Weekly Devotional 1-16-23 / The Church Must Take a Stand
Coming to the last book of the Bible (the Book of Revelation) we read from the first chapter that Lord Jesus commissioned the Apostle John to write to seven churches of Asia Minor about what would be revealed to him concerning the last seven years of this present dispensation. Even though this letter was addressed to seven named churches its message was and is applicable to the entire church. Because the church is His messenger to the world Jesus wanted it to be undefiled. To be undefiled the church needed to address several issues that were defiling it. Many of its parishioners had lost their love for Him, some were allowing false teachers a voice, others were sexually immoral, and others had become lukewarm toward Him not taking a stand against things that dishonored Him. They had become passive in their attitudes and practices.
As we read down through these letters, we should recognize the things noted were not acceptable to Him, in fact He warns that He would/will move against all those practices, and they who practice them. To some He warned that He would remove their testimony. He warned some that He would openly rebuke them by the word of His mouth. He warned some that if they did not repent, He would remove them physically by death. He warned some that He would move against them swiftly in some judgment or another. And to others He warned that He would vomit them out of His mouth, remove His blessings from them. In contrast, those who remained/remain faithful, He promised to give the crown of life; He would reward them with a white stone (A name affirming their righteous conduct); and He would keep them from going through the tribulation.
I am not sure where you come down on this, but I would rather hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”
Of course, to be a good and faithful servant we need to be connected to Jesus by being responsive to the Holy Spirit who indwells us. Consider Jesus’ words to the apostles just a few days before His arrest and crucifixion. 1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that You have made it possible for your church to live morally and righteously, and that, through you. We need not struggle alone.
Stevelampman.com /Transforming Power, the Work of God on Behalf of Man