This letter gives us another secret to growth and change to those of us who are feeling a little bit complacent. Maybe we feel a little more bored than blessed when we connect with church … Perhaps we feel a lot more attached to this world than we’d like - (who doesn’t struggle with that?) and looking us straight in the eye Jesus says - “I want you to see your need as you never have before. Then I’d be able to meet your need as I never have before.”
John writes this way to the church in Laodicea - “To the angel of the church of Laodicea write, ‘These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds that you’re neither cold nor hot … I wish that you were one or the other … But you don’t realise you’re wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you get from me gold refined in the fire so you can become rich and white clothes to wear so you can cover your shameful nakedness salve to put on your eyes so you can see.” (Revelation 3:14 ff)
Not easy words from Jesus but they end with his remarkable promise - “Look! I am standing at the door and I’m constantly knocking. If anyone opens the door I will come in and I’ll fellowship with him; I’ll relate to him, I’ll dine with him and he’ll fellowship with me.” (Revelation 3:20 – Message)
Relationships are a big deal. Relationships are how we live. Relationships that work with our spouse, in our family, with somebody we’re dating, with friends and acquaintances … relationships, are just an important part of life.
We can sometimes find ourselves in relationships where we’re asked to take too much care and too much responsibility. Solomon cautions - “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23). If somebody is asking/telling us to take care of their life and it’s making us stressed, worried and anxious, it’s probably because we’re not guarding our heart, the right way.
God’s relationship with us is built on grace and truth. In our human relationships, grace provides the safety we need (“I’m for you no matter what”) and truth provides the structure we need (“I need to give you some feedback”). God says when grace and truth are together, things go better.