E100 Devotion – Day 97

August 10, 2012

Reading: Revelation 2:1 – 3:22

Jesus lets each church know He understands their situation. He affirms their positive qualities. He touches their hearts, then voices concern over areas that need attention. Finally, He beseeches them to listen. He consistently shows compassion before He corrects. As John Maxwell points out, “Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.”

Ephesus, the loveless church, kept people busy, and were commended for their labor but somehow they had left their first priority, which was to love God. Their work for God had actually distracted them from God! They had busy hands, crowded calendars, full heads, but empty hearts. What did they need to do? Remember, repent and return to the first works.

Smyrna, the poor but truly rich church, was facing a period of persecution, betrayal and suffering. Jesus warns them to remain faithful even unto death, and they would be rewarded with the crown of life.

Pergamos, the church of compromise was being influenced by its evil surroundings. Jesus warns them to repent from their false teachings or He would come with the sword of His mouth to fight against them.

Thyatira, the church of good works was harboring a false prophetess whose seductive teaching was causing people to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. Jesus gave her time to repent and promised judgment in the form of sickness, tribulation to her and death to her children if they didn’t repent.

Sardis, the church that was dying, was not producing good works. They were warned to repent, be watchful and strengthen the things which remain.

Philadelphia, the weak but faithful church, kept His commands and were encouraged to persevere.

Laodiceans, the lukewarm church, was self-satisfied, boasting of their wealth while being really poor spiritually. They were encouraged to be hot or cold or be spewed out.

There is much we can learn even today from the exhortations and corrections to each church. What was the repeating theme spoken to all of the Churches? The overcomers would be greatly rewarded.

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