The passage for today is Revelation 2:1-11. You can read this passage online or on your phone by following along with The Essential Jesus reading plan on bible.com, or you can read it in your physical Bible. Take a few minutes to read Revelation 2:1-11 carefully, inviting the Holy Spirit to speak to you as you read.
What did you see in the text? What is the main point being communicated? Here are some of the things that I saw.
Jesus dictates letters to the Angels of seven churches. Ephesus and Smyrna are the first two churches addressed by Jesus. The Ephesians were commended for doing so many things right; however in their doing, they left the love they had at first. It’s unclear whether it is specifically love for Christ, or love for people in general, or both. Which ever, the Ephesians were good people doing good things, but in their doing, strayed from what is most important to Christ: love. This is so important, that even if they continue to do right things, but do not return to the same love they had at first, their lampstand will be removed.
Jesus did not criticize the Smyrna church like he did the Ephesians, but rather warned them of a coming imprisonment and testing by Satan; and of 10 days of suffering, but exhorted them to pass the test.
In Boy Scouts, after a camp out, we had a “thorns and roses” discussion; roses meant things that went well and thorns the things that did not. I can relate to what Jesus said to the Ephesians because even if the boys had remembered to bring everything, and all went well but did not have love for one another, which in Scouting is “scout spirit”, the campout would have been a failure. How about in our daily lives with our spouse, children, friends, and co-workers? Remember your wedding day; birthday of your child and your first day on the job and return to the love you had that day.
Father, as it is written, “without love I am nothing.” Show me how to have the love I had at first. Amen.
This post was written by Kelly Gebert.