Daily Devotion for January 17, 2017

'Christ's Letter to the Churches'

Revelation 2:12b, 18, 29 NLT
This is the message from the One with the sharp two-edged sword...This is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like flames of fire, whose feet are like polished bronze...
Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying to the churches.

I read through Revelation 1-3 this morning, which is a portion of Scripture where Jesus gives a message to His seven churches...and to us! Our Lord's words in these chapters can be divided into five different categories...

What Jesus knows...
“I know all the things you do.” (Revelation 2:2)
“I know about your suffering and your poverty—but You are rich” (in Christ!)! (2:9)
“I know the blasphemy of those opposing you.” (2:9)
“I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person.” (2:23)

What Jesus approves of...
“I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance.
I know you don’t tolerate evil people.
You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not.
You have patiently suffered for Me without quitting.” (Revelation 2:2-3)
“You have remained loyal to Me. You refused to deny Me...” (2:13)
“I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.” (2:19)
“You have little strength, yet you obeyed My word and did not deny Me.” (3:8)

What Jesus reprimands for...
“You don’t love Me or each other as you did at first!” (2:4)
“You tolerate some among you whose teaching...taught them to sin” (2:14)
“You have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake UP!” (3:1-2)
“I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of My God.” (3:2)
“You are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth... you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked!” (3:15-17)

What Jesus warns and instructs...
“Turn back to Me and do the works you did at first.” (2:4)
“Repent of your sin...” (2:16)
“Those who (sin) will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from...evil deeds.” (2:22)
“Hold tightly to what you have until I come.” (2:25)
“Strengthen what little remains.” (3:2)
“Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly... unexpected...” (3:3)
“Be diligent and turn from your indifference.” (3:19)

What Jesus promises as reward for His faithful church...
“To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.” (2:7)
“But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life.” (2:10)
“Whoever is victorious will not be harmed by the second death.” (2:11).
“To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And...one white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name...” (2:17)
“To all...who obey Me to the very end, to them I will give authority over all the nations.” (2:26)
“I will also give them the morning star!” (2:28)
“Some in the church... have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before My Father and His angels that they are Mine.” (3:4-5)
“Because you have obeyed My command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of My God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of My God, and they will be citizens in the city of My God—the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from My God. And I will also write on them My new name.” (3:10-12)
“If you hear My voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” (3:20)
“Those who are victorious will sit with Me on My throne, just as I was victorious and sat with My Father on His throne.” (3:21)

Lord Jesus, we Believers thank You for Your letter to the Churches! Specifically, thank You for reminding us that You see and KNOW! Moreover, thank You for revealing what You approve of (so we can constantly improve “in all these things!”)! Furthermore, thank You for reprimands, warnings, and instructions (so we can “repent,” turn “back,” wake “UP,” and “Be diligent and turn from (our) indifference!”)! And last of all, we thank You for revealing the future reward (may it encourage us to stand fast in Your righteousness, to “hold tightly” to You, to work “hard,” to obey Your “Word,” and to always remain “faithful!”)!


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