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Three Dollars’ Worth of God

August 23, 2018

“So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16

Most of us can blow through three dollars without even thinking twice. It’ll get you a cup of Starbucks, a few snacks for a road trip, or a squeak toy for your new puppy. But one thing is for sure: it won’t buy you soul-to-soul intimacy with the Creator of the universe.

Someone once wrote: “I’d like to buy three dollars’ worth of God. Please, not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I want ecstasy, not transformation. I want the warmth of the womb, not a rebirth. I want a pound of the eternal in a paper sack. I’d like to buy about three dollars’ worth of God, please.”

I wonder if you are among those who want just enough of God to get yourself to a comfortable place, but not enough to pay the price of a deepening relationship with Him. If we want to be in tight with Jesus, we’ve got to abandon the idea that a mere acquaintance with Him is enough and that we have all we really need in and of ourselves. Self-sufficiency is life’s greatest barricade when it comes to intimacy with God.

I find it interesting that all the “self” terms we throw around make us wither with guilt. Just say the word self-centered and we wince. The same applies to self-indulgent and self-serving. But when we think of self-sufficiency, our eyes glaze over with pious apathy. We don’t consider it as much of a no-no as the other “self” sins. But, I’m telling you, with God self-sufficiency is a big deal.

In fact, Jesus reproved the Laodiceans about their self-sufficiency in no uncertain terms. He said, “because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16). The Laodiceans were three-dollar Christians. Their self-sufficiency blinded them to their great need for Jesus. They didn’t have many material needs—in fact the text says that they were loaded—so they thought they didn’t need God. But in their self-sufficient attitude they had left Jesus standing outside the door of their hearts. They had enough of Him to get into heaven, but He didn’t have much of them in return!

But Jesus didn’t give up on the Laodiceans, just like He doesn’t give up on you and me. He wants to be much more than the divine “911” call of our lives—only hearing from us in moments of desperation and emergency. He wants us to abandon ourselves in our quest for intimacy with Him. He wants our souls to reach out for Him with passionate desire every day! I think the psalmist said it best when he wrote, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:2). That’s a far cry from being satisfied with a measly three dollars’ worth of Him.

Ever feel there should be something more to your life? It’s Jesus you’re looking for—and a lot more than three dollars’ worth! If you’re looking for transformation, rebirth, and enough of God to “explode your soul,” you will only find it in a self-sacrificing, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ—and that is priceless.


  • Do you have a three-dollar relationship with God? Pray and ask God to give you a sense of your need for him. Incorporate Acts 17:28 into your prayer.
  • Read Colossians 1:15-20. Do you think it’s possible to buy three dollars’ worth of God based on this passage? Why or why not?
  • True intimacy with God comes from accepting Christ as Savior. Have you done this? If not, read Romans 3:10-18, 23; 5:8; 6:23; and 10:9. Pray and ask Jesus to be your Savior.
  • The letters Christ wrote to the churches in the book of Revelation are about their ongoing sin. If Christ were to write you a letter about patterns of unconfessed sin in your life, what would the topic(s) be?