Monday: Forgotten to Love! – Revelation 2: 1-7
Both as individuals and as a church we can get so busy doing things that we forget why we are doing them in the first place. Like the church in Ephesus, we are so concerned about doing the ‘right things’ that we lose sight of the fact that, first and foremost, we are called to love God with all our heart, soul and mind. Our relationship with Jesus is of paramount importance – if we miss that we miss everything! Do you set aside time every day to read your Bible and pray?
Tuesday: Faithful to the End! – Revelation 2: 8-11
It’s hard for us to appreciate what it means to be persecuted for our faith as the church in Smyrna was. We may have been verbally abused or maybe lost friends as a result of our faith, but that is nothing compared to the suffering that many Christians endure, even today. There may be in these verses a challenge to each one of us to ‘adopt’ Christians in one or other country where we know persecution is rife (e.g. Nigeria,) and pray for them regularly. We may not know them by name but God will honour the intent of our prayers.
Wednesday: Chinks in the Armour! Revelation 2: 12-17
The Christians in Pergamum were doing a lot right. Despite persecution they held fast to their faith in Jesus. But sin was beginning to make inroads into their lives. We can fall into the same trap – we compromise or we make comparison of ourselves with others and become complacent because “We’re not that bad!” From time to time, we should undertake what the Catholic church refers to as an ‘Examination of Conscience’ asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to us where we are in danger of falling into the habit of wrongdoing.
Thursday: Flirting with Danger – Revelation 2: 18-29
The Christians in Thyatira were, in most respects, a model of virtue. But they were allowing themselves to be misled by a prophetess who encouraged them with false teaching. They were finding it easier to go along with this rather than reject it on the basis of scripture. Everyone in the church – leaders, preachers and congregation – has a responsibility to safeguard the truth of the gospel and raise their voice when they believe errors are being made.
Friday: Wake up! – Revelation 3: 1-6
The indictment levelled at the church in Sardis can apply to many churches today, especially those in the Western world. To outward appearances, there is very little they are doing wrong. But that’s because they are doing nothing! They accommodate contemporary culture and social behaviour rather than speaking out against what they know to be wrong. Do we find ourselves holding our tongues when we know others are doing or saying things which are morally or spiritually wrong?
Saturday: Go Forth! – Revelation 3: 7-13
Philadelphia was the youngest of the churches to receive a letter and it was also the one that received the greatest praise. The challenge for this church was an ‘open door’. This implied both a willingness to bring new believers into their community as well as going out in missionary work. Sometimes we misunderstand ‘missionary’ and think only of Christians who risk all to go to foreign lands. But we can all be missionaries in our own communities.