Revelation 2:2-4 ESV
“I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.”
The Lord knows our works, and he judges us by our works, too. For, it is our works which attest to the genuineness of our faith. It is our works that attest to the love and devotion we have for our Lord, too. They are what reveal if we are living to please God or if we are living to please the flesh (Gal 6:7-8).
But our works also reveal if what we are doing is out of religious performance or a sense of moral obligation or out of a sense of duty to “do the right thing,” yet that what we are doing may be lacking in genuine love for our Lord and lacking in true surrender to him with our lives.
For, we can do a lot of the right things and yet our devotional lives and our surrender to our Lord and our commitments to him and to his service may be severely lacking. We may be doing a lot of the right things just out of habit while our intimate relationships with our Lord are suffering.
Sometimes when people have been Christians for a while they may slack off in times spent with the Lord in prayer and in personal times of reading the word of God and getting from it what the Lord has for them for their daily lives to strengthen them in their walks of faith.
But the life of a believer in Jesus Christ is to be sold out to Jesus Christ 100%. It doesn’t mean we are perfect or that we never sin, but that we are not to have one foot in the world and one in heaven. And we are definitely not to be walking in sin while we refuse to obey our Lord.
For, to love the Lord is to obey him. It is to do what he commands us to do. It is to go wherever he sends us and to say whatever he commands us to say. It is not to do these things just by habit out of religious performance, but this has to do with an intimate and personal walk of faith in Jesus.
Jesus should be in our minds and in our hearts all throughout the day and night and he should be on our tongues daily. It deeply concerns me that so many who profess the name of Jesus will talk about just about anything but Jesus. They will be passionate about talking about politics, movies, games, and the like, but will shy away from talking about the Lord.
Revelation 2:5 ESV
“Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”
So, if this is where you are, going through the motions of religious performance or doing some of the right things while neglecting your intimate walk of faith in Jesus Christ, then this is a call to repent (to turn away from) your sin and to return to following Jesus as your first love.
And the works that this is speaking of are the ones taught us in the New Testament, mainly that we should forsake our former lives of living for sin and self, that we should daily die with Christ to sin, and that we should walk in obedience to his instructions to us in the New Testament.
But most of all, from which all else flows, is that Jesus Christ is to truly be Lord (owner-master) of our lives. He is to be King of our lives. He is to be the one directing our paths, and we should be following him in his footsteps every step of the way.
And what’s our lampstand? Well, in Revelation the lampstands were the churches. So, collectively this could be saying that he will remove whatever congregation we are apart of from its place of influence in the world if this is the situation of the vast majority of the church.
However you might interpret this, God is saying that if we do not repent of our sins, especially the ones which are obvious and that he points out to us, that we will face some type of divine judgment and discipline at his hands.
For many it will be that they will not inherit eternal life with God, for they are still walking in their sins and they are refusing to repent and to obey the Lord. While for others it will be some type of divine discipline in order to get their attention and to get them to repent and to return to the Lord.
Revelation 2:6-7 ESV
“Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”
Whatever message God has for us in this, we need to have ears to hear what he is saying to us, and we need to not put our hands up to our ears and stubbornly refuse to hear his voice. For, it is those who overcome sin and the devil and the flesh who will inherit eternal life with God.
[Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Gal 6:7-8]
By Jonathan Foreman
I give you my destiny
I’m giving you all of me
I want your symphony
Singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs
I’m giving it my all
So, I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours
I know now you’re my only hope
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