Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Revelation 2:1-7

Revelation 2:1-7
Write to the messenger of the assembly in Ephesus.  The one who is strong enough to grab the seven stars in his right hand and who goes about living in the middle of the seven golden lamp stands says these things.  “I have known your works, the trouble, your patient endurance, that you are not able to endure the bad ones, you tried the ones who speak of themselves as apostles while they were not and you found them lying.  You have patient endurance and you endured for the sake of my name and you have not become weary.  But I have against you that you sent away your first love.  Therefore, remember from what you have fallen.  Repent.  And do the most important works, so that I do not come to you and will remove your lamp stand out of its place if you should not repent.  But you have this: that you abhor the works of the Nicolaitans, who even I abhor.  The one who has an ear, hear what the Spirit says to the assembly.  To the one who conquers, to him I will give to eat out of the tree of life – which is in the paradise of God.

Thoughts for Today


First Thought:

Over the course of the next week, we’re going to get very comfortable with the pattern that Jesus gives to John in this section.  First, Jesus takes the time to identify Himself.  Jesus reminds the people of Ephesus that He is in their midst.  Even though they might not physically be able to see Him, He is still there.  He is even powerful enough to hold the angels of the church in His hand.  He is a powerful God, capable of being in our midst because He has conquered the physical realm and death.

How does this tell us about the power of God?  Why do you think it can be easy to forget that Jesus is in our midst?  How should this information affect our lives?

Second Thought:

Next, Jesus gives a list of compliments to the church.  To Ephesus, Jesus gives a strong list.  There is much that they are doing right in the faith.  They do good deeds.  They have endured persecution.  They are patiently faithful.  They do not put up with people who do not live out the faith they proclaim to have.  They judge people by their testimony.  They do not tolerate the false doctrine of the Nicolatians.    What we see here is that the people of Ephesus had the faith figured out.  They had a proper understanding about what Jesus was all about and how faith works.

How do you compare to this list?  What is the witness of your works?  How have you endured persecution?  How are you patient?  How do you weed out the people in your life who do not walk the same faith they profess?  How do you lift up all people in Christ?

{The Nicolatians were probably a group of religious leaders who taught that the religious elite were superior to regular laity.  We believe this because the word Nicolation has two root words: nike (victory) and laos (people).  The word literally means “victory over the people.}

Third Thought:

The last thing that we see is challenge.  Fortunately for the Ephesians, the list is short.  They have forgotten their first love.  We don’t know what this means exactly, but it likely means that they have lost the enthusiasm that comes when you first understand the grace of God and replaced it with the much more passive rote faith that comes over the long-term.  In other words, as they have matured in the faith they’ve lost an observable joy.  In this fault, there is a challenge.  If the Ephesians don’t wake up, they may find that Christ has gone out from His midst.  Yet, Jesus ends this challenge with a promise.  The one who conquers will eat out of the tree of life.  We can know eternal life in the presence of God.

Why is it important to see the dynamic of challenge in this passage?  How does Jesus’ challenge to the Ephesians speak into your life and walk with God?


Passage for Tomorrow: Revelation 2:8-11
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