Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Return to Your First Love!

Rev 2:1  Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2  I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3  And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 6  But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

God knows what is going on in His churches. He commends the things we are doing right. In the case of the Ephesian church, He was pleased with their work, with their longsuffering under the onslaught of persecution, with their impatience with evil doers and for standing for the truth.

But along with the Lord's commendations, He is sure to add His condemnation. That church was lacking in its love and passion for the Lord Himself. They were so caught up in the work, their personal relationship with Him waned. Sometimes, servants get so involved in their service, they lose sight of the one they are serving!

He cautioned them to recall where they once had been, realize their backslidden state and get things turned around or they would cease to be a heaven-sanctioned church.

If a church started by the Apostle Paul himself would receive such commendation and condemnation, why do we 21st century Christians think we can just play church and act so nonchalant about the Great Commission and stray so far from vital devotional lives and think God's stamp of approval remains upon our churches?

I mean, really, surely there are a few good things our Bible preaching churches are doing, Praise the Lord! But we must be so careful to maintain our close relationship to Jesus, branches drawing from the Vine our necessary spiritual vitality.

We may cross our theological "I's" and dot our ecclesiastical "T's" just so, but are we drawing close to the Savior's precious bleeding side each and every moment?

Let's remember what it is to live and move and have our being in Him and get back to our first love.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

We Shall See Jesus!

Rev 1:12  And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14  His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16  And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Those who claim to have died, had an out of body experience, went to heaven and the returned to this life share that they all saw a great light. Some of these people I have a great respect for and know that they are as reliable as can be. I do not doubt their experiences.

Could it be that the brilliance they all relate is the glory of the Lord Jesus Himself? You will recall that when Moses met with the Lord on Sinai, he only looked at His backside and yet Moses glowed for days. So much so that he had to wear a veil so that others could bear to look at him.

Peter, James and John testified of the transfiguration of the Lord and described His face shining as the sun and His raiment was white as the light. Think about it, John got to see the Lord's heavenly glory twice before he actually died.

Paul tried a description, but gave up and just said, "It is against the law for me to even try to tell you."

So, what will it be when we see Him? It will be glory! "The half has not been fancied this side the golden shore, oh, there He'll be still sweeter than He ever was before!" The Scripture tells us:
For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. Isa 64:4

And that verse's New Testament counterpart:
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1Cor 2:9 

I marvel to think that one of these days, whether through the valley of the shadow of death, or by the rapture of believers, I will have taken my last look upon the things of this earth and my next gaze will be upon His glorious face.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jesus is Walking in the Midst of the Churches

Rev 1:12  And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

Rev 1:16  And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Rev 1:20  The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Jesus is still walking amongst His bride, the local church. His pastors/messengers are still in His hand. God-loving churches continue to bear the members who are the lights of the world.

God’s work in the world is in and through the local church. To attempt to do God's work apart from His plan is a waste of time and resources.

Since Christ is present among His churches, shouldn't we also make sure to be present there? Should we not work from its base, and funnel our funds through its ministries? There is no internet church, no TV pastor, no para-church organization that has the stamp of God's approval as does the church.

Let's put our efforts where God makes his presence, in the local body.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Revelation Team

Rev 1:1  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

This verse indicates all the players of the Revelation team. They are:
Jesus Christ,
God the Father,
His servants,
His angel and
John the Beloved.

Put another way:
Writer and Recorder.


The Sent One,
the Sending One,
the Shown ones,
the Shining one,
the Serving one.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Walking on the Devil's Head

Rom 16:20  And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Yea Paul! Thanks for the reminder that hearkens way back to the beginning when God promised the devil, And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Gen 3:15

Our verse teaches that we will gain the ultimate victory over the enemy and he will be subdued.

Christ's death on Calvary and His glorious resurrection 3 days later ensure that the devil is the loser! In the end, we get to walk with Jesus on Satan's head. Won't that be satisfying?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Say Hey to Red!

Rom 16:13  Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.

You know who Rufus was, don't you? He was most likely the son of Simon the Cyrenian, the man compelled to carry Jesus' cross.  Mark 15:21.

Talk about heritage! Add to that that this man's mother was so dear to Paul that he called her his mom also.

Rufus means red, so I am thinking he was red-headed. That puts him in company with David and Esau. Now, that is no small consideration, seeing how history paints his daddy as a black man.

Never-the-less, Rufus was very special in his own right. Though he had a great heritage, he himself was chosen in the Lord. Henry says he was one of a thousand for integrity and holiness. Jamison, Faucett and Brown say that he is the choice or precious one in the Lord.

Imagine that this man is singled out for special recognition by the Apostle and chronicled in the Word of God as a special servant of the Lord.

All rank and file Christians have a new name written down in glory, A few chosen ones are also written in these eternal pages.

Go Big Red!