I have a handful of select memories in my childhood that are as clear as crystal? One of those memories is from the second grade. It was the first time I had ever seen anyone open a Bible and read from it. I was in a Catholic grade school and I had the most wonderful teacher of my life. She was a born-again nun named Sister Renee and she liked to read from the Bible. She was the only one I had ever heard read from the Bible. She’d make the words on the page come alive.
I’ll never forget the day she read the first and only Bible verse I remember from my childhood. “I know you well–you are neither hot nor cold; I wish you were one or the other! But since you are merely lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth!” Revelation 3:15-16 It was the first time I could ever remember the feeling of conviction – the sense that God was bringing correction to my heart through His Word. I don’t even know if I ever had this feeling again until I was an adult and started reading the Bible for myself.
She read these verses and talked about how God wanted us to be “hot” for Him. She said God wanted us hot and excited about living for Him. She went on to say that when we are cold – when we don’t care about God or about living for Him, at least it’s obvious to those around us. At least we won’t play both sides of the fence. Then she spoke about being lukewarm. She said “When you’re lukewarm, you act like you love God and give the appearance of such but in your heart you play with the devils toys and ways. It’s more like a religious front than a real relationship with God.” She continued, “This kind of person leads people astray because they act like they love God but live partly like the devil. There example leads others to think that both are okay. Their example leads others astray.”
I knew I was that lukewarm person – the one she said God would “spit from His mouth.” The thought terrorized me. The thought that I could be a taste so bad in God’s mouth that He would spit me out made me want to change. This blessed woman of God made an impact upon my life that is eternal.
The Bible compares the Word of God to incorruptible seed – that is, seed that when nurtured can always produce – even years later after they are planted in someone’s heart.
I was never exposed to the reading of and studying of the Bible until I was 24 years old. When I was, those seeds of God’s Word planted by the Catholic nun 16 years earlier started to grow. The more I read the Bible, the more I desired to have a “hot” relationship with God. I will never forget that precious nun who shared the Word of God with me. Even after all those years and even today; her words of being “hot” and not “lukewarm” speak powerfully to me. Our words are thoughts and opinions that people discard as fast as junk mail. The Word of God is incorruptible. It never loses it ability to work within us when we allow it to.
1 Peter 1:23 (NIV) “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.”
In His love,
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.