Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hot Coffee



"Our Saviour kneels down and gazes upon the darkest acts of our lives. But rather than recoil in horror, he reaches out in kindness and says, 'I can clean that if you want.' And from the basin of his grace, he scoops a palm full of mercy and washes our sin."

Max Lucado 

I grasped the smooth ivory handle, picked up the cup, and placed it to my chapped lips that craved comfort from a cold, damp, windy night.  Feeling the not-warm mug press against my mouth, I sipped, then, wanted to spit.  It was lukewarm, which didn't meet my great expectations.   

Needing to catch the attention of our waitress, Jeff and I looked her way and politely motioned to her.  "I'm sorry, but my coffee isn't hot."  She sweetly apologized and returned minutes later with another cup and plenty, even more than I could drink, of fresh, steaming decaf.  Seeing the waves rise from my mug, I was relieved, and ready to move ahead and share some lovely moments with my love.

Lukewarm coffee would have diminished our date.  It was a late rainy Monday night, and my husband and I had just attended a beautiful revival service.  We wanted to share our souls and bask in the afterglow of God's blessings.  A quiet booth in a warm cafe with cups of coffee seemed the perfect capstone.  Lukewarm coffee just wouldn't have got it done. 

Lukewarm is perfect for a baby's bath, but not for coffee.  It makes it stale and steals it pretty aroma.  And, it makes a clear statement of "I am not the best" and "I could be hours old."

For coffee lovers, a cup of hot brew summons the senses.  The sight of steam dancing over a cup is alone bliss.  The coming warmth is calming.  The idea of the approaching flavor prepares the taste buds for unreserved, heartfelt sipping.  Which is why you do not see signs advertising "Cool Coffee Served," or "Fresh Roasted Lukewarm Java." 

But cool coffee helps me understand, . . .  to inhale and drink in, . . .

the God-breathed analogy in Revelation that rivets me to its text and shakes me to my soles.

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth" (Revelation 3:15-16, NKJV).

The Lord cares about our passion for Him.  He takes it personally and checks it with His own sovereign thermometer.  He tries our savor to taste and see if we're a worthy drink offering.  Our temperature reading measures the worth of our worship.

God desires we are red-hot, on-fire, passionate worshipers and disciples.  He had even rather find us cold than lukewarm. 

Why would God rather we be cold than room temp? 

If we are cold, we know it.  We shiver in our sin.  We see uncovered goosebumps climb our barren arms.  And we sense the approaching agony of a frost-bitten heart.  We know our desperate need to find a warm place by God's flame.  We envy those fellow saints who pass us, doing their Father's business, while bundled in fleecy wools and cozy leathers.

If we are lukewarm, however, we do not feel.  We are not concerned.  We are not moved.  The fire we see in others does nothing to our need.  Their godly coverings do not make us jealous.  We do not desire to find a fire and warm our flesh.

"Lukewarm" means lacking enthusiasm or conviction; to be indifferent; unconcerned; uninterested; apathetic; Laodicean.*

Laodicea was one of the seven churches Christ addressed in the book of Revelation.  They believed they had no spiritual need.  They did not see their need for covering.  Christ therefore counseled them, "buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see" (Revelation 3:18, NIV).    

Jesus wanted to give the Laodiceans a new beginnning and fresh vision.  He wanted them to have their own personal revelation of Him.  He pleaded and said, "Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me" (3:19-20).

Christ wanted the Laodiceans to be close to Him.  To sit down with Him and dine.  To have an intimate meal with Him and know Him.  To know He loved them. 

Jesus wants the same for me and you.

He wants us to see.  He wants us to have personal need awareness.  He wants to give us His gold in exchange for our perceived wealth.  He wants us to experience the pain of spiritual blindness, so we can realize the poverty of self-life. 

Jesus wants us to be honest with ourselves and encounter His word, which is Christ Himself.  He desires that we know Him, not just serve Him, and not just know of Him.   

Do you know Him?  Do you dine with Him?  Do you sit down with Him?  Do you gaze at His beauty as He sits across the table?  Do you let His eyes slice your darkness? 

My coffee was lukewarm that chilly, Monday night.  It was not acceptable to me.  It's lackluster presence could have dulled the beauty of a blessed evening. 

I had to confess my need.  I had to bring the problem to the server, so she could fix it for me.  It wouldn't have been right to do it myself.  It wasn't my place. 

Jesus wants to be your server and fix things for you.  Do you taste the bitter water of indifference?  Are you struggling to choke down staleness? 

Let Jesus fix things for you.  Call Him to your table and tell Him your need.  Give Him your lukewarm chalice.  Jesus' own hands will take your cup, bring you a new, clean, empty vessel, and pour into it warmth, healing, life, and love.  You will not be disappointed.  You will no longer live alone from worldy wealth.  You will not want your old cup back.

Do not be afraid to let it go.  Do not be afraid to give up you lukewarm drink.  Do not be afraid of His transformational presence at your table.  Do not fear His humble hands. 

Great expectations wait to warm your soul.

Because He First Loved Us,

        





*Definitinon is from www.thefreedictionary.com.

22 comments:

  1. Fill our cups Lord, Lavish your Love, passion and zeal on us!
    Beautiful! Oh how I love my coffee hot!
    Thanks Andrea.
    Love,
    Julie

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  2. Dear Andrea, what a great way to see how important it is to be Hot and in pusuit of His love. I also like my coffee hot but I must confess I break for tea! Happy Spring!
    God Bless Roxy

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  3. What a wonderful analogy, Andrea. It's the easiest way , to be lukewarm, nothing is demanded of us, nothing expected. Sometimes it's harder to be piping hot....but oh, the rewards!

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  4. Andrea, this is so good. I love the comparison with lukewarm coffee; I hate cold coffee. The Lord hates for us to be lukewarm too. Thank you for this reminder and Scripture.

    Blessings,
    Debbie

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  5. A timely teaching that never gets old. Lukewarm is apathetic, lethargic, dis-interested. It's what the Israelites were all their days of defying their Provider. No wonder they wandered! And so do we when apathy sets in.

    Nothing like a little light in the parlor to illuminate God's word!

    Blessings & hugs,
    Kathleen

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  6. Now this analogy brings great insight on "lukewarmness"! Theology in a coffee cup! :o)

    Shalom,
    Denise

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  7. Hi, Andrea,
    Thank you for the word picture of lukewarm coffee and its distaste. I made this post my prayer this morning for our prodigal who once walked with his chalice full of God's best. I would be embarassed to say what it is full of now. My favorite line: Our temperature reading measures the worth of our worship.

    Love you,
    Mary

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  8. Have a beautiful and so blessed week, Andrea !
    xoxo

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  9. Hi Andrea! I've always loved to think about that verse and enjoy the shivers. So many times, I've realized that I've become lukewarm and need the push to scurry back to the Fire. I hope this week is especially wonderful for you and Jeff.
    Almost every night, when we are curled up in bed, I look forward to my lovely cup of nutty coffee. Have you read First We Have Coffee? You'd LOVE it. BIG HUG!

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  10. This is a terrific comparison and explanation of why we shouldn't be lukewarm. Thank you, Andrea! Blessings to you!

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  11. What a beautiful reminder that He desires an intimate relationship with us. Blessings to you Andrea!

    He is risen!

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  12. Thank the Lord, He doesn't let go of us. We are blessed to have relationships, especially with Him!

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  13. I think I get more excited at Easter than I do Christmas....I do not want to be luke warm...ever! I like my coffee very hot or iced...it tastes terrible luke warm. I have enjoyed my visit today and I like your blog background..is it new?

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  14. What a great analogy! This post really spoke to me, Andrea...

    When I was a young teenager, the Lord inspired me to write a brief message about the church at Laodicea...I shared it with my small church...

    I grew up...moved on...and left my first love...the Lord brought passages of that message to me along the way...until I finally decided that lukewarm was not the way I wanted to be...

    He heated me up! Praise the Lord!

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  15. After just having had my morning cup of coffee, this was a great analogy. I lived like a lukewarm cup of coffee for many years. I'm thankful that the Lord was patient with me and used the circumstances in my life to heat things us.

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  16. Yes, may our hearts be filled with steaming hot love for Christ. Beautiful words.

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  17. Dearest Andrea,
    Thank you for this rich
    thought provoking post!

    soli deo gloria

    *HUGS*
    Love in Him~ Miss Jen

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  18. What a great analogy and wondeful advice: "Call Him to your table."

    Thanks for this.

    Easter blessings to you, Andrea.

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  19. Awesome post Andrea! We just had a glorious revival ourselves and there is nothing like sitting with a hot cup of coffee and reliving the fire that fell from His Throne of Grace!

    In Him,
    Beth

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  20. Nicely said. I love the last part about not being afraid. God has been impressing upon me lately about trusting Him with EVERYTHING. This was an encouraging word. Thanks.

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Thank you for visiting. I cherish your thoughts. You are special to me, but most of all, you are special to God, who loves you with everlasting love. May your life be swept into His joy and peace.

In the Wonderful Love of Christ our Savior,

Andrea