True Riches and Prosperity

06.01.17 | Devotional | by Dr. Ben Taylor

Revelation 3:14-22

The church in Laodicea was living a deceptive lie. This church was located in a very prosperous area and obviously they were unduly influenced by pursuing the counterfeit glory of money and possessions. It is amazing how they appeared versus how Jesus actually saw the status of their hearts. Contrary to what Jesus teaches is a precursor to wonderful Kingdom blessings, the Laodiceans lived as if they needed nothing. Jesus teaches that those who know they are needy are greatly blessed by God. They saw themselves as prosperous and successful, yet they were actually "pitiable, poor, blind, and naked." They were pursuing the kind of gold that perishes.

What was the result of such pursuits and heart worship? Jesus says that they were lukewarm. The Roman Empire, in many places, had a very sophisticated system of plumbing for its day and were able to partake of hot and cold water. Hot and cold water perform great services for us in terms of assuaging thirst and helping us get clean. However, what good is lukewarm water? It is good for nothing except to be thrown out. It is basically useless. This is how the Laodiceans were living. Though outwardly religious, their hearts' affections were going after things of this world. They were ineffective in the service of the Kingdom and were seeking and identifying their lives as being centered in mammon. Their hearts were growing colder and colder.

Jesus tells them that what they need is true gold and true clothing that covers their spiritual nakedness. The gold that Jesus talks about is the gold of faith that has been refined by fire. As Jesus teaches in the gospel, we should see our faith as more valuable than any treasure. The Laodiceans were putting their hearts into false treasures. Jesus teaches that being clothed in His righteousness, and knowing sins are covered and cleansed, leads us to live lives of glory rather than shame. Jesus is truly jealous FOR His people and does not want them to miss out on the blessings of His Kingdom. He disciplines those He loves so that we can truly pursue repentance.

We learn from the Laodicean church that when we pursue counterfeit glory, we push Jesus away from our lives and worship. Yet, Jesus continues to pursue His Church and continues to knock on the door and invites us to His renewal, revival, and glorious repentance. He enables us to feed on His presence and find strength to be more than conquerors. Don't allow your heart's focus to be drawn away from that treasure that cannot be bought but is freely given.