“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” (Revelation 3:15, 16 NLT)
I don’t want to be lukewarm. Jesus clearly doesn’t want me to be lukewarm. The Message translation uses the words “stale” and “stagnant”. I definitely don’t want my relationship with Jesus to be defined by either of those words. I want it to be exactly the opposite – fresh, new and moving.
So what does that look like? How do I keep my Christian life fresh, new and moving? First and foremost, I need to stay connected to the vine!
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.”(John 15:4 NLT)
I must also read the Bible…daily! God provided clear instructions throughout his Word. Through his Holy Spirit he inspired those he chose to tell his story and to instruct his children. He’s got some instructions for me to keep me from becoming stagnant. Here are a few:
Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. (Colossians 3:2 NLT) — There is so much going on in our lives these days. I need to make a conscious effort to focus on the things that really matter.
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you… Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. (Colossians 3:5, 10 NLT) — All of the junk that was in my life before I knew Jesus is exactly what Satan will use to try to make me stagnant again. But that junk is gone, replaced with the new life Jesus gave me. I need to let it be!
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. (Colossians 3:23 NLT) — The way I go about my day-to-day work will become my attitude.
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. (Colossians 4:2 NLT) — Regular conversation with my Heavenly Father is something I should never let fall away.
Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. (Colossians 4:5, 6 NLT) — The people in my life are not here by chance.
Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. (Ephesians 5:10 NLT) -and- Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. (Ephesians 5:17 NLT) — Like the once popular acronym… WWJD, I need to make my choices carefully.
…singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. (Ephesians 5:19 NLT) — Worship! Collectively and alone, I need to keep my heart singing for my amazing Savior.
For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ… (Philippians 1:20 NLT) — I will not hide who I am in Christ. It’s a heritage I am proud to proclaim.
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. (Philippians 2:3, 4 NLT) — Even though the world today says “look out for number one”, Jesus wants me to be looking out for others. And even though the world today says “look at me”, I need to be saying “Look at Jesus!”
Do everything without complaining and arguing, (Philippians 2:14 NLT) — No whining. No pity parties. No petty disagreements over things that don’t have eternal significance.
Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. (Philippians 3:1 NLT) — And I must always remember, the victory has already been won and God is in control! And rejoicing in everything will keep me from becoming stagnant and stale!
Ephesians 2:1-6 MSG – It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.