Reposted from Rev. Stout:
(29 verses, 4:15 to read)
What I am about to READ
- Jesus speaks to the churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum & Thyatira.
MARK & LEARN & MEDITATE
- Nearly every letter to the churches follows a pattern, 1.) Jesus gives Himself a title for the church, 2.) Jesus encourages the church to continue in the good they are doing, 3.) Jesus calls the congregation to repentance when they have not been faithful or have been seduced to false teaching or unholy living, 4.) Jesus gives a promise to those who hear that call to repentance and preaches for them to “hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Find this pattern in all seven letters. Notice when the pattern (especially # 2) is broken.
- A few thoughts on each leter:
- Ephesus – Jesus describes Himself as the One who “walks among the seven golden lampstands.” That is, He is among His Church (see 1:20). This is a tremendous comfort when we believe the Church is failing or we think that persecution is too much for the Church to handle. The Church is called to endure patiently while confessing the One who walks among her, protects her, loves her, and holds her future in His hands.
- Smyrna – Notice the comparison of earthly wealth with spiritual poverty and vice versa. We are rich indeed because we belong to the One who created and redeemed all things. This letter also gives us another title for eternal death – second death. It is from this death that we are protected from by the One who died to reconcile us to God.
- Pergamum – this letter allows us to meditate on Jesus and His Word. We are either protected by the two edged sword that comes from Jesus’ mouth or we will be warred against by that same Word. Hold fast to His Word and deny the teachings that oppose and contradict it.
- Thyatira – This letter gives us an example of God giving the sinner up to their passions (Romans 1:24-32). A prophetess was leading many to false teaching and sexual immorality. Because she refused to repent, God will put her on the sick bed – the bed being the very location of her great immorality. We are called to worship the Creator and give thanks for His gifts, rather than worship and abuse the gifts. This letter also gives us comfort to know that God withholds pressure, persecution, and temptation from His saints – ” I do not lay on you any other burden (24).
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: (https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/
Pastor Christopher Stout