Revelation 3.14-19 – The true riches, and where our hearts really lay.
Posted: 29 October 2012 in Revelation

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods.”
The above passage doesn’t make it clear whether or not it is material prosperity that the author here has in mind, but it puts me in mind of the passage in the Gospel, where Jesus tells the rich young man to sell all that he has and follow him. The problem with material wealth is, of course, that it represents by far the greatest temptation for human beings to direct their attention towards something other than God – as the rich young man’s reaction to Jesus’ injunction makes only too clear.

Which raises the interesting question as to whether or not we should pray that God establish us in relative poverty, in order that that we be more inclined to seek after the “gold tried in the fire,” rather than its yellow coloured counterpart. The greatest disincentive in making such a request is, naturally, that it might receive an affirmative reply. If that is our reaction, then perhaps we should ask ourselves what it is our hearts are really settled upon.

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