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)
It’s one of the most freedom giving truths we find in Scripture … mercy forgives.
There are, two sides to this truth. Jesus talked about it in Matthew 6:12 - “Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” One side of this freedom is when we personally experience God’s forgiveness. The other, when we forgive others.
God’s wants to forgive us and God’s forgiveness is free, immediate and complete.
We, of course, don’t always find forgiving easy. While our forgiveness of others doesn’t mean we “forget” what’s done or said that hurt us, nor that we always trust others again, it is to be unconditional. Paul, writing to the Ephesians says - “Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32). Often the only path to giving that kind of forgiveness is releasing it to God.