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)
Among the immediate followers of Jesus, no man made a greater impact on the world than the apostle Paul. He wrote much of the New Testament and he established the first churches in the Roman Empire. He was a great man of God.
At the very outset of his letter to the church in Rome, Paul says he is – “… a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God" (Romans 1:1). He describes himself as “obligated”, “eager” and “not ashamed” to share that good news with others (Romans 1:14-17).
We can be encouraged by Paul’s attitude as we commit ourselves to being ministers of that same gospel.