Discipline

“I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.”
Revelation 3:19 NLT

Anyone reading the previous verses in Revelation 3, might initially feel that the Laodicean Christians were beyond hope, unable to find a way into God’s presence. Jesus pointed out to them that their self appraisal was at odds with their spiritual reality. But in today’s verse perhaps a little chink of light provided hope for them. Jesus told them that He loved them so much that He was going to make His correction and discipline available to them, something that He does for all His followers. If they accepted it, of course. 

Jesus encouraged the Laodiceans to be “diligent and turn“. An interesting statement. It implied that, first and foremost, they had to realise that they were spiritually poor. That they were, in fact, not the self-sufficient, “I don’t need anything” people after all. They had to decouple their thoughts of material blessings from their spiritual status in God’s Kingdom. And that would need a very diligent and prophetic pastor and leader to get that message across, with willing congregants desiring to change.

Presumably at some time the Laodiceans had heard the gospel message. They would have heard that God had sent His Son, Jesus, to die as a sacrifice for their sins, and as a consequence they would be made right with God. But after a while their hearts had grown cold and they had become indifferent to the things of God. But God never gave up on them, offering a solution to their apostasy. His grace and love would always be there for them, offering them His righteousness, if they repented and turned again to Him.

So, pilgrims. What is the state of our hearts? Are they hard and calloused, indifferent to the things of God? Or are they still soft and pliable, in the Master’s hands? We can all wander off the road to Heaven at some time. But like the Father in the Prodigal Son story, God is always waiting for us. Always scanning the horizons for a sight of us turning back from our waywardness. Yes, the returning might be painful. But worth it in the end. Because we look forward to an eternity to be spent with Him. There’s an old song I used to listen to. A favourite of my wife. The first verse goes like this:-

He didn’t bring us this far to leave us,
He didn’t teach us to swim to let us drown.
He didn’t build His home in us to move away,
He didn’t lift us up to let us down.

Dear Lord God. We thank You that You care so much for us. We thank You that You never give up on us. Please pick us up when we fall, to be in Your presence once again. Amen.

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