Do You Know? - Mount Vernon Grace Community Church

Service and Worship Times

18350 Hopewell Road
Mount Venon, OH 43050

  • Sunday Morning Prayer
    10:00 a.m. Prayer time prior to Sundays service
  • Sunday Morning Service
    10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    Nursery is available and Sunday School classes are held for children preschool age through 12 during the sermon
  • Wednesday Night 
    Bible Study 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Teen Bible Study 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 pm

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Do You Know?

As I write this, I am trying to beat a cold. So far it is beating me. I feel like crawling in the proverbial hole and just disappearing from sight. I’m tired, my back hurts, my eyes are burning… I know you know the feeling; you’ve had a cold before. Melodee thinks I’m a big baby when I’m not feeling well. I don’t see it. Besides, since I don’t get sick very often, I think I should be able to take advantage of it.

Anyway I digress. Physical sometimes remind me of spiritual things. We live in a culture that is becoming spiritually sick. I think we have far surpassed the cold stage and we have full blown pneumonia.
My mind keeps going back to the Laodicean church. They were rich, (monetarily); they were clothed well, (physically). They knew how to party so they thought they were happy. They thought they had good medicine for poor eye sight, (turns out the salve they manufactured was a placebo.) Jesus had a different take on their state. In his words, “You say you are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing; you don’t know you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.” In other words, you’re sick and you don’t know it.

I highlighted the words “you don’t know” because they are scary important. I think the Laodicean culture was much like our own. Probably at one point they were on fire for the gospel. I imagine that when Paul went to that region with the life-changing message of Jesus they jumped all over it. But it wasn’t long after that a virus of prosperity and self-indulgence set in. They lost their fire for Jesus and their hearts started burning for self. They have a fever and it is making them delusional about who they are. “You don’t know…”

I have a cold. (I think I mentioned that.) When you are sick your judgment is off. It is easier to give in to depression when you don’t feel well. Temptation (throw your own weakness in at this point), is harder to resist when you are sick. I have known people that have been sick for so long that they have forgotten how it feels to feel good and they don’t know how sick they really are.

This is the Laodicean church. The fire in their belly was a lust for self. From where I sit, and maybe it is because I don’t feel well, this is where I see the church. I would like to say GCC is different but we have little viruses popping up in various places. I think we are healthy but healthy people aren’t immune to exposure to disease. A little gossip here, a little deceit there, throw in some bitterness and anger and you have a recipe for spiritual flu. Sometimes it is hard to diagnose where the disease really started but usually it starts with the other person. It certainly can’t be me.

The individuals in the church in Laodicea had a decision to make. Jesus told them, “As many as I love I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent.” This has to be done on an individual basis. ‘Mono e mono’. One on one between me and God. You can’t go to the doctor for me I can’t go to the doctor for you but we can encourage each other to get regular checkups.

I know I have a cold. I have all the symptoms; runny nose, cough; if I were one of the seven dwarves I would be Sneezy. (My wife would say Dopey and that can fit with cold symptoms also.) I know I need cold medicine. I don’t know how I got the cold but I know that I have it so I can treat it.

Let’s go back to those dangerous words Jesus spoke to Laodicea: “YOU DON”T KNOW…” We will not seek a cure if we don’t know we are sick. I know two men in the past week that died of massive heart attacks and had no idea that they were sick. Would a checkup have uncovered a hidden heart disease? It is very likely. I know that one of those two men refused to go to the doctor. His decision was fatal.

Some things that have happened over the last year tell me we have symptoms of a struggling heart. We need to have a checkup. I shared this past Sunday that I have been in a spiritually dry place for a long time. This is a symptom of something wrong.

The Lord reminded me today of a situation quite different than the lukewarm Laodicean experience. Shortly after Jesus walked out of the grave two men were on their way to the village of Emmaus. They were talking about all that had taken place that day after they had heard that the tomb Jesus was in was empty. While they were walking, a man they didn’t recognize joined them. They invited him over for dinner. We don’t know what their conversation was about but it must have been life changing. We know they talked about the scripture and I would assume the man was showing them the scriptures that spoke of the Messiah and how he must die and that he would rise from the dead. Just before he left them he revealed himself to them and they recognized Jesus. They realized they didn’t just have an interesting conversation about the Torah. They were in the presence of God. In their own words “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scripture.”

How long has it been since your heart burned within you because of the presence of Jesus and because of his Holy word? I can remember a time in my life when I could hardly contain my enthusiasm for Jesus. I have done a pretty good job of containing it lately. Maybe that is why some of the little fires have been ignited. Maybe I have ignored some of the symptoms.

None of this is meant to accuse or point fingers so please don’t assume it is. This is a plea. Jesus closed his letter to the Laodicean telling them, “Behold I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with me.” He is saying, “I want to have dinner with you. I want your heart to be on fire in relationship with me.” Please make sure you are opening that door. Make certain your heart is in the right place. The Laodicean lie of wealth and health affected the entire community. Let’s not let a lie fester in our heart. We will either burn in our heart in the presence of Jesus or we will grow cold and die. Choose to burn!!!