Today I want to dive into what it really means to Love the City. I hope you have been able to join us for this relevant, potentially life-changing series. Please plan to join us at 9:00 or 10:40am this Sunday as we continue with this important series. You can always catch up with past messages here https://www.mvcclive.com/podcasts/media.
Here’s the way things should be… The city (unchurched people) is supposed to look at Christians (you and me) and say, “That’s what Jesus is like. He must be awesome!” Is that what people say when they see Mountainview (you and me)?
Let’s take a look at another of the seven churches Jesus addressed in Revelation.
And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write "The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation". “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 3:14-22 ESV
Certainly, we could spend time analyzing a few key phrases from these nine verses. I’m sure many people are familiar with Jesus’ stinging rebuke for their being “neither cold nor hot.” Or we could take the “I am rich” quote and address wealth and our attitudes about wealth. But what I want to write about today is the word zealous.
Zealous. What a great word! Anglican British Bishop J.C. Ryle defined the word zeal in this text as being a person of one thing. So what is a zealous Christian? He/She is someone who sees one thing, cares about one thing, lives for one thing, finds satisfaction in one thing, and discovers joy and satisfaction from serving that one thing. A zealous Chrsitian doesn’t care if they live or die, if they are healthy or sick, if they are rich or poor, or anything else. Why? Because none of these things actually matter to them; they only care about one thing: serving Jesus as King!
Being zealous means we are wholeheartedly committed, all in and all out, and pedal-to-the-metal for Jesus Christ! Anything less, according to Revelation 3, is unacceptable and nauseating to Jesus.
Like we talked about last Sunday…many people who believe they are followers of Jesus are actually only followers of the crowd on the wide road. In Matthew 7:21 Jesus said,
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Here’s a warning: being zealous for Jesus does not mean being offensive, rude, hurtful, belligerent, aggressive, antagonistic... People who act and talk this way think they are zealous, but they’re not. Being around someone who is zealous for Jesus makes you feel valued, listened to, cared about, and respected. Why? Because they’re like Jesus.
If you read the book of Acts, like some of our women’s groups are doing, I think you’ll discover the secret to the early disciples' success was their zeal. For them, zeal was not an option. They were totally committed. They put Jesus first in everything they did.
When Jesus doesn’t see zeal in His followers, His stomach turns.
Mountainview, let’s get this right.
Grace & Peace!