Revelation – Jesus is Coming Back!
Actions of people can impress us to the point of praise for them. Organizations can be impressive with the services they provide. Where we choose to eat out is based on our impression of the food consumed and the service they provide. Where we buy our groceries is based on the cleanliness we can see of the store and the ease of finding our products. Where we go for auto repair is based on the knowledge of the workers and the honesty they deliver in their service. What is impressive to you?
Where we go to church is based on our impression of the people and their authenticity of loving God and each other. Do they love God? Can we get a glimpse of God through them? Do they love each other like God loves them? Do they love others? I’m not impressed with much of anything else. I might enjoy the music of praise, the word of God expressed well but as I get older, I look for the real love of God and His pure love expressed for each other and others. I don’t go for show, but for the love, God’s love. But there’s even more…
The church at Thyatra was impressive to Jesus, “I see everything you’re doing for me. Impressive! The love and the faith, the service and persistence. Yes, very impressive! You get better at it every day.” BUT…this church allowed sin to enter and camp there. How many churches look impressive until you find out the world’s ways are mixed in with God’s ways to keep people coming through their doors. Jesus will always and continually question our motives for being and doing anything for Him. “I x-ray every motive and make sure you get what’s coming to you.” Yikes! Take a look…
Revelation 2, The Message
18 Write this to Thyatira, to the Angel of the church. God’s Son, eyes pouring fire-blaze, standing on feet of furnace-fired bronze, says this:
19 “I see everything you’re doing for me. Impressive! The love and the faith, the service and persistence. Yes, very impressive! You get better at it every day.
20-23 “But why do you let that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet mislead my dear servants into Cross-denying, self-indulging religion? I gave her a chance to change her ways, but she has no intention of giving up a career in the god-business. I’m about to lay her low, along with her partners, as they play their sex-and-religion games. The bastard offspring of their idol-whoring I’ll kill. Then every church will know that appearances don’t impress me. I x-ray every motive and make sure you get what’s coming to you.
24-25 “The rest of you Thyatirans, who have nothing to do with this outrage, who scorn this playing around with the Devil that gets paraded as profundity, be assured I’ll not make life any harder for you than it already is. Hold on to the truth you have until I get there.
26-28 “Here’s the reward I have for every conqueror, everyone who keeps at it, refusing to give up: You’ll rule the nations, your Shepherd-King rule as firm as an iron staff, their resistance fragile as clay pots. This was the gift my Father gave me; I pass it along to you—and with it, the Morning Star!
29 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.”
THINK ABOUT IT…
Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate is more important than location, location, location in God’s eyes. Are our hearts and souls impressive to Him? What is our motive for doing anything in His Kingdom? We join HIM, not the other way around. He is God and we are not, in other words.
God’s church (groups of people who love Him) was formed to keep us focused on Him, to come together to worship Him, to learn about Him AND to express love to each other because of Him. Others in the world who are seeking Him, find and want to follow Him to…because of the love of God they see in this group.
Are we merely impressive as a group? As individuals? Or are we known by our love for God, for each other and others. Is love our pure motivation? Do we work hard to help others find and follow Him and no one else?
A greater question: Does the church affect society more than society affects the church? These are the questions to explore as we evaluate our motives. If we don’t, Jesus will.
“Here is the reward I have for every conqueror, everyone who keeps at it, refusing to give up”…Jesus is coming back. Jesus wins. We win in the end. Listen!
Dear Heavenly Father,
We must evaluate and when we do we repent of those things that break your heart with motivations that are more about self and mere impressive preservation. Forgive your church when it is merely impressive. Help us to see and stop actions that are not You. Continue to teach us and keep us focused with hearts longing for your return. Transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world because of your people who love because you first loved us.
In Jesus Name, Amen