Tag Archives: Believer

Lukewarm unbeliever

lukewarm_1

Reflecting back on the past year, our youth pastor challenged the students (and me) to read a list of statements under the title of “Profile of the Lukewarm”.  It only took about 5 minutes to feel the weight of God speaking directly to me as if to say, “this is for you too.”  God has challenged me to step up my game and He has used a couple of simple pages of powerful statements to help me see what many of the areas of my life really look like to Him and what they should look like to Him.

Before I jump straight to the first statement, I felt it important to share definitions and synonyms of the word lukewarm.  According to the dictionary, lukewarm is used to describe food as being tepid, or intended to be served hot, but instead served “barely warm”.  It’s also used to describe people or actions as unenthusiastic, indifferent, and noncommittal.  In short, if you’re lukewarm, you’re pretty much just here – nothing outstanding or noticeable.

LUKEWARM PEOPLE attend church fairly regularly.  It is what is expected of them, what they believe “good Christians” do, so they go.

That idea of just being here is what sticks out.  The first statement we read said this, “Lukewarm people attend church fairly regularly. It is what is expected of them, what they believe “good Christians” do, so they go.  On the outside, going to church is what “good Christians” who know the benefit of being together with like-minded believers, do.  We are called to come together often to learn, to pray, and to build each other up so that we are stronger in a fallen world.  But what this statement really speaks to is the person that attends church simply because it’s another bullet on the schedule.  Because of their community status, or their family, it’s what is expected.  They put nothing into it, and they take nothing away from it.  What is lacking in this statement is doing something with church.  There are many people who will find themselves in eternal separation from God that never missed a Sunday service. Church doesn’t save you.  Church doesn’t make you a part of the family of God.  I think this is exactly what Christ was pointing out in the book of Revelation when he speaks of spitting the lukewarm out of His mouth.  It’s a picture of Christ expelling those from His presence that never made a decision to give their life to Christ, and accept His free gift of salvation.

Lukewarm people, or non-committed, indifferent people may attend a church service, but never let God have their heart.

While this statement certainly speaks to the non-believer, I think it has application for the believer as well.  Why do I attend church?  Is it merely out of duty, because I believe I am supposed to be there? Or am I going because I  want to be there to worship my Lord, to share with my fellow believers, to build them up and also be renewed myself?  The answer should be simple, but one we should examine.  While I firmly believe that the idea of a lukewarm Christian is not possible – you are either saved or not saved, I think we can be in “seasons” of lukewarm behavior.

Lord, today, I thank you for saving me.  I thank you that I am all-in according to your promise of salvation for all those who believe and accept your free gift.  Lord, I commit to a Godly attitude toward being in your house for worship and fellowship.  I thank you for the desire you have given me to be near to your people when our church doors are open.  I pray for your wisdom as I examine my life according to your word, and I pray for the courage and strength to follow you, no matter the cost.  In your name I pray – Amen.

Playing Church

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When we think of playing things, especially thinking back to our childhood, I would venture to say playing church isn’t what comes to mind.  In fact, I can remember playing just about everything else – cops and robbers, superheros, even school – for some weird reason.  From a young age, church was just that – somewhere you went and learned a little about the bible and then you came home to reality and didn’t really think about it until next Sunday.  While we didn’t intentionally play church, that is exactly what we were learning to do.

For so many people, church is the building.  It is an appointment on our weekly calendar.  We may be 100% faithful in attendance, and may be overly involved in the various activities, but all the while, still just playing the part.  For years, that was me.  Even today, there are times when I reflect on where I am with my walk and realize that I am playing more than I’m living.

Playing church is a dangerous game for non believers, and can be a major roadblock in the life of a believer.  For the non-believer it’s an eternal game changer.  The bible is clear that there will be many people who come before Christ and are surprised to find out that they never really had a relationship with him, but were simply “playing the part”.  Mathew chapter 7 is pretty clear that many people will cry out Lord Lord and he’ll respond with “Depart from me, I never knew you.”  If you are someone who has played the church game, but never taken the time to really give your heart to Christ and be intentional in your faith in the finished work of salvation through Christ then this is where you are heading.  There are a lot of people out there that look like Christians but have nothing to show for it other than church attendance.

Playing church is also something a believer can do too, and I think that it’s just as dangerous.  When do we tend to slip up in work, or when we’re playing a sport, or whatever?  Is it when we are totally focused and thinking about the next move, or is it when we are cruising along and comfortable?  Most often, it’s the latter.  As a Christian, I find that I become the dirtiest when I am not moving or being intentional in my seeking to serve Christ.  It’s just like stagnant water.  It stinks.  It gets a film on it, has an odor, becomes cloudy, etc.  It’s no good.  It’s still water, but it’s not good for anything.  That is our life if we let up in our walk to be more like Christ.  When we are stagnant – who are we attracting?  No one.  It’s a domino effect.  We aren’t growing in our personal life, and we aren’t serving others or more importantly Christ.

So rather than playing church we should be living church.  Everyday, our mission should be to live in each area of our life for Christ.  Seek how to handle each situation and decision with an eye on how this may or may not bring glory to Christ.  When facing habitual sin habits, seek the power of the Holy Spirit to help us change direction and make a better choice.  Be intentional in our race to be like Christ.  This will produce an attitude of service and love in us that can’t come from anything else.

Lord today I confess that I have spent too many days playing church and not really living it.  I have been lazy and apathetic toward my walk with you.  I have let habitual sin drag me down time and time again.  I pray for your forgiveness of my apathy and my intentionally choosing worldly pleasure over serving you.  I pray that you will fill my heart with a desire to be more like you and to seek your face through prayer and study.  I pray that each choice I make will ask the question – how does this bring God glory.  I thank you that you are committed to my life and that your love has no limit or stopping point.  Thank you for helping me see my need to be more intentional in both my public and private life.  It’s in your name I pray – Amen.