What I Read Today;
Revelation 1-3; Acts 22; Jeremiah 33; Psalm 111; 1 Samuel 7
In Revelation, Jesus speaks of 7 churches. As he speaks, he says something specific about each one of the churches. How could what he says apply to you and me today?
Ephesus – You have abandoned your first love.
Remember when you first came to Christ? How you couldn’t get enough of his word. Have you begun to maybe distance yourself somewhat? Is your prayer time harder to come by? Jesus is reminding us to do everything we can to remain in love with him.
Smyrna – Do not fear what you are about to suffer.
Fear is all around us today. We fear job loss, disease, and death. Fear keeps us from moving forward with our relationship with Jesus. We fear the idea that we might have to give things up. We fear that Jesus isn’t faithful. We fear what others might think of us. Jesus reminds us that we don’t have to fear the world because he has overcome the world.
Pergamum – You hold to the teachings of Balaam and the Nicolaitans.
Balaam was the Priest who wouldn’t condemn Israel, so he led them into sexual immorality. Our society has headed down the path of easy sex. It’s caused problems within the church. Numerous church leaders have been brought down due to inappropriate relationships and outright sexual assault and harassment. Members of the church who have known about this have remained silent. Jesus is telling us it is never appropriate to tolerate sexually immoral leaders.
Thyatira – You tolerate Jezebel.
Jezebel was an evil queen of Israel. She openly mocked God. Yet the church tolerated her. Priests refused to condemn her. Only Elijah, and a few others, stood against her and her husband, King Ahab. The church is not supposed to conform to the world. It is supposed to speak out against the evil that is in the world. Jesus is warning us to not get to cozy with the world.
Sardis – You have a name for being alive, but you are dead.
This church looked like it was thriving. But something was missing. The cross was missing. Their message was a mushy one. There was no substance in the message they gave. It was about what God could do for them. The word of God and the Cross were missing. The cross asks every one of us to give up the world. Jesus is telling us that he is not a self-help guru. Jesus is the savior from sin. It cost him dearly.
Philadelphia – Remain faithful.
This church was in the midst of a struggle. They were being attacked. They were clinging to the Word of God and Jesus. Jesus reminds us that in the middle of the struggles that clinging to Jesus is enough to get us through each day.
Laodicea – You are neither cold or hot.
This church was lukewarm. The word had some meaning, but it didn’t really affect people’s lives. Jesus is telling them to turn up the heat. Jesus is reminding us that he’s not looking for a surface relationship. Jesus looking for a deep and meaningful relationship. He is telling us that he desires our full devotion.
Isn’t it amazing when you look inside the Scripture how God’s word still applies to our daily lives?