Keep the Light On!
We have special energy saving street lights in our neighborhood. The light at the end of our driveway will come on at dusk, then in about 6-8 minutes it will shut off. In approximately 4 minutes, it comes back on and repeats this cycle all night long. The energy saved and financial gain realized may not seem like much but multiplied over a few dozen lights and it begins to add up.
NO! NO! NO! STOP! STOP! STOP! I am NOT being serious. There are no such things as energy saving lights that turn on then shut off! Our light is in need of replacement. I personally think there is a problem with the photocell that regulates the light in daylight and darkness. Obviously the bulb isn't the problem; it does come on at dusk.
Well, I don't have all the right answers here. Yesterday, an employee of the electric company stopped by to 'repair' the light. Turns out it was the bulb that needed replaced. The technician explained that a bulb will turn on, overheat, and shut off. I mentioned the photocell and he said, "I replaced both bulb and photocell." I thanked him for thinking to do that and he nodded his head.
Who knew the bulb could still operate then stop working at the drop of a hat. A street light that is on for a time and off for a time doesn't sound effective and it doesn't provide much security in the dark of night. Our life of faith (witness) is much like a street light. When our witness is on full strength, it is effective and offers hope. When our witness flashes on then off, the message emanating from us is a mixed signal. Jesus thought a witness that wasn't on full strength wasn't much good.
“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth... ...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. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame 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 3:14-16, 19-22, NIV)
More harsh words were never spoken to 'Christians' than those here in Revelation 3:15-16. Jesus did not mince words and warned those who thought their witness was just fine to reconsider. No doubt, you have heard sermons preached on this text and the word 'spit' translates to vomit or hurl. Lukewarm isn't a good option to choose in living out our witness. Jesus needed followers to be white hot. Ironically, Jesus pointed out his acceptance of those who were as cold as ice. Lukewarm Christianity is akin to the street light that pulsates all night long; not real effective and not much security.
Jesus needs our witness to be faithful and strong all the time. When we offer a flimsy witness it diminishes the salvation work of Christ and places us in danger of expulsion from Christ.
Do you and I need to maintain a strong faithful witness? You bet!