08 Mar Series Eleven
Hello Family. We finally reached the end of our series on “Conversations With God”. It became real after all we studied that God wants to meet with us face to face to reveal His plan to us and prepare us not only for life on earth but our life with Him.
We took a look at the letters that God wrote to the seven churches in the book of Revelations.
God addressed each church individually:
He started with an evaluation of the church, usually beginning with a commendation for that which is praiseworthy and then moving to a rebuke for what is displeasing to the Lord. Corrective action was then outlined and the letter closed with the challenge to consider what has been said (He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches), as well as a closing promise for those who are victors.
Though he had something different to say to each church he ended with the same instruction.
Rev. 2:7 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.
He addressed their issues one by one.
- He addressed heart condition- religious, self righteous, unloving.
Some sacrifice doctrinal truth in the name of love. Neither extreme is to be tolerated. Love should no more be sacrificed to truth than truth should be to love. That is why Paul urged the Ephesians to speak the truth in love.
The Ephesians demonstrate a failure which is typical of every church and of every saint: we often allow Satan to capitalize on our strengths in such a way as to make it our weakness. Every virtue does carry within itself the seeds of its own destruction. Who could say that doctrine is not important? But doctrine is not an end in itself. Doctrine is something like the manna of the Old Testament: If we don’t use it quickly, it will become rotten. Truth and love must never be separated. Truth must be proclaimed in love (Eph. 4:15) and love must be practiced in accordance with truth (Phil. 1:9-10). Let us learn from the church at Ephesus that while doctrinal purity must always be preserved, it need not be done at the expense of love.
2.Things to come—encouragement to persevere
- Warned against ungodly associations/compromising
- Warned against religion and idolatry…
5.Warned against worldliness and complacency…
- Condemned hypocrisy
- Warned against being lukewarm.
Outward appearances and actions do not necessarily reflect the state of the heart. One can appear to be spiritual on the outside, but dead on the inside. God alone knows the true state of the heart.
God is constantly watching and aware of what is going on in your life. He knows what you have need of before you ask.
God was aware of what was going on with each of the churches. He understood their condition and addressed it.
MSG. 36:7 “It’s true that God is all-powerful, but he doesn’t bully innocent people. For the wicked, though, it’s a different story— he doesn’t give them the time of day, but champions the rights of their victims. He never takes his eyes off the righteous; he honors them lavishly, promotes them endlessly. When things go badly, when affliction and suffering descend, God tells them where they’ve gone wrong, shows them how their pride has caused their trouble. He forces them to heed his warning, tells them they must repent of their bad life. If they obey and serve him, they’ll have a good, long life on easy street. But if they disobey, they’ll be cut down in their prime and never know the first thing about life. Angry people without God pile grievance upon grievance, always blaming others for their troubles. Living it up in sexual excesses, virility wasted, they die young. But those who learn from their suffering, God delivers from their suffering.
God requires something of us besides our prayer.
God is still relentless about us upholding his standard regardless of our circumstances. There is no excuse not to be who He created you to be.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (the Voice) sums it up nicely, “And My people (who are known by My name) humbly pray, follow My commandments, and abandon any actions or thoughts that might lead to further sinning, then I shall hear their prayers from My house in heaven, I shall forgive their sins, and I shall save their land from the disasters.”
Most of all God wants to be honest with us and have an exchange that ends in us being victorious.
God wants to equip us and give us the tools we need to make it in this life via the conversations He has with us in prayer and in His Word.
I love how 2 Peter 1:2 puts it “Do you want more and more of God’s kindness and peace? Then learn to know him better and better. 3 For as you know him better, he will give you, through his great power, everything you need for living a truly good life: he even shares his own glory and his own goodness with us!”
Sadly we learned that all those seven churches were in Turkey and none of them heeded Gods’ warnings. He came and took away the lampstands and left that country in darkness. Today the Christian church is less than .001 percent of the population of Turkey (76 million people, only approx 6,000 are Christians). As Christians in that country meet in small churches praying for revival and the territory that has been lost for the kingdom of God it is sobering at best to know the importance of paying attention to what God says and following His instruction. Otherwise what is the point of the conversation?
God continuously reminds us of who He is and what He has promised us when we have conversations with us.
God not only wants to save us. He wants to have an intimate relationship with us where we share and exchange everything including victory. How generous is Jesus! He looks forward to sharing everything with us.
Rev. 3:20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. 21 Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.
Examine yourself today.
- What is the area you need to address in your own life?
- Are you complacent? Compromising? In a state of rebellion? Pressured by your environment to conform?
- What conversation do you need to have with God today?
Well as they say that is a wrap. We will take some time off to praise and thank God for all that He has revealed to us.
Usually we have Talk Back Sunday half way through our series and again at the end. You don’t want to miss that. It is a lively time of questions and answers where any outstanding questions get answered in the service. We hope you can join us soon.
We are so excited about our upcoming series Walk the Talk. It time to take our relationship to an entirely new level. That’s the Relevance of God’s Word that we are being changed from Glory to Glory as we comprehend more and more about Him. Amen!