Today’s Reading: Revelation 2:1-7
Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).
GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.
Key Verse: Revelation 2:7
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.
God willing, we’ll have one day in our reading schedule for each of the seven churches. They are short readings, so we may want to increase our understanding by reading the entire book of Ephesians (click here). If that’s too much for time available, how about just reading Ephesians, chapter four (click here). Also, we could revisit June 1, 2015, when Ephesians 4 was our focus (click here). Why revisit the Apostle Paul’s letter (62 A.D.) to the members of the Ephesian church? It’s because we can check up as we read today’s reading as to how the Ephesian church progressed or regressed over a 30-year period. Also we may want to read the story of the founding of the church in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-20).
The word “Angel” used here can also be translated “Messenger.” This is probably addressed to the Pastor of the Ephesian church. The Pastor is answerable to God for the spiritual and moral health of those he cares for as an under-shepherd to the Great Shepherd, Jesus! Jesus’ assessment is (1) they have perseverance, (2) they have patience, (3) they have not become weary, (4) they have left their first love, (5) they are to remember (read Ephesians), (6) repent and experience revival, (7) they hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans (professing Christians who continued to practise black magic and participate in pagan worship of other gods), (8) Those who responded in repentance and renewed their first love received from Jesus a marvellous promise. Amen!!!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Lord Jesus, I pray for grace to learn the same lessons in my personal life which You taught the Ephesian believers. I repent! I pray fervently for revival of my first Love! I dare not live as the Nicolaitans, with one foot in a pagan culture and another foot in the church. By Your grace, I desire with all my heart to be one who overcomes and who will eat of the Tree of Life in Paradise. In Your Name! Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I’m constantly reading ahead of the current reading. The day after tomorrow, God willing, I want to write more about the compromising theological liberals known as the Nicolaitans. Throughout 60 years of public ministry as a pastor/teacher, evangelist and a Christian who needs God’s grace daily, I have had to deal with several powerful personalities who sought to manipulate others in a way that was contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture. A strong stand for the historical understanding of the Christian faith is absolutely essential. This was taught by the Apostles and in the writings of their immediate successors, who established the creeds, which I believe to be accurate statements of Christian doctrine and practice. For example, here are the Nicene and Apostles Creed (click here). These statements are foundational to our Christian faith. They were agreed to by the leaders of the universal Church (Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Evangelicals) during the early centuries in order to stand for the truth and to stand against the very false doctrines against which Jesus warned the church at Ephesus.
Yours in the “saved by grace” expectation of someday eating “from the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God”!!!
P.S. I’ve asked David Reynold for an extra photo of what’s left of ancient Ephesus. I understand that this city was partially destroyed by a disastrous earthquake in 614 A.D.