Useless

Today is the last in the series of the churches of Revelation. Sniff. Sigh.

On a much happier note, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Cindy Bultema, Bible teacher and speaker extraordinaire. Her new study based on the church at Laodicea, Red Hot Faith, will be released on May 9th, and I can’t wait!!

red_hot_faith___lessons_from_a_luke_warm_church__dvd___leader_s_guide__2_1After you read her excellent post today, please leave a comment to enter to win the Red Hot Faith set, a $33 value including a 2 DVD set, a participant’s guide and a leader’s guide. (Note: Subscribers, all you need to do to access the comments is to click on the “Useless” title. We’d love to hear from you too and give you a chance to win.)

Here’s Cindy!

I’m definitely not known for my cooking. However, since my family likes to eat, I finally started putting my new crockpot to use. I’ll admit it — I love it. There’s nothing like throwing some random fixings together early in the morning, and then enjoying a nice, hot delicious meal later in the day.

One day, I tossed in my favorite ingredients for chicken tacos, headed out for the afternoon, and thought to myself, “Whew! Dinner is set!”

Imagine my surprise when I arrived home later that evening, opened the door from my garage into the house, and took a big sniff. Instead of a spicy aroma, I didn’t smell anything. I dashed over to check my crockpot. It wasn’t even hot. I thought, “Oh no, I broke it already!” Upon further inspection I realized it wasn’t damaged. I had simply forgotten to plug it in!

You know what kind of chicken I had on my hands? Not hot, not cold, but lukewarm. It was useless. What am I going to do with lukewarm chicken at suppertime? We had to order pizza that night!

Speaking of lukewarm and useless, Jesus had similar words to share with the church of Laodicea. To an affluent church located in a thriving city known for its wealth, shopping, and abundance, Jesus shares in Revelation 3:15-16,

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other. So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

The lukewarm living of His church members was beyond disappointing to Jesus, He was disgusted, and couldn’t even stomach their useless faith. In fact, the word “spit” in Revelation 3:16, in the original Greek language means “to vomit, spit out, regurgitate.”

We could read verse 16, “You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit.” (the Message)

Doesn’t sound so “Jesus-y,” does it? But that’s how utterly distasteful a lukewarm faith is to Jesus. It completely sickens Him. Wow.

You know what I find fascinating?

I used to think Jesus was saying in Revelation 3:15 — “hot” was “for Jesus,” and “cold” was “against Jesus.” In other words, be hot — be for me, or be cold — be against me, but just don’t sit on the fence and be lukewarm.

Now that I’ve studied this passage, traveled to ancient Laodicea, and examined how many scholars interpret this passage, I don’t think that’s what Jesus is saying at all.

Instead, I believe Jesus was saying, “I wish you were hot — therapeutic and healing; or cold – refreshing and invigorating, bringing a cup of cold water in My name” (Matthew 10:42).

Be hot! Be cold! Be something! Be of some use!

How God longs to use His church members to be His vessels — vessels of hope, healing and Truth reaching our lost and broken world. As God pours His love and grace into us, we are meant to pour it out into the lives of others. Not to be stagnant and useless, but to let His love flow.

The church members of Laodicea had such purpose in the midst of their everyday, ordinary days. They were meant to impact the lives of others. However, unfortunately the church members were completely self-absorbed and useless, and made no difference at all.

Friends, let’s not make the same mistake. Lukewarm living should not be our norm.

I wonder, how could use you be His vessel this week?

How can you be “hot” and healing?
• Share a cup of coffee with a co-worker and extend a listening ear.
• Offer your presence to a neighbor who is hurting and alone.
• Pray for the lost and broken.

How can you be “cold” and refreshing?
• Share an encouraging text.
• Bring a meal to a single mom.
• Cheer someone on. “You go girl!”

Sweet friends, it’s time to put our red-hot faith into action. Let’s look for ways to be “hot” or to be “cold,” but to “be something” each day! May lukewarm never be our norm!
_________________________
CindCindy 2014y Bultema loves the Lord, loves her family, and loves to celebrate! With nearly 20 years of ministry experience, Cindy is a popular women’s speaker, author, and Bible teacher. But don’t let her cheerful smile fool you — Cindy has endured single parenting, overcome bondage to addiction, and survived tragic loss. Sharing messages of God’s hope and redemption is now Cindy’s great delight.
Cindy lives in Michigan with her husband and their four kids. Most days you can find Cindy walking her dog Rocky, attending one of her boys’ hockey games, or serving hot lunch at her kids’ school. Visit Cindy at www.cindybultema.com.

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45 Comments

  1. Wow! Love the interpretation of that scripture! Just like Jesus to give us two positives….only complacency is negative! Really really really want to do this study! And to WIN WOULD BE AWESOME!!!!!

  2. Kathy Schmidt says:

    Cindy is an inspiration to everyone she meets, her LOVE for Jesus is so evident. It’s been amazing to see how God is using her story for HIS Glory. Thank you Cindy for your obedience to Gods calling! Praying blessings on you and your beautiful family.

    I’d LOVE to WIN this Red HOT Faith set!

  3. What a great analogy of being lukewarm. Would love the opportunity to read more if her book and even have a Bible study in my home with it.

  4. Please consider me for the Red Hot Bible Study! I need it; as a mentor mom in a MUMS (moms uplifting moms) group I sometimes feel I am just not enough. I NEED THIS

  5. Thank you for the giveaway.

  6. I enjoyed RHF at Tabernacle last summer. And I’m bringing RHF to my church this summer starting in July. Having Cindy’s study for free would be a blessing! We are fired up at Holy Cross to begin RHF in July! Can’t wait:). Thank you and God bless, Shawn

  7. I like that, be something be of some use. I need to be more aware and intentional of being of use and being something and not nothing and being useless. Thank you fpr the (ouch) reminder.

  8. I plan to purchase this for my church but it sure would be fun to win!

  9. Barb Wynn says:

    I don’t have a group to share this study with, but I would love to continue to grow a closer walk with God with this study. I had the opportunity to do the intro red hot faith study launch last summer, and the things I learned through this study really stuck with me! When you can grow in your relationship with God because someone shares their friendship with God in an authentic way. And can show you how much there is to apply to your own life through a study of God’s word that is relevant. It makes you want the same red hot faith!!!! And yes! I would love this Red Hot Faith gift!!!!

  10. Martha T. says:

    Great post! I thought the idea of being useful was helpful.

  11. Courtney J says:

    Amy, thank you for introducing us to Cindy! She officially has a new follower! This message was an ouchy and shook me to the core! I, too, can be “lukewarm”. I would love to win a copy of Cindy’s book, so I can read more! 🙂

  12. Laurel Radius says:

    I am so excited to read and study Cindy’s Bible study Red Hot Faith. I feel privileged to know Cindy and her kids. We lived in the same neighborhood and our girls are friends. We moved to Florida but still feel connected. Would love the opportunity to share with others about Cindy and her Red Hot Faith to women here in Bradenton Florida. I want to share my faith with others.

  13. Julie Brandt says:

    Smoking! Would love to help myself and others make sure we are not lukewarm or going to be spit out.

  14. Amy, thanks for introducing me to this great new girlfriend and her study 🙂 and for the chance to win a copy !
    Hope you and all your readers enjoy a blessed Easter,
    Linda

  15. Colleen G. says:

    WOW… This would be a wonderful study – Thank You for the chacne to win it.
    -Colleen G.

  16. Jenni Timmer says:

    I would love to win a copy of this! My bible study group was just discussing what to start studying this fall when we meet again…I’d LOVE for it to be the Red Hot Faith study! 🙂

  17. Jada Smith says:

    Sounds like an awesome study! Thanks for the chance to win! 🙂

  18. Faithful Krouse says:

    I’ve been rediscovering God, His character and getting my faith stretched. I’ve love to do this devotional series and grow in Him some more.
    Blessings, Faithful

  19. Look forward to reading this . It has been said, “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover”, well, this sound like a good read and study for our missions group.

  20. Hey, this girlfriend in Christ is from my home town – Grand Rapid, MI – and I would love to learn more from her – and get some crockpot lessons too – love her heart for the Lord!

  21. I really enjoyed this post and would love to learn more through her bible study!

  22. Ellen Schumaker says:

    Knowing that what I read here from Cindy makes me sooo excited about what The Red Hot Faith Study is really all about!! I would love to have this and use it with a group of ladies!

  23. I’d love to be able to use this with the Military Women’s ministry I am blessed to lead this year. We offer 5-6 studies a semester and are always looking for new, biblically based materials.

  24. Please consider me for Cindy’s study!!

  25. Julie Wendt says:

    Love, love, love Cindy. She has taught me how to live my faith in God! She has no fear! She went down the zip line with me! She ROCKS! Truly a wonderful woman of God!

  26. Meredith Mulder says:

    I would love to win Cindy’s new bible study I have a small group bible study on occassional monday nights and would love to introduce this study to them. I have attended one of Cindy’s retreats in GR and a her red hot video screening Cindy is an awesome Godly woman. 🙂

  27. Julie Wendt says:

    I would love Cindy’s bible study…

  28. We had so much fun at our women’s retreat at Camp Geneva with Cindy, and her sweet friend Julie. What a blessing to learn about our Red Hot Faith, and to know that I am the daughter of a King who is not move by the world, and that I am Blessed & Beautiful inside and out. Thank you for showing me how to carry a backpack with all of the wonderful things that make me complete in God’s eyes.

    Thank you for being so open about your life, and letting us see all the difficult seasons, and all the amazing seasons God has done in your life. Congrats on your new book. Cannot wait to read your book!!

    1. I echo what Carrie said! I was at that retreat at Camp Geneva and we were so blessed by Cindy’s message. We would love to have this set and dive into this even more! Thank you Cindy for your beautiful, Christ-like spirit!

  29. I would love a copy of Cindys new study! 😉

  30. Kim VAnder Helm says:

    I would love to win this study for our Women’s Ministry!!

  31. Janet Alboszta says:

    Red Hot Faith sounds inspiring! May it bless all who read it. 🙂

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      I have just loved the little sneak peaks I’ve gotten!

  32. Cindy, I’m doing this study with friends this summer whether I win or not, but boy would it be cool to win. I’m so excited to get started!

  33. OK, this was a great teaser–now I want MORE! Would love to have the whole Red Hot Faith collection to share with my friends and neighbors.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      There are some video clips on Youtube that give you a glimpse of Cindy’s teaching. So HAPPY there’s video so we can watch Cindy’s passion as well as reading it.

  34. I would love to have her Bible Study! I was privileged to be at her Red Hot for Jesus retreat and Summer bible study. I already know I will love it! I am excited about possibly leading a group of women through this study at the Alpha Women’s Center of Lowell.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      What a blessing to be in on Red Hot Faith from the beginning!

  35. Pam Danckaert says:

    Can’t wait for RED HOT FAITH to come out! I’m looking forward to sharing this amazing study this summer with many women in my church family.

  36. Karen Powell says:

    I know Cindy through our kids’ school. She is an amazing encouragement and I am excited to read her new Red Hot Bible study!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      She IS wonderful, isn’t she? Her story inspires me and magnifies God. Love her!

  37. KAREN LAUGHHUNN says:

    You go girl!

    Nothing would please me more than to have Cindy’s bible study. She is such an inspiration of how to be on fire for God.

  38. would love to have Cindy’s new study to use with my bible study group that I lead. She is an awesome young lady on fire for Jesus. Had the privilege of being with her at the Speak Up conference a few years back. She bought my Slow Cooker Heaven cookbook. There is a reason this redheaded girl is on fire. May she be blessed as others will be blessed by her teachings.