40 blogs of Lent – Day 4
Keep on keepin’ on
Messages to the churches – Day 3
Ephesus – Day 2
“‘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 … Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
I know your works sounds like a threat, like I know where you live, or the Chinese curse may you live in interesting times.
But not here. Jesus loves all and access to his love is freely available for all. Someone who loves you knowing what you are doing is not a threat unless you make it a threat. The Ephesian church were good, they were being persecuted, as all the churches were at the time of writing, but this did not deter them, even when the threat to give up came from within from self-styled apostles or the Nicolatians, whoever they were. The kept on with keeping on with being faithful even in the hardest of times.
Sometimes the skies seem dark and prayers do not seem to get through. Reading the Bible can seem dark and God does not seem to be speaking to you through worship. Do not give up. Do not give in to the lie that God is far away. The section of the chapter to Ephesus shows that Jesus is amongst us., that is what the imagery of walking between the lampstands is about. This dark night of the soul can make you give up, or it can give you determination to follow what God has said to you in your past. Just keep on with it, God is not distant.
So here is one way to get God’s approval: Keep on with being faithful. It is difficult but it is worth it.
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.
“‘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. 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. 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.’
For those looking for something else from the blog title, here’s Curtis…
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.