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Dear COA Family,

Just this week I was conversing with a very experienced pastor about church ministry and he
shared with me the state of his church.

Everything has been going well in his church – the members are going regularly for church
services, serving faithfully in various ministries and enjoying the fellowship with one another.
In other words, they are all very happy to belong to the church. Yet he still feels a sense of
deep unease.

And this is the main issue – they have grown to be too comfortable in the state that they
are. They seem unwilling to consider stepping out in new areas of ministry that the Lord is 
possibly calling them as a church. The church has grown to become inward-looking and
self-serving. And he is deeply concerned and grieved about this state of affairs.

This is an especially dangerous state for any church to be in. Jesus’ response to the
church in Laodicea which had grown satisfied and complacent was this:
I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!
So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are
wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked” Revelation 3:15-17.

Jesus was rebuking the church harshly and spoke of his ultimate judgment of rejecting the
church if they continued in their self-satisfied ways.

Church, let us learn from the lesson of my fellow pastor’s church and the church in Laodicea.
It is important always to be spiritually hungry for God and his kingdom.

The first blessing of the beatitudes that Jesus pronounced to his disciples was this:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:3. The word
“poor” in the Greek refers to being destitute, like a beggar on the street with totally nothing
in his possession. Our Lord desires us to be hungry for him, his righteousness and his kingdom
at all times!

In other words, the church of Christ must always be characterised by a deep yearning and
hunger for God and is never satisfied or complacent where they are.

I pray that this will help all of us to examine our own lives.

Have we reached a stage where we think that it is enough, we will limit God to ruling in
some areas of our lives but not others? That we will respond in certain areas of ministry
but not in all that He is calling us? That we have other priorities of our own besides our
Lord’s will for us?

May we not come to this dangerous state but continue to fervently seek his kingdom in our lives.
Then our church will truly be in a blessed place.

God bless,
Revd Ian