Friday, June 12

Revelation 2

Let's spend time rereading Revelation 2 again today. During the week I realized that we were jammin through the chapter and missing some very important things.

Since it is long .... let's get right to it.

Read: Revelation 2
To the church in Ephesus
1"To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
To the Church in Smyrna
8"To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:
These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. 9I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.
To the Church in Pergamum
12"To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives. 14Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 17He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.
To the Church in Thyatira
18"To the angel of the church in Thyatira write:
These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. 20Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. 24Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan's so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): 25Only hold on to what you have until I come. 26To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— 27'He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery'— just as I have received authority from my Father. 28I will also give him the morning star. 29He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Each church's letter is broken up the same way.

1. A letter is addressed to the "angel" of the church. This might suggest that churches have angels that watch over them. However the word "angel" can also mean "messenger" and might simply be a teacher in the church. The true identity of the "angel" is unknown.

2. A description of Jesus - taken from chapter 1. Each description taken deliberately for that particular church's issues (v. 1, 8, 12, 18).

3. An "I know" section. After the description of Jesus, he identifies that he "knows" the situation of each church (v. 2, 9, 13, 19).

4. A challenge and call to action (v. 4-5, 10, 14-15, 20-25). Most are challenged for missing something important (love for Jesus, holding on to the truth, ignoring sexual sin). Only the church at Smyrna was not challenged for missing anything.

5. A call to listen to the Holy Spirit (v. 7, 11, 17, 26). This is only for the one that CAN hear. There is an impression given that some folks are not able to hear when the Spirit speaks.

6. A promise to the one who overcomes.

If you labored through the think section then you will benefit now. Here is what we learn in application:

1. God speaks to the church and we need to make sure we are listening!

2. Our Jesus is an awesome God to be loved and feared!

3. Jesus knows what we are doing right now, he knows our situations. He knows where we are strong and where we need help. He is calling us to respond to him in trust, repentance and love.

4. There are awesome things waiting for those of us who persevere.

So, are you listening to the Lord? God still speaks through the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit and others.

Do you have a high view of Jesus? He is more than a buddy, he is the holy God.

What is God calling you to do right now? Is he calling you to step up to something big? Is there an area that is out of step with God's call on your life?

DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.

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