Archive for March 21st, 2011

Revelation 2

Revelation 2 is written to the first of the seven churches.  In each case, there is some good news and some bad news.  God calls out the reality that “I know your works” – we don’t live in secret my friends.  God knows and is paying attention.  He is not too busy to notice or care about our life and what happens day by day.  To the church at Ephesus – He is pleased with their “patient endurance….cannot bear with those who are evil….tested those who call themselves apostles….found them to be false”.  The church is making sure there are not any false teachers in the midst.  But then God calls them out this way: “you have abandoned the love you had at first”.  Other versions read that they had abandoned their first love.  They had grown dim, fallen away from their pursuit of the Father, and were focused on themselves.  Does God still hold the same place in your life as He did when you became a Christ Follower?  Actually our love for Him should be growing and our relationship going deeper each day.  That wasn’t the case for the church in Ephesus, and we may fall into that camp as well.  The repair – “remember…..repent… the works you did at first”. 

This isn’t rocket science.  If we want to have a deepening relationship with anyone, and particularly God, we need to stop and spend some time remembering.  His love, His grace, His mercy, His power, His faithfulness and on the list goes.  Too often we allow the speed of life to push us away from God’s character.  Once we find our right place in relationship with God Himself, we need to repent.  We will fall short.  We have areas we have abandoned and fallen away.  God didn’t move – we did.  We need to repent – turn around and go the other way and run back to Him.  We need to make Him first place again in our life.  We need to put Him back on the throne.  And then we need to just do it – get to work walking with Him doing the works He has prepared for us.  We need to get on board His train and get involved in His ministry and get after it.  That is how we restore our first love.  We remember Him, we repent of our sin, and we walk with Him doing His work.

To the church at Smyrna He challenges them to “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life”.  They are warned that there will be some suffering.  They have already experienced some poverty and slander but more is on the way.  Life is not a cake walk.  It is a vital part of our preparation for eternity though.  It is how we display our faithfulness to God.  The church at Pergamum has an issue with allowing some to remain part who are not walking in God’s truth.  “Some there who hold the teaching of Balaam….of the Nicolaitans”.  There was tolerance of false teaching in the church.  In fact – it was being embraced.  God doesn’t have much room for falsehood.  He wants the church to put that teach out and to repent and get focused on His Word. 

And then to the church at Thyatira.  God again remembers “your love and faith and service and patient endurance”.  Good stuff but there was a problem as well – “sexual immorality and eating food sacrificed to idols”.  It seems this church was tolerating a woman named Jezebel who was teaching and seducing folks to disobedience.  One bad apple is a big problem.  God expects us to put aside those who lead us astray.  He does note that not all have fallen to her leadership.  And to those he says “hold fast what you have”.  We need to know God’s Truth and hang on to it.  It won’t change.  It is the same every day.  That map for living is one we can be sure will take us to God.  Are you walking according to His Word?  That is our path – our map for living!

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