Summary: Discover the value and approach to rising above a mediocre lukewarm faith.
(As an introduction show the clip "Wholehearted" from “Facing the Giants.”) In this clip the high school football coach asks his star player, Brock, to give “his best. That movie clip represents what Jesus Christ desires from us. He wants nothing less than our best. Are you giving Him your best?
Today we look at the last of the seven churches from Revelation 2&3. The last of the churches, Laodicea, did not give Jesus their best. They were Lukewarm. Their lukewarmness caused Jesus to say he would spew them from His mouth. What a disturbing thought!
I want each of us to examine our spiritual temperature. The Bible describes three spiritual temperatures.
1. Burning hot…Rom. 12:11
2. Cold…Mt. 24:12
3. Lukewarm…Rev. 3:16
Laodicea was Lukewarm. They were mediocre. That is our topic for consideration today. I will do a simple outline. I want to consider how we can overcome a mediocre spiritual life. In our text we discover two truths that will help us overcome spiritual mediocrity.
I. First, reject a mediocre spiritual life as inappropriate.
• If you had cancer would you not want to get rid of it?
• If you had a bad heart would you not want to get it fixed?
• If you were about to file bankruptcy would you not want to get it corrected?
The remedy for a mediocre spirit is to recognize it as displeasing in the Lord’s eyes. In addition, your heart will tell you that mediocrity is inappropriate.
Someone has said that many religious people are stuck. They are not happy at church,and, they are not happy in a bar. They are stuck. They are sitting atop a fence of compromise.
An article in the associated press this past week illustrates the concept of rejecting mediocrity. Coach Tubby Smith left Kentucky and is moving to become the coach of Minnesota. The article in the associated press read… “In Tubby Smith’s 10 seasons at Kentucky, the Wildcats never missed the NCAA tournament. They also won a national title, five SEC championships and 76 percent of their games. That wasn’t good enough for the demanding Kentucky faithful.” (Published: 3/23/07, 10:05 AM EDT By JON KRAWCZYNSKI of the Associated Press) The Kentucky fans do not like or want a mediocre basketball team. (This is not a value judgment of Coach Smith’s coaching abilities.)I am not here to pick on the Kentucky basketball fans or to get involved in the politics of sports. They reflect a cultural mind set that affects many of us. My point is this, believers should be as zealous about their spiritual lives as they are their sports team. We should reject anything less than the best.
What is the outcome of a mediocre spiritual life? Let’s learn from our text.
A. A mediocre spiritual life is lacking in zeal. Notice verses 15 and 19. These two verses refer to the need of zeal and enthusiasm. The Bible commands us to be filled with zeal. We should “not lag behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” Rom. 12:11
Illustration: We have a dog named Buster. Buster loves to play ball. He will chase a ball as long as you will throw it for him. This should be the picture of a believer. We should be eager to serve the Lord at all times.
B. A mediocre spiritual life is filled with complacency.(17b) Laodicea was complacent with what they knew and what they were doing in service to Jesus Christ.
Illustration: Several years ago Notre Dame was the number 1 ranked football team in America. They were upset. A sports analyst said “The Notre Dame players have started believing in their mystique.” They became complacent.
II. Second, if we are to overcome mediocrity we must develop a dependence On Jesus.
Illustration: One day a small boy was trying to lift a heavy stone, but he couldn’t budge it. His father, passing by, stopped to watch his efforts. Finally he said to his son: “Are you using all your strength?’
“Yes, I am,” the boy cried, exasperated.
“No,” the father said calmly, “You’re not. You have not asked me to help you.” The child needed to learn to depend upon his father, as an added source of strength.
A. The lack of a meaningful encounter with Jesus will cause mediocrity. In the Bible we see people whose lives were changed because they experienced a life changing encounter with Jesus Christ. When their lives were changed they were filled with zeal and enthusiasm. Let me give you a couple of examples.
In John 20 we find the record of the first visitors to Jesus tomb. The visitors came looking through tear filled eyes. They came bearing their grief. However, when they discovered the resurrected Christ they went away filled with enthusiasm, excitement and hope and they shared the good news of what they had seen. The visitors to the tomb were inspired by what they saw.