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)
Because the world is broken there’s conflict. Conflict between countries, political conflicts that leave nations in a mess, economic conflicts, relational conflicts, sexual conflicts. There’s conflict in every area and every segment of society. So, one of the most important skills we have to learn is how to resolve conflict. Writing to the Christians in Rome, Paul says -“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. As much as possible, as far as it depends on you, live in peace with everyone.” Romans 12:17-18
Scripture tells us that when it comes to conflict, we can – take the initiative to be a peacemaker, confess our part in conflicts, listen to another’s hurt, consider another’s perspective, tell the truth tactfully, fix the problem rather than attribute blame, and focus on reconciliation.