Revelation 3:14-22 chronicles a sobering letter Jesus wrote to the church in Laodicea in which He rebukes them and calls them back to Himself. This letter also gives us four steps we can use to find our value in Jesus.
Step #1: Recognize our uselessness apart from Jesus (vv. 14-16).
Laodicea was a rich town with a booming economy, but they did not have a consistent hot or cold water source; their water was lukewarm. Jesus tells them in verse 15, “Would that you were either hot or cold!” Jesus was saying that just like lukewarm water does not have a purpose, the church was useless and disgusting (vs. 16). The Lord has a purpose for every Christian in every church, and the Laodiceans were forced to come to grips with their lukewarm usefulness to their Savior. If you aren’t serving your God-given purpose for giving Him glory, know that you are lukewarm and God won’t use you.
Step #2: Reject self-sufficiency (v. 17).
The Laodiceans thought that being financially sufficient made them spiritually self-sufficient, but Jesus says that they were actually “wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” They were living a false reality, so Jesus tore down their false identity. You might talk like a Christian and live the Christian life in your own strength, but you are fooling yourself. We need to reject the self-sufficient attitude that says we can’t be successful apart from God.
Step #3: Rely on Christ’s sufficiency (vv. 18-19).
Jesus tells the church to find three things in Him: 1) Gold refined by fire. This symbolizes heavenly riches, which are access to God, freedom from sin’s slavery, the indwelling spirit of God, and admission into God’s presence. 2) White garments, which symbolize perfect righteousness and a release from the shame of nakedness. 3) Eye salve, which is a healing agent that helps them see Him and themselves more clearly. Part of knowing Jesus is understanding and accepting that He will discipline us; He loves us too much to let us think we are self-sufficient. Then once we realize Jesus is all we need, we need to repent of our own self-dependence and embrace the disciplining hand of our loving Savior.
Step #4: Return Christ to His rightful place (vv. 20-22).
By their self-dependent attitude, the Laodiceans had locked Jesus out of their church, and He wanted back in. Verse 20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him.” Jesus offers close fellowship with those who accept Him, a seat at His table, and special position. He was not knocking at the door of the hearts of unbelievers; it was at the doors of a church that was living like He wasn’t even there. He calls the church to restore Him to His rightful place of prominence and authority, and instead of threatening us, He promises close fellowship to those who will trust and obey.
All of us want Jesus to use us, but we live in a world that has zero concern for living for Christ. The world says you are valued by the clothes you wear, the car you drive, your relationship status, the bathroom scale, your prestige at the office, and how your bank statement reads. But God’s Word says your value and worth was nailed to the cross, buried, rose again, and is currently sitting at the right hand of God the Father. Are you living like Jesus doesn’t exist? When we find our value in Jesus, He will use us for His glory.