Devotionals
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June 20, 2017, 5:00 AM

How would you describe your receptiveness to God’s Word?


The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who HEAR IT and TAKE TO HEART what is written in it, because the time is near. Revelation 1:1-3

In today’s passage Jesus, through the apostle John, is talking to seven churches in Asia about what He sees taking place in their body. In each letter, Jesus challenges and encourages every community. He calls them to greater things and reminds them to not lose sight of their mission. It would be very easy to think that these letters to ancient churches have nothing to say to you or us as a body of believers.  But, you’d be mistaken. Time goes by, but the human heart remains the same. Old issues often reappear. One can’t help but notice these truths when they read the first three chapters of Revelation.

 

Even though this book was written over 2,000 years ago and was speaking to the first century church, if you took the names off the letters you might mistake them for Jesus addressing the church of today. As a community of believers, we can’t rest on what we’ve done in the past and grow comfortable. We must not lose sight of the mission that still lies before us. A growing relationship with Christ requires increasing submission.  Each one of us must tune our ears and listen carefully and attentively to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us individually and as a church body.  Maybe this is why John opens his letter with a promise of a blessing to those who hear the words of Jesus and take them to heart.

 

The fact is that the phrase “whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches” appears 7 times in the first three chapters of Revelation.  Let me ask you some big questions: How would you describe your receptiveness to God’s Word? If God were to write a letter to you, what would He say? What would God commend you for? What issues would He point out that you need to work on or are lacking?  Let’s make these questions a bit more personal. What is God doing in your life for the sake of what He wants to do through the church as a body? How are you leaning in to the issues of the church? Where are you contributing? Could God be talking to you in what He is saying to the church?

 

Everyone contributes something to everyone. Every person who is welcomed into the body of Christ contributes something to the body. Every part matters. It will be impossible for us to become a truly great church without a shared sense of ownership. God has delegated the responsibility of displaying His love, to the body of Christ. Each part of the body participating in this effort is critical in reflecting His image. If one part is not fully engaged it lessens the overall influence and impact of the body. He has drawn you to Himself and placed you in this body for a purpose.  That purpose is to reach those you know and help them walk with God.   

 

This is my Prayer: Father God, in the chaos of this world, I often don’t slow down long enough to quiet my heart and listen to Your Spirit. Lord help me to be intentional about doing this today.  Speak to those places in my life where I am resistant towards change or growth. Jesus give me the courage to submit them to You. Allow my life to bring glory to Your name. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.


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