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Monday, January 16, 2017

Ephesus: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Revelation 2: 1-7

“I also know that you are enduring patiently and bearing up for the sake of my name, and you have not grown weary. But…you have abandoned the love you had at first."

"Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”

Historically lighthouses are known for saving many ships and lives due to their light in the storm. But history also has several stories of  “wreckers” who deliberately lured ships to crash on reefs so as to plunder them.

Listen! The warning comes to this Ephesus church—this lampstand of truth–so it can conquer any rot or decay before it can destroy.

This warning, and those to follow to the other early churches, are spoken in love and not punishment, in truth and not deceit, in hope and not destruction. The purpose is to restore broken worship and relationships within their communities before failure.

And these concerns are being given to the early churches—the ones who had first hand witnesses of Jesus’ life and sacrifice and grace. The ones who began in joy of life and beauty, in joy of hope and compassion, in joy of His redeeming grace that they couldn’t wait to share with others.

Where does our witness from our church communities today convey joy? To each other, or to other denominations, or to nonbelievers? How much do we need to hear the same warnings?

How do we not become like the Pharisees of Jesus’ time so diligent to protect God’s words that they became blind to the needs of their people? So determined to hang on to their definition of power that they crucified their own Messiah.

“You have abandoned the love you had at first.”

Lord, please renew our hearts to be able to sing as the psalmist, “give praise, O servants of the Lord, you that stand in the house of the Lord,….sing to His name for He is gracious.” (Psalm 135) Show us how we share Your hope in all circumstances.

Psalm of Worship: Psalm 27:10

“If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.”

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