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nChrist
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« Reply #255 on: December 14, 2006, 03:36:31 AM »

December 7

I Am

Rev_1:10-20

There is a mythology about angels that holds them to be cute, fluffy and rather scatter brained in appearance.  This does not hold well with the Bible's account of same—where they usually begin their statements with, "Fear not."

How much more, then, does this blazing apparition strike terror in the Apostle John.  Not only is there the appearance of this one;  there is also the fear of seeing the Living God.  At a moment like that one tends to look at one's sins, and not with any pleasure of remembrance.  But our Lord puts John's fears to rest by his commanding power.

The Living One

Contrary to what you might expect, the word used here does not imply a spiritual life—but a biological one.  It's the Greek word used as the root of our word, zoo.  The point is simple:  He lives, in the biological sense, just as we do—and much more.

He was dead—not some ghostly retreat from this world, or some swoon, but stone, cold dead and in the tomb.

But now he lives, and death has no further power over him.  He therefore lives forever.

More than that, he has power over death and hell;  he holds the keys, the symbols of authority.  This is just as we might present the key to the city to a visiting dignitary, but here, so much more.

Write

All this is preliminary to the command of Christ:  write.  He is to write what he has seen—to record faithfully the visions being given to him.  Let  others puzzle out their meanings, John;  you record them faithfully.  But I will tell you this much:

Some, at least, are words concerning what is now occurring.  They describe the present conditions of the churches.

Others are words of what is yet to come.

Many are the theories, strong the arguments concerning what these words mean.  To some it seems hopeless to try for an interpretation.  But among all the words there comes the clear message of just who has complete control over heaven and hell, life and death.  It is our Lord Jesus Christ;  to him we must listen.

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« Reply #256 on: December 14, 2006, 03:37:59 AM »

December 8

Ephesus:  Good News

Rev_2:1-3

There is a stylized structure to all the writings to the seven churches.  It begins with a description of Christ.  Generally, there is good news and then bad news—but not always.

Seven and seven

We are told earlier that the seven stars are the angels (probably guardian angels) of the seven churches.  The seven lampstands are the churches themselves.  It is typical of the imagery;  lampstands are earthly things;  stars are heavenly things.  So is it not fairly obvious that our Lord—who is Lord of All—is equally Lord of things on earth (churches, lampstands) and things in heaven (angels, stars)?  He walks among them, equally at home in both realms.  Thus it is that he can be counselor to those of us on earth, and advocate before the Father in heaven.

Good News

He commends the church of Ephesus for these things:

Their good deeds.  Faith without works is dead, and theirs was a very lively faith indeed.

Hard work.   We sometimes forget that this is a virtue.

Perseverance.  How often we see someone quit just at the moment when things begin to turn around!

But this is not all.  He commends them for their attitude.

They cannot tolerate wicked men in the church.  How different from our day, in which every form of sexual immorality is seen as "an expression of God's love."  "Tolerance" is the mantra chanted to drive out righteousness.  These people were intolerant, and our Lord commended them for it.

They tested those who claimed to be Apostles.  Not content with hearing smooth speeches and glossy words, they measured these men by the Scripture—as should we.

They endured hardship, and did not grow weary.  Persecution is the inevitable lot of the Christian;  some mild; some strong.  But it will continue until our Lord returns.  Therefore we must decide what to do about it.  They decided to keep persisting in good deeds, not wearying because of the hardship but growing stronger.  Your attitude is a decision, not something the world forces on you—right?

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« Reply #257 on: December 14, 2006, 03:39:37 AM »

December 10

Ephesus:  Let Him Hear

Rev_2:7

The statement is a model of compactness and impact.  It carries with it a punch line from the earliest moments in Scripture.

He who

The implication is clear:  if you're willing to listen, you will understand.  This—despite its reputation—is not wreathed in smoke and mirrors;  this statement is plain.

Spirit says

This is not John's message, but the Spirit's.  The Spirit is to convict the world of sin, and judgment to come, but this message brings hope of escape from the consequences of sin.

To the churches

The noun is plural;  it is addressed to us as well as to the Ephesians.  The message applies for all the church.  Is this surprising, since the Spirit is one source of our unity—One Spirit?

Overcomes

The rewards come to the one who overcomes the world, as Christ has overcome the world.

The tree of life

Perhaps it seems strange to talk of this.  It is mentioned in the Genesis account of Adam and Eve, and then seldom heard of.  You will recall that an angel was posted to keep Adam and Eve from eating of it—for it gives eternal life.  If they had been allowed to eat of it, sin would have been made eternal, and God can have no contact with sin.  Here we learn that this tree—whatever it is, we can but speculate—is in Paradise with God.

If the literal understanding of this is beyond us, the symbolic understanding is not.  It is very simple:  Adam and Eve were kept from this tree because they were sinners.  Those who overcome will be permitted this tree—which means they are no longer accounted as sinners.  How could that be?  Only through the sacrifice on the Cross.  Only because atonement has been made for our sins by Jesus Christ.

But there is a restriction:  those who overcome.  In this world we will have trouble, but take heart:  He has overcome the world.  By his grace, through living faith, so shall we.

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« Reply #258 on: December 14, 2006, 03:41:16 AM »

December 11

Smyrna:  I Know Your Poverty

Rev_2:8-10

The strangest of things happen in this world.

My friend was the treasurer of a large Russian Orthodox church.  One day he called me over and told me this story.  It seemed that for many years he had been accustomed to discovering a gold coin in the offering each week.  The coin dated from the time Russia was ruled by the Czars.  He would then take the coins to a coin dealer and sell them for the church.  No one knew who was putting this coin in the offering until one of the priests called him to come down to the church.  It seemed that one of the elderly members of the church had died.  The priest, knowing that the old gentleman had promised to leave his belongings to the church, asked the treasurer to take charge of matters.

The old man lived in a shabby apartment.  His only income, it appeared, was Social Security.  Imagine the shock when my friend discovered, tidily kept under the bed, bags and bags of Russian gold coins!   Evidently he thought that these coins were of no value, since the Czars no longer ruled.

Sometimes we see a passage like this and think, "Hmm..afflictions plus poverty equals riches.  That makes no sense."  We're like the old man, not realizing what we have.  These afflictions and poverty for Christ are riches indeed.

So our Lord encourages us to hold on to our riches!  James tells us that the crown of life is given to those who persevere under trial.  Here our Lord says the trials may include imprisonment or death.

Perseverance

Many of us are capable of great things—once.  I know from experience that even the poorest of players can hit a home run once.  Perseverance, however, is the life of continuing in Christ, from the moment of salvation through the moment of death.  That's the real test.

Under trial

The measure of a baseball manager is not what he can do with the All-Star team;  it is what he can do with a mediocre team.  The measure of a Christian is taken under trial.  When the rest of the world sneers at you for being so stupid as to be a Christian, when you are shunned and want to "fit in," there is a test.  It can get worse—Smyrna knows.

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« Reply #259 on: December 14, 2006, 03:43:14 AM »

December 13

Pergamum:  Good News

Rev_2:12-13

A little history lesson might make this clearer.  Pergamum, the church referenced here, was also the city in which could be found the chief temple of the god Aesculapius.    You are familiar, somewhat, with his image today.  If you've ever seen the entwined serpents on a doctor's emblem, this is a holdover from this Greek god.  Aesculapius was the god of healing, and was represented by the entwined serpents.  (An interesting parallel may be drawn with Moses' bronze snake in the wilderness.)  The cult of this god was one of the most fanatic of the time.

Satan, often represented in the Bible as a serpent, is seen here.  From this short passage we can learn something about him:

First, he is a deceiver.  You might think the God of healing would never prompt his followers to hound someone to death—but it happened in Pergamum.  Satan portrays himself as kind and gentle and ever so wise.  "Evil is enlightening," he says, just as he said to Eve.  "God will forgive no matter what;  there is no need of repentance."  The serpent is an apt representation of Satan—smooth and low.

Next, he persecutes the church.  The method and the argument change with the times, but the persecution is a constant them.  Today it is "tolerance" - meaning, of course, unless you renounce the faith you must be a bigot, and therefore subject to extermination (in a politically correct way, of course.)

His motivation, and his chief sin, is pride.  It is no accident that Satan is described as having his throne—for that throne is set up in rivalry to God.  He is the ultimate rebel;  no wonder our teenagers are taught today that rebellion is good.

Antipas

What is a Christian to do about this?  Antipas paid with his life, evidently.  Some see in this name, which means "against all," a symbolic person.  In some interpretations this period is associated with the time of one Athanasius, who defended the Trinity so well.  He was told, "Athanasius, all the world is against you."  He replied, "Then say that Athanasius is against all the world."  Exiled for his faith by the Arians, his firm faith and dogged persistence eventually turned the church back to the truth.

Athanasius contra mundum.  Even if all the world is against us, we must remain true to the One who loves us.

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« Reply #260 on: December 14, 2006, 03:45:07 AM »

December 14

Pergamum:  Bad News

Rev_2:14-16

For the last 1500 years Christians have been immune to the temptation to eat food sacrificed to idols—for the very good reason that we simply don't encounter that situation any more.  The Gospel has eliminated them from Western civilization.  So we need to see just what accusations are being brought here, so that we do not fall into the same trouble:

We know from Paul's letters that eating food sacrificed to idols caused several problems for the church.  First, it weakened the faith of some of the newer Christians by confusing them—were those idols really gods after all?  More than that, it was a way of showing tacit approval of idols—of "winking" at the practice.  How often today do we "wink" at evil, just letting it go by?

We have also the accusation of sexual immorality.  It is a sad fact that the church today has an ample supply of those who commit adultery.  Worse, there is little if any sense that the church disapproves;  it's just "an error in judgment."  At least we retain some shred of doubt here;  divorce is now so common among Christians that many are shocked to discover that Christ himself condemns it!

We no longer remember the Nicolaitans—but they're still with us.  They proclaimed a teaching that you could do anything in the body, no matter how immoral—as long as you "kept your spirit pure."  Saturday night a wild time; Sunday morning a pious, hung-over face.  It is an organized form of hypocrisy.

The word of the Lord is clear.  Jesus tells them to repent—and the message is opportune for us, too—or else he will send against them (or us) the sword of his mouth.  What is this sword?  Isaiah describes himself as such;  so it could mean those godly men who put forth the Gospel in pure and powerful terms.  It is described as sharp, and double edged.  From that many conclude that this is a description of the Scripture itself—that God will send forth those who will open the Bible to the minds of those who are perishing.

Whichever (or both) it might be, these souls needed it.  So do we.  We forget that God will strike down the church that does not repent and turn to him.

Think how many strong churches have withered when they forgot his Word!  Listen to the words of His warning;  they are meant for us, too.

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« Reply #261 on: December 16, 2006, 08:25:14 AM »

December 15

Pergamum:  Let Him Hear

Rev_2:17

It is disappointing, really.  For those who have read mysteries for enjoyment, to learn how they are constructed seems almost, well, pedestrian.  It is so mechanical.  The author knows perfectly well who did it, and plants little seeds along the way (along with a goodly crop of weeds).

So this passage appears to us.  Surely someday it will be clear, but right now, just what is this hidden manna?  The new name?

The hidden manna

Manna, of course, is what fed the Israelites from heaven for 40 years.  So whatever this is, we can consider it food (at least spiritually) and from heaven.  But it is hidden.  The only manna ever "hidden" was that which Moses had placed in the Ark of the Covenant.  Only the High Priest would have seen that manna. Is it too much of a stretch to conclude that this represents our new relationship as priests to God?

One thing is certain:  it stands out in contrast to the food for which they were condemned—meat sacrificed to idols.

The white stone

White, of course, is the color of purity.  It makes an immediate contrast with the sexual immorality which troubled them so greatly.  But can we not also see in it the Urim of the Old Testament High Priest?  Urim, which means "light", gave the decision of God to the High Priest.  He wore this stone on his breastplate.

The new name

This is a concept which will recur in Revelation.  Evidently at the time of his return we will learn something new about our Lord—something about a new name.  To know someone's pet name is a sign of close personal relationship;  it is likely that when he returns that relationship will be much closer.

Lessons for us

The mark of the victor is this:  he keeps himself from the things of this world, and rather turns in private prayer to God.  He abstains from sexual immorality, keeping himself pure.  He cherishes his close, personal relationship with the
Lord Jesus.

That's the target:  no worldliness, no immorality, only the relationship with Jesus.  How's your aim?

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« Reply #262 on: December 16, 2006, 08:26:39 AM »

December 16

Thyatira:  Good News

Rev_2:18-19

It is possible in this passage to see the root of the matter; the internals and the externals.

Root

First, note the titles of Christ given here.  The first of them, the root of the matter, is "Son of God."  He is of the same essence as God.  God is love, and it is for love that Christ commends them.

This is the root of the matter.  All else can be conquered by this, if we will but faithfully follow through.

Internals

Our Lord is said to have "eyes like blazing fire."  Have you ever had anyone look at you like that?  It is as if they could see down to the bottom of your soul, and that is precisely the way Christ is looking at this church.  What does he see inside them?

He sees faith.  Without faith it is impossible to please God.  With faith all things are possible.  So of the internals, it is the first essential.

He sees perseverance.  They do not have faith just for a little while, but for the long haul.  So often a little faith is strengthened into much by a lot of perseverance.

The externals

If the root does not give growth to the internals, the externals will fail to blossom.  It is the feet of "burnished bronze" - the feet of one who has been working in the fields—that walk forth and do good deeds.  We see here their deeds, in particular their service.  The word is sometimes translated "ministry" - as in those who care for others.  Faith without deeds is dead.

Now more than at first

There is a grand lesson for us in these people.  They are those who do more now than when they first believed.  How many of us moan for the days of our first love?  These true lovers of Jesus went from the flames of first love to the searing coals of a blacksmith's fire, forging faith into good works.

What a lesson!  Do not be discouraged, do not look back for emotional fire, look forward to deep love and faith.  Then grow in that faith and do the works of Him who sent you.

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« Reply #263 on: December 17, 2006, 01:57:20 PM »

December 17

Jezebel

Rev_2:20-23

If you want to understand this passage, two thoughts are key:

A woman is often used to represent the church—or a faction of it—especially a false church.

The original Jezebel is enough of a wicked person to give you the right idea as to what he's talking about.

Jezebel—First Edition

The original Jezebel was the foreign wife of the weak-willed King of Israel, Ahab.  She has quite a track record:

To start with, theft, false testimony, framing an innocent man and murder were just means to an end to her.  She thought nothing of them.

She was also the original "painted woman."  It seems she had seduction down to an art.

Not too surprising: she was a priestess of Astarte—a sexual goddess—and coupled her worship with much of the practice which we now see as "New Age" (though it is over three thousand years old).

Jezebel—Second Edition

Here we see her unfaithfulness—teaching the Christians to eat food sacrificed to idols (a form of worldliness) and also sexual immorality.  Sound familiar?

God is patient with her—notice that she is given time to repent.  She—and all those who worship with her.

But if they do not, she will suffer greatly, and her children will die.

We can interpret this simply.  This Jezebel is any church body which adopts the world's ways and condones sexual immorality.  Time will be given for repentance — God is merciful — but if it does not come, that church body will suffer greatly.  Its children—its congregations—will die.

Does this sound familiar?  How many denominations which once stood strong for the faith as revealed to the Apostles now are withering—because they condone sexual immorality, and work in the world's ways.  This is Christ's church.  Look around and see;  all will know it.  He will not allow Jezebel her way in His church.

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« Reply #264 on: December 18, 2006, 11:43:42 AM »

December 18

Thyatira:  Let Him Hear
Rev_2:24-29

To understand the meaning of this passage to all of us, you must read the last verse.  This warning is addressed to all the churches, not just this one.  Why is this?  Because the problems of this church will happen in every age.  There will always be some grave sounding leader telling us that sexual purity is old fashioned and we need pay no attention to the old things of the Bible.  In some congregations this will become the dominant view.  What's a Christian to do then?

Only hold on

Christ places no other burden on a Christian in such circumstances than this:  hold on.  He knows that you may not be eloquent;  your skills in debate may be hopelessly below those of the smooth talking deceivers.  But you can hold on to what God has given you.  And you can hold on until the end—until you die, or until he comes again.  Such Christians will be greatly rewarded.

To him ...

To him who overcomes—and how do we overcome except through him, in whom we are more than conquerors?

To him who does my will to the end—again, the one who carries the faith with him to the grave,

To these Christ promises these things:

Authority

Since the prophecy of Daniel it has been known that the saints will reign with the Holy One upon his return.  We are said to be a royal priesthood, kings, and we shall reign with Him.

The morning star

The morning star is Christ himself.  Thomas Aquinas, the great Christian philosopher, was at prayer.  His friend heard God speak:  "You have written well of me, Master Thomas.  What would you have as your reward?"  The great philosopher replied, "Only yourself, Lord, only yourself."  Aquinas' Summa Theologica is the greatest work of Christian philosophy ever written, but after that prayer Aquinas described it as "straw."  He had something far greater than the finest of man's works—he had the Lord Jesus himself, the bright morning star.

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« Reply #265 on: December 19, 2006, 09:10:32 AM »

December 19

Sardis:  A Wake Up Call

Rev_3:1-3

Perhaps you know a church like this.  I do.  It was many years ago, but the memory cannot be erased.

I was a young man in a new city.  New to the church, I was awed by the brilliance of the preacher—his sermons were magnificent.  How stunning to overhear an elderly parishioner say, "Isn't it a shame he's lost his touch?"  Evidently he was a magnificent preacher.  Evidently they were sermon samplers—not sermon followers.

For the church was practically dead.  The preaching was eloquent, but not to the point.  Consider the symptoms:

The preaching was great—but never on a subject which might possibly offend the hearers.

There were lots of social activities—but very few spiritual activities.

Another telltale sign:  there was money associated with everything, for giving was very poor.

But it is my pleasure to tell you that the church in question followed the advice of our Lord.  As time went by, more and more Christians became dissatisfied.

First there came the "wake up call."  It was in the form of a congregational meeting.  One of the members was a lawyer, and I have never heard so masterly an indictment.  From this sprang repentance.

Next, they moved to strengthen what was still alive.  A new minister was called;  old forms were overthrown and discarded.  But those things which God had continued to bless—such as their charity towards some of the poorer churches—were strengthened and blossomed for Christ.

They began to complete the work God had given them.  It is not enough to begin;  all through this book we see the thought that we must carry on our tasks to completion for the Lord.

It happens that I do not know the end of the story.  Changes in my life took me away from that congregation.  So I cannot tell you if their awakening bore fruit for the Lord or not.  But one thing I can tell you:  our Lord said he would come like a thief in the night.  He comes without warning, and for that reason alone we are to be ready.  So he says to the nearly dead what he says to the vibrant living:  watch!

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« Reply #266 on: December 20, 2006, 09:43:11 AM »

December 20

Sardis: Let Him Hear
Rev_3:4-6

Elijah was not a confident man.  He went to the Lord in prayer, proclaiming himself to be alone in Israel, the last man of God.  God's answer was that he had preserved for himself a remnant of seven thousand loyal souls.  It was not many.  The remnant is always a small proportion of the whole.

But God always preserves that remnant.  Throughout the times of Israel, he kept that remnant—by his zeal, the Scripture tells us—so that they could return to the land he had promised.

Here we see such a few, such a remnant.  The church is practically dead, but there are a few left who cling to the old faith.  If you are one of these, take heart!  No doubt things are very discouraging, and you think yourself one of the very few who really care for the things of the Lord.  Take heart;  the Lord will care for his remnant by his zeal.

The church of Sardis was like that, and we see churches to this day in such a condition.  But our Lord promises that those who overcome in such discouraging conditions will be richly rewarded:

They will walk with Him.  Have you ever wanted to walk side by side with Jesus?  Surely our fears and troubles could not stay with us on such a walk.

They will walk in white, the color of purity.  It is a sign that your sins are indeed forgiven.

Our Lord says that such are worthy.  This is not a matter of grace but of reward.  To be called "worthy" by the Lord of Lords is no small honor, all the more because it must be earned.

For these there comes a precious promise.  Their names are written in the book of life, never to be erased.  Indeed, Christ himself will personally acknowledge them—"this one is mine!" before God the Father and all his angels.

Elijah was a man depressed by the numbers around him.  He was not a cheery optimist, but he was faithful to the end.  No matter the numbers, no matter his depression, he turned to the Lord, not to his own fears.  The Lord understood his troubles.  Other prophets did mightier works;  other prophets wrote with great wisdom what we now call the Old Testament.  But it is this man who kept himself pure in a time of universal filth who was given an amazing reward:  he never died.  So too it will be said of the faithful of Sardis and her kin:  His name is always in the book of life.

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« Reply #267 on: December 21, 2006, 09:20:07 PM »

December 21

Philadelphia:  Open and Shut
Rev_3:7-9

You find the strangest things in the military.  As a soldier with no combat experience whatever, I was assigned to guard the post's most dangerous treasure: the ammunition dump.  The general was worried about hippies raiding the place, so he posted computer programmers as guards.

He needn't have worried.  The ammunition was quite secure—behind a 90 ton steel and concrete door.  That door was closed at night, and I seriously doubt the Berkeley radicals would have had the combination to the lock.  When I read this passage it brought to mind that door—a picture of the power of Christ.

He who is

Holy—the word means "separate."  Christ is totally separated from evil;  he is purely righteous.

True—as opposed to false, as in false gods.  This Jesus is the real thing.

Keeper of the Key of David—David the king, of course.  It means that Jesus alone determines who enters the kingdom of heaven.

He is the one who opens and shuts;  the ultimate authority on who gets in to the kingdom of heaven.  No one can commit him;  but all of us should convey him to all we know.

The church at Philadelphia

Of the churches in Revelation, only two—this one and Smyrna—receive nothing but commendation from our Lord.  This may seem surprising, as our Lord comments on how little strength they have.  We must remember that the power of God is made perfect in weakness—our weakness, to be specific.

How did they achieve this commendation?  They used what little strength they had, not being discouraged, and held on to the name of Christ.  They did not "get along and go along."  Instead, they clung to the name of Christ, and in that name found the power they needed.

For this, our Lord opens the door for them.  We may see this as the door to heaven;  we may see this as the door of evangelism; or any of a number of doors of opportunity.  The important thing is this:  when he opens that door, no one can shut it.  Pray, then, that he opens it for us in our time.

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« Reply #268 on: December 23, 2006, 02:46:37 AM »

December 22

Philadelphia:  Hold On
Rev_3:10-13

One of the consistent things about Jesus is that he never demands more of us than our strength can do.  If we have little strength—as the church in Philadelphia had—he calls on us to do with that little.  The question is not what is your strength, but what do you do with the strength you have.

To this end, Christ offers them encouragement:

They kept his command;  Christ will then keep them.  Christ is loyal to those who are loyal to him.

He encourages them to let no one take their crown—the reward of righteousness.
And—significantly—he will keep them from the "hour of trial."

There are several interpretations of that phrase, but one thing is clear:  Christ does not allow his church to be tested beyond her strength.

Results

So then, what are the results of this "hanging on?"

Permanence.  They will go out of the city no more, for they shall be with God forever.  They will become eternal as he is eternal.

Strength.  He likens them to a pillar, which in those days needed great strength to hold up stone roofs.

New name.  They will be given the new names:  the name of God;  the name of the city; the name of Christ.

What are these new names?  Many are sure of the answers;  it is to be regretted that all those who are sure are also those who are not in agreement.  But we can deduce some things.

First, "the name of my God" harks back to the name of God on the golden plate worn on the forehead of the High Priest.  These shall be priests of God.  Those who know the name of the new Jerusalem will be those who inhabit it.  The new name of Christ remains a mystery to us yet.  But surely the one who knows this will be indeed a friend of Christ, with him forever.

Does it seem that your strength is small, and the challenge large?  So it did to these;  Christ simply says "Hold on."  He will reward your faithfulness.  Your strength is his gift to you;  what you do with that strength, your gift to Him.

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Words Of Christ Devotions

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
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« Reply #269 on: December 23, 2006, 02:48:36 AM »

December 23

Laodicea:  Lukewarm
Rev_3:14-18

We acknowledge it as a principle:  the higher the authority, the greater the warning.

If your mother tells you she's worried about your fever, that's one thing.  If your doctor is worried about it, that's another.  Consider, then, the authority of this dreadful warning:

The "Amen" - harking back to the prophets, to whom God swore by himself—because there is no greater authority.

The faithful and true—the source of all truth and righteousness, never changing.
The ruler over all creation—indeed, the one in whom creation consists and has its very existence.

This awesome deity brings the charge:  you are lukewarm.

"Well, so I'm not so hot.  What's the problem?"  The visual picture is one of a stale cup of coffee.  You were expecting hot;  you got lukewarm and stale.  Without thinking, you spit it out.

Spiritually, the lukewarm are those who are comfortable.  They are not suffering for the cause of Christ.  Things financial are, on the whole, going well.  God is blessing me, and I'm not really troubled by my religion.  In fact, my religion is a nice, neat and pleasant experience, a tidy corner of my life.

Is that how it appears to you?  Then you are the lukewarm.  You see yourself as doing just fine;  he sees you as wretched and poor.  Think again of your doctor:  if he says that tiny pain is indeed serious, wouldn't you listen?  Then if the creator of all things says that your spiritual life—comfortable as it is—must be changed, should you not listen all the more?

What should you do about it?

First, go to him and ask to be refined.  Refining is done in the fire, and the refiner's fire leaves nothing lukewarm.  Ask him to take "lukewarm" from you, and bring his fire.

Next, go and do what he told you—white clothes symbolize righteous acts.
Finally—get your eyes fixed, your spiritual eyes.  Read his Word on a daily basis.  Pray with him regularly.  Worship him consistently.

If you say you see, and you do not, then your sin remains.  If you say, "open my eyes," he will mercifully guide you home.

____________________

Words Of Christ Devotions

Dist. Worldwide in the Great Freeware Bible Study package called
e-Sword by Rick Meyer: http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html
Full Featured - Outstanding - Completely FREE - No Strings Attached

(The goal of Rick Meyer is to distribute excellent Bible Study
Software to every country on earth in their own language FREE
of charge, and that goal gets closer by the day.)
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