by Philip Layton
The revelation given to John as a prophecy for us to take to heart
- As you read through the messages to these churches, do you recognise their description as a church you belong to, or know of, or a description of yourself.
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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
The Church in Ephesus persevered for Christ. Yet, in working for him, they had lost their ‘first love’ – their deep passion for Jesus. Through John’s vision, the people in Ephesus are told to repent – otherwise the lampstand of God’s protection and strength would be removed from them.
Do we ever get our priorities mixed up? Do we sometimes work so hard in serving Jesus that we somehow lose our first love for him? Before reading any further, let’s declare our love for Jesus: ‘Jesus, we love you so much! May our love for you always come first!’
The Church in Smyrna endured great affliction and poverty. Yet they were told they were rich in so many areas of their lives. Suffering would come, but they were to remain faithful – even unto death. We, too, are rich – in so many ways. Blessed beyond measure. May we remain faithful to Christ, no matter what comes our way.
The Church in Pergamum remained true to Christ, never renouncing her faith – even during persecution. Yet there were things going on in the church which were both false and immoral. e people needed to rid themselves of all of this; to come clean before God. We, too, must pledge our allegiance to the Lord. Never letting things that are not right creep into church life – or even our own lives. This must begin with each of us leading lives that are pure and holy. Will we strive, daily, to do this?
The Church in Thyatira was full of love: people serving God. Yet there was also certain immorality – ‘deep secrets’ (v 24). Are there any deep secrets in our lives? Things that need to be confessed before God today? If so, let us do this right now. Then we can start afresh, with lives that are spotless before our righteous God.
‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ (v 29).
Arch of Titus photo: Steerpike (Creative Commons)