Monday, May 18, 2020

Will You Respond

Will You Respond
May 18, 2020
Philippians 3:16 "But we must hold on to the progress we have already made."

Jesus appeared to John, one of the original 12 disciples, when John was in his 80s, exiled on the isle of Patmos, where John penned the book of Revelation. Jesus told him to write down all that he saw, both for the present and the future.  There was revelation for the present churches that Jesus wanted to get out, and Jesus called out seven churches specifically, with a brief word from the Lord for them. It was a prophetic word detailed for the specifics of the respective church at that time. The churches, however, represent churches today, too, as the issues addressed were not unique to anything that isn't going on in churches today.

Without going into detail on the seven specific churches, the issues were: forsaking their first love, false doctrine and false prophets inside the church, asleep Christians who still have work to do, and lukewarm Christians needing discipline. While each church clearly had their specific problem the Lord wanted to call out, these issues represent problems that go on inside the walls of our churches today. In fact, we are all likely guilty of one, or more, of the items on the list (at some point). The Lord wanted each church to finish well and admonished them to repent and correct the error.

Your church is not perfect, since is full of imperfect people, but the Lord gives each of us opportunity to repent and correct, both collectively and individually. His message to the churches was clear and John delivered them to the letter. What we don't know, however, is how they responded when they read the letter from John as a prophetic word from Jesus. Did they crumple up the letter and discard it as fake? Did they hear the word but disregard the call to action? If you had received that letter this week in your church, one detailing an error in practices and a call to repent, would you believe the letter and respond? John was pretty credible, so it is not likely they did not believe the message was from Jesus, but how did they react and how far did they get in repenting and correcting the errors in the church?

Churches get it wrong daily, so do Christians. When Jesus had John pen the letters to the churches, He did not wish to destroy the whole church or close their doors, simply adjust what was wrong.  He commended each of them for something because they were getting some things right and perfect, but He wanted them to be blameless in everything. How would you have responded? Jesus wrote you a letter, too, its the whole Bible that you've likely read before. When you read it, do you readily see the error in your ways and repent and correct? How do you respond? Will you respond? You are not likely to get an unique letter from Jesus, rather His Holy Spirit will bring to light your failings, if you're willing to give Him the opportunity. How often do you give Him the opportunity? When He points out the things you need adjusting, are you going to close your ears and refuse to change? This is our biggest tactic when confronted with our imperfections; we deny its truth or discount its validity. What if its true? What if you've forsaken your first love or what if you've fallen asleep and there are still things you need to do for Him?  The Lord is speaking to you even now, about your shortcomings. Will you respond?

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Rev 2-3

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