Expecting Results Without Effort

February 25, 1999
by Michael Steckel

Revelation 3:16 – So because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

When I was younger I became involved in martial arts, so that I could get in shape and handle myself in a threatening situation. But when I fought in the ring I had to win, and win convincingly; I was not there to play. I did not want to hurt anybody but I wanted my opponent to know they were beaten. As I matured, I found that the sport was not about how badly I could beat people, but about how much I was putting into it. Instead of comparing myself to others, I began to compare myself only to me. Was I giving it 100{8395b6ce96fcf25a14d80edc3b65c36a8995b6c1ba5f8c16ac11d8adaa79f35b} effort? Was I pushing myself hard enough to be the best I could be? I found that it did not matter what other people thought of me, but how I felt about myself. If I was not living up to my potential then taking this class would be a waste of time and money. I started to realize that as long as we all are trying our best, that is all that matters in the end. It is not how many trophies we bring home from a tournament but whether we did our best.

Potential, what does that mean for the Christian? When we receive salvation, do we meet a goal and that is all there is, or do we still have a potential? Is there anything after salvation for us, or do we just exist in the grace we have received? Do we just attend church and tell ourselves that we are not bad people? Or do we live in Christ and not merely exist? Do we become new creations in Christ? Do we give ourselves completely to Christ or only a small portion? We see in today's verse that being merely lukewarm is appalling to the Lord. He will spit out that which is lukewarm. I find it interesting that some people feel that going to church once a week is all it takes. How many Christians are still being fed baby food with a spoon? How many just exist and do not live in Christ? How many listen but do not hear? Potential, we all have it in Christ. We should be burning hot for the Lord. We should want more than just one hour a week with the Lord. We should crave it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We should not put on a front for self-justification but instead we should serve the Lord because we love him. Do not merely exist but start to live in the Lord.

Prayer: Lord, it can get so easy just to sit back and do nothing. We can become lukewarm so easily but I pray that you will shower your love upon us so that we may be motivated to be red hot for you, that we may live up to our potential in you, and serve and glorify you. Thank you for opening our ears so we may hear and our eyes so we may see what we are to do. In Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Michael Steckel
Fairbanks, Alaska, USA

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