Christ's letters to the churches in Revelation paint a powerful picture of the kind of life that He calls us to live. By drawing on multiple Bible versions, study guides and word studies, we can spend countless hours on just these two chapters of the Bible and glean a rich harvest of knowledge.
To get you started on your own discoveries, here are two of the lessons we can learn from the Bible's ending chapters.
To Remember Our First Love
Jesus warns the church in Ephesus that though they work hard and have patience, they have forgotten their first love. The New Living Translation defines this first love as a love for God and for each other.
During His ministry here on earth, Jesus taught us the importance of love when He was questioned about the greatest commandment.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:37-40 KJV
Time, fatigue, illness, adversities and life's distractions are just a few of the things that can cause our love to cool. This can cause friction in our relationships and sour our gentleness when speaking with our friends and family. It can also lead to hollow worship and unfulfilling time spent in Bible study and prayer.
To prevent our love from dwindling, or to fan the flames back to life, we can focus on the deeply personal nature of our God. Just a few verses later in Revelation, the letter to the church at Pergamum records Jesus' promise to give believers who are victorious a white stone with a new name that only they can read. This name is ours alone, a special name given to us by the One who knit us together and knows all of our days.
By seeing the special ways that Jesus loves us, seeks to bless us and wants to spend time with us, we can return to Him and fall in love with our Lord again. Then when we are filled with love, we can serve those around our assisted living apartments with a cheerful heart and enjoy the refreshing nature of prayer and study without hindrance.
To Persevere Until the End
In all seven letters to the churches, Jesus tells believers to hold fast, to have patience and to remain true. He also gives the promise of precious rewards to those who overcome.
As we hit the home stretch of our race of faith, let us take to heart the message in Hebrews 12:1 KJV so that we don't falter as we approach our goal.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
By committing ourselves to Bible study, prayer and worship, we can keep our eyes on Jesus and daily choose to follow Him. As we strive to hold onto these promises, it's important to remember that we are not alone. The body of believers in our assisted living community can help us remain true through encouragement and prayer as we remember Jesus' assurance in John 6:40 KJV.
And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Posted on Tue, October 9, 2018
by Shawn Deane