Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Very Words of God

{Revelation 2:18-29; ESV}
“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

“‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve. But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come. The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

The Christians in Thyatira desperately needed a word from God. They lived in a city that claimed to have a word from God. According to William Barclay:
The only notable thing about Thyatira from a religious point of view was that it possessed a fortune-telling shrine, presided over by a female oracle called the Sambathē. (Daily Study Bible Series: Revelation of John 1; p. 101)

People would travel many miles to Thyatira was to get guidance for their lives. They believed that the Sambathē could give them a word from a god. This is why I find the opening verse of Christ’s letter to the Christians at Thyatira so interesting: The words of the Son of God. While others would travel great distances to receive a word from god, the Christians at Thyatira received a word from the Son of God right where they lived. They didn’t have to go anywhere, Jesus, the Son of God, was aware of what was happening and He sent them a the word that they needed to hear.

Another reason this is interesting is because the problem these Christians were facing was a false prophetess. A prophet or prophetess, like an oracle, brings a word from God to the people. This false prophetess, given the title of Jezebel by Christ Jesus, claimed to be giving the people a word from God, but she was really deceiving them with a lie from Satan.

There were two sources available to these Christians where they could get a word from God, and both of them were false. Not everything that claims to be from God is really from God. We have to be aware of what we allow to influence our lives. I think too often we allow ourselves to be guided by the wisdom of the world, by cool spiritual thinking, and by our changing emotions rather than by God’s Word, and the result is Christians who are deceived and live no differently from the world.

Not only did Jesus send this letter to the Christians in Thyatira, but He urged them to hold fast to what they had. What did they have? They had their faith which was informed by Old Testament Scripture and the apostles’ teachings. In other words they need to rely on what they had already been given.

While we might not receive a personal letter from Christ Jesus, that doesn’t mean we can’t receive a Word from God. The Bible contains the truth that God wants us to know. We have to make it a part of our lives. It is amazing that we live in a time when we have numerous different translations of the Bible and abundant study resources, but we are ignorant of what the Bible really says and how it applies to our lives. We might proclaim that the Bible is God’s Word, but we don’t live like it is. The majority of people we worship with on Sundays are lucky to crack the cover of their Bibles once during the week. How can we claim to follow Jesus if we don’t take the time to let Him guide our lives?

As we become more familiar with the Bible, we need to allow the Holy Spirit guide our lives. He while help us apply what we have learned for God’s written word. Through the working of the Holy Spirit we are able to receive a word of God that applies directly to our lives.

The churches in the United States are in desperate need of a Word from God. It is time that we open up our Bibles and read the very words of God. We are without excuse, so make sure you do it.

  • Point to Ponder: The Bible contains the very words of God.
  • Passage to Remember: Revelation 2:18-29
  • Prayer to Pray: Lord God, Thank You for revealing Yourself to me. Remind me of the importance of reading Your Word everyday and help me make it a priority in my life.

No comments:

Accept the Differences

Most of us understand that people are different and those differences are a good thing. The world would be a boring place if everyone beli...