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August 9 – Knowing need and fulfilling need

“But you do not know that you are wretched…buy from Me gold…” – Rev. 3:17-18 

Scripture reading: Revelation 3:14-22; Judges 16:16-22; Isaiah 55:1-3

There is a particular verse in the Bible that always stops me dead in my tracks. The Philistines come upon Samson after his fall, and he says, “I will go out as before…and shake myself free!” But the verse continues, “But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.”

Laodicea was a church that did not realize how far they had fallen. They thought they had it all. Like Samson, Laodicea was self-deceived, believing their strength came from themselves. Perhaps they thought that wealth and good standing was proof of God’s favour. But they did not know that the Lord had departed.

Jesus warns them of their danger: He tells them He would vomit them from His mouth! Such words would be gut-wrenching to hear, but it is followed up immediately by encouragement. The encouragement is simple: Come to Jesus. You are more impoverished than you realized, but come buy gold, come buy clothes and buy because these things, from the hand of Christ, are free. Jesus shows that His harsh words to Laodicea are a proof, not of condemnation, but of love. He is driving them to Himself.

At the end of his life, John Newton wrote: “Although my memory’s fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Saviour.” Whatever material blessings God may send, may we not forget the great poverty we have in ourselves, and the great supply that is found in Christ.

Suggestions for prayer

Lord, help me to know my need and its satisfaction in Christ.

Pastor Greg Bylsma is a graduate of Mid-America Reformed Seminary, and he is currently serving at the Living Water Reformed Church in Brantford, Ontario. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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