is uncommon. When you really press someone about where they are spiritually, they can’t really answer it unless they have been in God’s Word and walking and living for Christ.

So to be halfhearted, double minded, indecisive, tolerant of everyone’s opinion and just comfortable with the status quo, is totally unacceptable in real Christianity. If that was true then the passages about putting your armor on and being a soldier of Jesus Christ mean nothing. Just like when the prophet Elijah asks the people how long they will hesitate between two positions. This is what he said to them in 1 Kings 18:21:

If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.

This means that there is no spiritual middle ground. You will either serve God or someone else, an idol or yourself. We cannot straddle the fence. You cannot have one foot in the boat and one foot on the shore. There is no room for neutrality in the Christian faith. Even Joshua after the conquest of the Promised Land was done, which took about 50 years, and the land inheritances were given to the people, he challenged them. It says in Joshua 24:13-15:

I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities which you had not built, and you have lived in them; you are eating of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant. Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

He took a stand with his family even if no one else was going to. Is that position unclear? No! But if someone says they don’t really know and stutters, then it’s not clear where they stand. People need to know where you stand, but it’s important to make that clear even if it means making enemies. Fred Kafford said Laodicea was a spiritual chameleon, accommodating themselves to the mood of the time. We have been suffering in America from pragmatism. This has brought us that the Church should accommodate the whims of the culture in which it lives, instead of the other way around. We are led by a country of weak men, foolish women, and young people. And if we stay there, it will be our own destruction, and we don’t have to worry about an army coming to take us over. Let’s look at the Lord’s diagnosis in Revelation 3:16:

So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

That’s pretty tough language, but it’s clear! The diagnosis is identifying the illness and the disorder. Could you imagine if you went to a doctor and you had a serious disease, and your doctor never gave you a clear understanding of what you had wrong with you?! So their condition of being lukewarm is critical but not terminal yet. A lukewarm beverage is not the norm. In fact it’s outside the norm. You don’t go to Starbucks to get a lukewarm drink do you? They wouldn’t make any business, they would close their doors. People order a hot or cold drink and if something is lukewarm, something is drastically wrong. When I leave my cup of tea or coffee on the counter and go off on some adventure and come back, I have to put it in the microwave to nuke it again. Or I dump it out and start all over again. But drinking something that is tepid is nauseating.

The contrast here is between the hot medicinal waters of Hiropolis and the cold, pure waters of Colossae. By the time the waters reach Laodicea, the water was lukewarm providing neither refreshment for its spiritually weary, or comfort for its spiritually sick. So the spiritual condition becomes an irritation to the mouth and stomach. And this kind of irritation in the natural realm in the body results in measures to get rid of it, which is usually vomiting. The body hurls and rejects the stomach’s contents away from the body. I personally hate to try to throw up, but when it comes time for you to hurl you cannot stop it.

In other words, this is how the church ought to act when it detects indifference. Spiritual indifference ought to be vomited out and kept away from you. This is a picture of how nauseating and distasteful this condition is to our Lord. God is disgusted with lukewarm believers and if the condition persists, He will vomit them out. If there is a failure of repentance, then the church must perish. For it is better for this type of church to go out of existence because it is no longer a New Testament church, it just becomes a social club that makes people comfortable. We must take up the warning of the prophet Amos who said in Amos 6:1:

Woe to those who are at ease in Zion And to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samaria, The distinguished men of the foremost of nations, To whom the house of Israel comes.

This is a warning against being too comfortable and never taking a stand. The reason for this tepid condition is found in Revelation 3:17. Indifference will eventually lead to ignorance, especially as it relates to one’s spiritualities. The Laodiceans are saying they have arrived at stability and are self-sufficient. Look at what it says in this verse:

Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.

The church has lost discernment to see spiritual reality. They judged themselves and found to be doing just fine, bills are paid and meals are provided for. Because the church was materially rich, they assumed they were also spiritually rich. Believe me those two things are the furthest from each other they possibly can. The church may have acquired large and beautiful facilities, developed special programs of many kinds, featured a variety of musicians, and even put out songs for other churches to use. They may have even gained a measure of political power because they are such a large and wealthy church, and they conclude that they don’t need any help.

Their boastful pride and self-sufficiency rendered them blind to the truth. They were a great and self-sufficient organization, but they were not a great church. You can have a great organization according to the world, but the Lord will look at you and spit you out of His mouth because you’re not doing great spiritually. So what’s Jesus’ prognosis? Well look at the last part of the verse to see how the situation has developed.

If someone says to you that they know you are wretched and miserable, that seems to be enough to get the prognosis across. But our Lord gives five descriptive adjectives. Let’s look again at the end of verse 17:

You do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.

They’re miserable and to be pitied. They are poor and yet they live in a city that brags about its economic wealth. They are blind and they pride themselves on the school of Pyrgian that gave an eye powder that healed eye diseases, and yet they have spiritual cataracts. If I’m correct, cataracts shuts out the light so if you don’t get something done, your eyesight diminishes. Spiritual cataracts shuts out the light so they no longer have spiritual sight. If left in that condition, they would eventually go spiritually blind.

And they were naked, even though they prided themselves on producing glossy, black wool. But they could not cover their nakedness with that. How painful would such an evaluation like that be from the Lord? Especially when you don’t see your condition! They did not discern themselves in such a spiritual condition. So material riches often breed spiritual poverty which lead to a false assumption of one’s spiritual well-being. Just because all your needs are met and you have everything going for you, it doesn’t mean you are doing well spiritually.

So what’s the counsel that the Lord gives? Look at Revelation 3:18. The Lord gives therapy for this problem. Remember, they have a tough condition but it’s not terminal yet. The Lord speaks to them in their own language and basically says they have been shopping at the wrong store, at the store of success and of the world. They have obtained imaginary wealthy that will pass away in this temporary world. He says in verse 18:

I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.

Now the word buy here does not imply that we can buy or purchase any work or merit of the purchase of God’s free gift. It means that from Christ, true and lasting riches can be purchased with the currency of faith and trust and dependence on Christ. So buying gold refined by fire is a picture of obtaining a purity through the refining process. This usually includes the purifying effects of suffering and trials. It usually produces a high quality of faith in the right things that’s able to withstand trials.

If this comfortable, lukewarm church is to renounce all self-reliance and righteousness, then persecution will get the dross out of their hearts and produce a refined faith. This lukewarm church was lacking genuine faith.

The people of Laodicea were clothed in the finest earthly garb, but before God they were spiritually exposed, ashamed, and naked. Jesus further counseled them to purchase white clothing. Laodicea was famous for its woolen black material and garments, so Christ offers them whiter garments of righteousness to cover their nakedness. If you are a person declared righteous by God, you will produce righteous deeds and in line with a brand new heart that comes from Christ. That means that at Christ’s return, they would not be utterly disgraced but found clothed in the righteousness of Christ. If that’s all they have, that would be enough.

The garments would cloth the Laodiceans so they would not longer be naked and ashamed. This lukewarm church was lacking in a disposition towards righteousness meaning they needed the righteousness of Christ. Then they needed to buy eye salve to anoint the eyes so they could see. Their earthly accomplishments were meaningless and needed proper spiritual vision. They needed spiritual cataract surgery to let the light in. They needed the eye salve that is applied spiritually so they can see their own condition and how far they have moved from that condition and to begin to repent of it.

This lukewarm church was lacking a spiritual discernment of spiritual matters and they needed Christ’s remedy very badly. So we must see that there is spiritual blindness that must lead somewhere. Either it will lead to their condition becoming worse and they would cease being what Christ wanted them to be, or they would repent and receive spiritual healing from Christ alone.

Now look at Revelation 3:19 which is a challenge the Lord gives to the church. The Lord will bring chastisement if you don’t zealously repent. The verse says:

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

In other words, this is no mill of the ground repentance but a decisive one that will end all your lukewarmness. The Lord is expressing love. The word here for love is not agape, but phileo, which is a word that means a friend’s love and deep feelings. The Lord says that He will discipline the Laodiceans as a loving Father and educate them if they don’t repent. He did that so real believers would become distinguishable from lukewarm pretenders.

One commentary said this, “Let my strong criticisms of you open your eyes at once to the need of repentance and also to the fact that it is really love on my part that prompts me to reprove and chastise you. A realization of my loving concern as well as your own desperate condition should bring a resolute change of purpose and kindle within you a warm fervor of devotion that will dispense with lukewarmness vomited out.”

So part of living the Christian life and running the race that God has called us to is removing those things that will slow you down and hinder you from making good spiritual progress. The important things are learned by God spiritually spanking us. That’s true of the Heavenly Father’s school of discipline. He will teach us things that are extremely important throughout our days and in our troubles that we cannot easily receive if everything went well for us all the time.

So if you are spiritually disciplined by the Father, you are in and one of His kids. Any father who cares a lick about his kids will use the rod of correction when any kid is acting up and being disobedient. The child learns to listen to the voice of his parents and eventually to the voice of God when he or she comes to know Christ as Lord and Savior. When they leave home, that voice will be louder than all of the other voices.

So if you are disciplined by God you are one of His kids because He lives us and cares for us enough not to let us go on with that behavior. Hebrews 12:5-6 says:

And you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and scourges every son whom he receives.

Discipline is good so that we would learn how to live a holy life and so we don’t forget and always remember how the Lord takes care of us and teaches us. When we discipline, hopefully we won’t despise the discipline because we are at a place where we know we need it. Hebrews 12:7 says:

It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

So here is the most plain and convincing evidence that you are truly belonging to God’s family. The Heavenly Father who is deeply concerned for His children chastises them. He applies the discipline in the hand to the seat of knowledge. However painful it may be at the time, discipline is necessary in order to rid us of unnecessary weights and the easily entangling sins that we acquire. If we do not take care of that, we do not produce maturity or bear the characteristics of God in our lives. Those things that don’t do that need to be discarded. One way they are is when God disciplines us.

He’s not going to let us go on in sin without stepping in. He wants us to take care of it, that’s why we have the Lord’s Table where we examine ourselves spiritually. We consider whether we are indifferent, apathetic, or complacent in spiritual things. Have we allowed false doctrine into our thinking or not taking care of sin and looking the other way?

We have this knowledge from the Word of God to actually examine ourselves spiritually and come to a good conclusion on how we are doing. And if we don’t do that, God will. I guarantee it. Chastisement is applied to all God’s children, not to kill us but to correct us and to show we truly belong to the family of God. As legitimate sons and daughters, we are special objects of God’s care and love. God doesn’t allow His kids in His family to not live in a certain way. He will correct us.

If you want assurance of salvation, wait till God disciplines you. When you pray to get out of it and God won’t let you, or if you bring it to the prayer list and God still doesn’t let you get out of it. A child of God has to ask Him to show them what He is teaching them. Ask God to examine you and if there is something that is not good or living in a way that pleases God, ask Him to lead you in the way everlasting. The Lord will bring you to this place more than once in your Christian walk.

As a sinner, you are just dead and cold, like a fish out of water flopping around. You kind of feel like you are cold. Jesus says in this passage, “zeal in place of lukewarmness.” Lukewarmness does not have to be terminal. Look at what it says in Revelation 3:20. Here is a promise because if you repent you will closer communion with God. It says:

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

This is a verse to the church that if they listen to Christ’s evaluation of their situation good or bad, and are willing to repent, Jesus takes the position outside the church knocking. He will always come in if we invite Him. He will always be ready to forgive, to repair, and restore a genuine repentant heart so we can have sweet fellowship with Christ, and He with us. That’s what the picture is of coming and dining with the Lord. That’s the Lord’s Table! Because the Lord is not our enemy but our friend and we want worship and fellowship with Him and enjoy each other’s company.

Deep in every Christian’s life, that’s what Christians want, just to be able to love and serve the Lord. Now it could be that this is an eschatological door, an end time door. In other words, the Lord is speaking to the church at the end. This actually comes from Song of Solomon 5:2:

I was asleep but my heart was awake. A voice! My beloved was knocking: ‘Open to me, my sister, my darling, My dove, my perfect one! For my head is drenched with dew, My locks with the damp of the night.’

In this passage, the bridegroom knocks and seeks to be admitted by the bride. Christ presents Himself right at the verge of entering so it furnishes incentive to the church to heed His commands to the church because He is coming. This picture stresses the urgency for people to seek a right relationship with Christ. If you are a believer, you need to make sure you are growing in your knowledge and wisdom and fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ because He is coming. And I love at the end that the Lord always gives a promise to those who are repentant. Look at what it says in Revelation 3:21:

He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

The Lord promises that we will reign with Him in the New Heaven and Earth in the new kingdom. When Christ does back again He establishes His new throne in Jerusalem on this earth and we will be ruling the world with Him. That’s His promise to the church. I don’t know about you but that gets me excited! Look at what Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:12:

If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us.

That’s the promise and He ends the same way in Revelation 3:22:

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

God’s people have listening ears who hear His voice and follow it. They know His voice and do what He says and they love to hear His voice. So if you detect even the slightest slide into this nauseating condition of spiritual indifference today, you must zealously repent of it. We need to do that as a church and individuals so the gospel light does not get diminished and our fellowship with Christ becomes more intimate. Before I pray, let’s just take a few minutes and pray before the Lord and ask Him that if you don’t know yourself, that He would examine you and show you where you need to repent.

Lord, this morning we come to You as servants of Christ. I pray, Lord, that You would examine us as a church. If we have any tinge of declining love or have slipped away from the truth to tolerate bad doctrine, or if we have compromised sin within, or have been apathetic or complacent or spiritually indifferent in any way. We need to be growing in our understanding of the sufficiency of Christ and the Word of God. I pray, Lord, that today You would search and try us and know us. I pray, Lord Jesus, that You would correct us if we can’t do it ourselves. I pray that You would give us that assurance that we are Your children. I pray that we would be ever sensitive to slipping into any of these sins so we can hear the pleasant words of Lord, come good and faithful servant. Make us ready, because You are coming. I pray that we wouldn’t do it in a half hearted manner, but zealously and with a deep conviction. I pray that we would continue to uphold the light of the gospel and that we would have sweeter, more abiding fellowship with You, week by week, month by month, year by year. And I thank You for Your Word and all that You’ll do, in Christ’s Name, Amen. Let’s stand together.