It's Time - Christ Our Riches
CHRIST OUR RICHES – REVELATION 3:14-22
Riches - What does it really mean to be rich? To win the National Lottery? Would you like to find riches that last for ever? He that has ears let him hear what the Spirit is saying tonight!
Laodicea - A letter to the church in Laodicea – a 50 year old church where the good ground had become the thorny ground - the good seed choked by “life’s worries, riches and pleasures” (Luke 8:15)
Background - a wealthy city famous for clothing, eye ointment, banking – they needed nothing. They were self-sufficient.
Jesus verdict on the church – its true spiritual condition. V17.
- Lukewarm – like the lukewarm water that ran into the city from the hills
- Poor, wretched, blind and naked – in a dreadful spiritual condition
- Deceived and deluded - no realisation of their need for Christ – thought all was well. The spirit of the city had taken over the church.
Material wealth and physical pleasures have been a rival to God since the Garden of Eden - don’t make God’s gifts into an idol that replaces God.
How does Jesus minister to this complacent, casual, contented church?
He loves them and wants something better for them. He begins with a rebuke
- A loving rebuke – v19 = Proverbs 3:12 – faithful are the wounds of a friend
- A trustworthy rebuke – he is the faithful and true witness (v14) – speaking truth
- A severe rebuke – how shocking is his assessment of their spiritual state!
- An earnest and wise rebuke - he brings counsel, good news of how things can change, guidance on how they can find true spiritual riches.
True riches can be found in Him – it is why he came. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor, that you through his poverty, might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9
Buy from me - Jesus offers us spiritual riches no words can fully describe.
Spiritual gold – an everlasting inheritance of unsurpassed worth -Christ’s own image formed in us through the refining work of God’s Spirit
Spiritual clothing – the robe of Christ’s righteousness to cover us and to become our very own as we are remade in His image
Spiritual sight – to see the truth and the glory of God for ever and ever
Practical illustration – to use earthly riches to bring Christ’s riches to others is to gain everlasting spiritual riches for ourselves. Following Jesus example.
Spiritual companionship – the famous v20 echoes Song of Solomon 5:2-6. Christ who loves us seeks entrance into our lives to sit down and eat with us; to make our hearts his home; to develop with us the closest and greatest of all friendships; to feed us on the very bread of life.
This beautiful fellowship is expressed as we gather round the Lord’s Table
Spiritual honour and responsibility v21 – when the new creation comes, the day when God makes all things new, Christ’s servants who have found him as their true riches, will rule with him over the newly restored world. We will do all the things Adam and Eve were called to do – all the riches of earth will be part of the new world - 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendour into it. The glory and honour of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Revelation 21:24-27
“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you will get neither” C.S.Lewis
Receive with thanks the good gifts of God in this life but if they have become your idol, repent and dethrone them! V19
Seek the spiritual and eternal riches to be found in Jesus – lay up treasure in heaven. Ask for a heart that burns with the fire of love for Jesus and for others.
Give me the love that leads the way, The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire, The passion that will burn like fire;
Let me not sink to be a clod; Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.