Week 6 – Iron Low Heat
[Proverbs 1:32, Revelation 3:14-22]
CARING WITHOUT COMPLACENCY
Romans 12:11 – Do not lack diligence (enthusiasm); be fervent in spirit (hot enough to boil); serve the Lord. [HCSB]
John Stott – The Laodicean church was a halfhearted church. Perhaps none of the seven letters is more appropriate to the twentieth-century church than this. It describes vividly the respectable, sentimental, nominal, skin-deep religiosity which is so widespread among us today. Our Christianity is flabby and anemic. We appear to have taken a lukewarm bath of religion.
Proverbs 1:32 – For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them; [ESV]
Complacency – self-satisfaction, unawareness of deficiencies
Amos – Religion without Repentance (4:6-13), Religion without Reformation / No change (5:11-12)
Revelation 3:14-22 – Church of Laodicea – Had religion, lacking RELATIONSHIP
verse 18 – Buy three things (v. 17 notes “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked”)
- Gold purified in fire – Laodicea banking industry – know Jesus & be truly rich [FAITH]
- White clothes – Laodicea black wool industry – be dressed (shameful nakedness not exposed) [RIGHTEOUS]
- Ointment – Laodicea medical school famous for producing eye salve – spread over eyes to see [WORD OF GOD & ANOINTING OF HOLY SPIRIT]
verse 19 – God’s purpose of discipline – not to punish, to bring us back to Him
ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIP
Breakout Session Questions
1) Read Psalm 51:10-12. What is the cause of complacency in this passage? What can we do to fight the complacency?
2) Read Ephesians 1:15-16 and Revelation 2:4. What is the cause of complacency in these passages? What can we do to fight the complacency?
3) Read John 17:17 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17. What can we do to fight the complacency? Why is this so important?
4) Read Jeremiah 29:13. What can we do to fight the complacency? Why is this so important?
5) Read Acts 2:46-47. What can we do to fight the complacency? Why is this so important?
Handle with Care is a 6-week series focused on studying God’s Word and responding with care. The six weeks of messages may sound like instructions for laundry care — but you will soon find Handle with Care beckons you to examine within, to gauge how you truly love God and love others, and to grow inward and outward. Caring starts with the heart and pours out into the community.
- Week 1 – Stain Removal – Caring for God’s glory
- Week 2 – Do Not Bleach – Caring for Truth
- Week 3 – Add Fabric Softener – Caring like Barnabas
- Week 4 – Fasten the Zipper – Caring for Unity
- Week 5 – Empty Pockets – Caring for Treasures
- Week 6 – Iron Low Heat – Caring without Complacency
In Nehemiah 5, we read about the oppression of people. God’s Word tells us it is good to “do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly” but do we (Micah 6:8)? Isaiah even tells us to “correct oppression” (1:17). Sadly, people are still being oppressed today.
During the time of Nehemiah, people who were redeemed were being sold back into slavery (v. 8). There was a famine in the land so they mortgaged their fields and homes to just be able to make it (v. 3-4). They even had their children forced to be slaves (v. 5).
When Nehemiah found out about the oppression, he was angry and considered the situation carefully (v. 6-7). He then rebuked the people for exacting interest on their brothers who were already struggling (v. 9). At that point, everything was restored and paid back to the people. Nehemiah reminds us to help as we are led and to not take advantage of each other. He never took the food allowance. He understood the people were already burdened (v. 18). It is God’s desire that we build each other up, rather than tear each other down. Let us do and seek justice always.
“He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” – Micah 6:8 [NASB]
“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” – Isaiah 1:17 [ESV]