Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Revelations in Revelation – Ephesus part 1

March 8, 2014 by  
Filed under Daily Manna, Monthly Articles

RR OSM

 

Revelations in Revelation – Ephesus part 1

Revelation 2:1
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.”

    The pronoun “him” in ‘The words of him who holds’ is Jesus. The seven stars are the ministers of the churches and the seven golden lampstands are the churches themselves. What’s so cool about this is that it’s not some “spooky” thing Jesus is talking about. He is saying that he is holding them in his Almighty, powerful, healing hand. When Jesus says ‘walks among…’, it’s just that, He is walking there with the churches. The always loving, ever empowering God of the Universe is walking down the halls, through the sanctuary, in the parking lot of all these churches…with everyone else. It’s crazy when we stop thinking the God in Revelation is a “hell fire and brimstone” God and remember he is the same yesterday, today, and forever…a truly loving God that holds us and walks with us.

Revelation 2:2-3
“I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.  I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.”

   The church in Ephesus was a hard working church. They didn’t just sit on their hands and wait for Jesus to return, they labored hard for the Gospel. They were doers of the Word, not just hearers only, and Jesus blessed them for that. Another great quality, that I believe we as Christians today seem to have grown comfortable with, is that they didn’t chase any rabbit that came down the trail. When Paul came to the church and poured his heart and soul into them for about three years, they took his words and his warnings to heart. They studied what Paul had said to them (through Jesus) and had no reservations about doing so. I wonder if Jesus would say the same about us? Would he tell us that we were patient, not eager to follow any “intriguing” concept that we came across, and remaining faithful and steadfast to Him? We’ll find in the next verse that the church in Ephesus wasn’t as “perfect” as you may think. However, we should be following the good example they set in patience, faithfulness, and endurance.

Revelation 2:4 
“But I have this against you, 

that you have abandoned the love you had at first.”

   Do you remember the first time you “fell in love”? That moment in your life is not what the scripture is saying here. Jesus is not talking about a physical type of love. He is referring to the life’s love. When you find that “first love” with that “perfect” guy/girl, it typically fades away when the actual “perfect” guy/girl comes along. But the love that Jesus is talking about here is deeper than that.When you accept Jesus as your savior and get saved, you have a hole in your heart and soul filled with something that only Jesus can fill. The reason only He can fill it is because He loved you first. (John 3:16John 14:21, John 14:23) That love is true love. That is what the church in Ephesus has lost. The church in Ephesus has done great things for the cause of Christ. We see that in how Jesus addressed them in the verse prior. However, when they (we) lose that “first love”, we become callus to the cause we are working for in the first place.In 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, Paul writes about what it’s like when we do good works without love. You will see that at the end of verse 3 he says, “it profits me nothing.” All we are doing is making noise when we do God’s work without love. This is what Jesus is saying that this seemingly amazing church is lacking. And without it, they (we), “are nothing.”Next time you serve, work, or even speak, do a self-check. Where is your love? A great song called Garden by Needtobreathe has this to offer, “Let words I speak profess my love.” What are your words, service, work professing?
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Church was never even a thought for Sean’s family growing up. His dad was an over-the-road truck driver that wasn’t home all the time and his mom worked long hours at factories. When he was about 16 years old, his parents divorced. Sean’s relationship with both of his parents could be considered “alright”, at best. After the divorce, he dove into the party scene and settled there for several years.

Sean started going to a community college in Springfield, MO where he met a girl that would soon get him to go to church with her. Their relationship started to go downhill, but Sean’s relationship with people at her church grew. The two broke up and she decided to start attending a different church. Despite the fact that Sean had never been a “church kid”, he stayed. The people that he had become friends with, and the sense of belonging that he felt there led to him giving his life to the Lord on August 6, 2006. Sean had never been the type of person to be in front of a crowd but that night, as he sat in the back of the church, there was no hesitation. The pastor gave the typical alter call and before he could finish, Sean was on my way to the front. He doesn’t remember the exact words that he “repeated”, but he does know that he walked back to his seat a different person because of the love of God.

Since that night, Sean’s life has not been without struggles. As a matter of fact, you could say that there were more because he realized that some of the things that he saw as “not that bad” were causing his relationship with God suffer. After about six months of trying his hardest to “succeed” as a Christian, he found myself always failing and that’s when Sean finally began to understand what grace was. He didn’t have to try to earn God’s love because it had already been given to him. Free of charge to him (and you) through Jesus.

Sean says his life has never been better because of what Jesus did for him. The relationship with his parents, his marriage, job, and simply every day he wakes up is so much better. Before, Sean says he never had a plan…now he understands that he was already a part of one. God’s.

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