“Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked…” (Rev. 3:17)
I visited the seven churches in the book of Revelation in 2009. Laodicea, my last destination during the trip, used to be a wealthy place, and without trouble, I found ruins made of stones showing how prosperous this place used to be. I remembered how self-satisfaction based on wealth made it difficult for Laodiceans to see that they were “wretched and miserable and poor and naked.”
Being a professor at a Christian college is a great blessing, but it is easy for me to become a proud and arrogant man—a man who cannot see his sinfulness, as these stones of self-satisfaction can easily be idolized without knowing. Without His mercy, I’ll never be able to see myself as one who deserves eternal death. Therefore, I need to keep seeking the light, Jesus Christ, so that I am reminded of who I am before Him—a sinner who deserves the death on the cross for my sins.
Gratefully, sinners’ unworthiness is not the end of believers’ story. God continued that story by having His Son crucified on the cross and defeating the power of death through the resurrection of Jesus. Let’s continue to praise Him for who He is and what He has done, not what we have accomplished nor who we are.
-Written for the JBU devotional book, “Keeping the Faith (2015).”