Archive for churches

Laodicea ~ A Complacent Church

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 29, 2012 by greatvictories

You’ve Got Mail…What Jesus says to the last of the churches

You are comfortable where you are and your ceasing to do what I have called you to do (Rev. 3:14-22)

See your need as never before.

These things say the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, The beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot…” (v. 14-15).

1. See the shocking truth about yourself. Measure yourself by God not man. “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot…” (v.15).

So, how do you start? Start by seeing the truth about God.

He is…The Great I AM, The Amen “so be it.” He is worthy of your time. Worthy to listen too and get to know, build an intimate relationship with Him.

He is…Faithful and True Witness. Worthy of your trust. When He tells you something you know it’s the truth.

He is…The Ruler of God’s creation. He is worthy of your worship.

Some of us are cold (we know where we stand), some lukewarm (not much love for the lost-no time or passion for worship), some hot (a desire and passion for things of God. Doesn’t mean perfect, stays plugged in to Jesus).

2. Recognize and admit your desperate need you have in your life.  “Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked…” (v. 17).

We think we provide our needs by what we acquire. We think we’ve met our own needs through:

Riches: What we acquire ~ Rules: What we require ~ Knowledge: How we inquire ~ Relationships: Who we desire ~ Achievement: How we aspire (achievement and success).

But remember: We’re all going to expire.

The more self-sufficient we think we are the more we unknowingly become: wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked (Romans 7:24-25).

3. Go to Jesus alone to meet your deepest needs.

“I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich (faith in Jesus), white garments (purity), that you may be clothed (grace) and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see (wisdom) (v.18).

Do you feel you don’t need Jesus? Your doing just fine? Throw up a few “thank You Lord’s?” More on doing your own thing?

4. Respond as a deeply loved child ~ be earnest and repent.

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent” (v. 19).

God doesn’t punish us, He disciplines us. Punishment makes us want to run and hide. discipline invites us to learn and grow.

We know what is right and what is wrong.

5. Continually open the door to Jesus in your life. If you open the door, He WILL come in! He loves you and wants to tell you how right your life can be.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (v.20).

To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (v.21-22).

The One who made you stands there knocking. Are you listening to what the Spirit says?

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Sardis ~ A Dying Church

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2012 by greatvictories

You’ve Got Mail…What Jesus says to the churches

What Jesus says to a dying church…Don’t give up, wake up!

Jesus shares three prayers for growth and change…

“I know your works, that you have a name (reputation) that you are alive, but you are dead” (Rev. 3: 1-6) .

1. Lord, help me to see the gaps in my life. Impatience, unforgiveness, doubt, fear, pride, gossip, selfishness, etc.

He knows the difference between your reputation and reality. He knows the difference between what you say and what you do. He knows the difference between your values and your actions. You might live in purity on Sunday, but fill your mind with garbage of the world the rest of the week? The Lord knows the difference between where you were and where you are.

Do you recognize the gaps in your life with the Lord?  The humility and pride gap, the forgiveness and unforgiveness gap…Ask Him for contentment and fulfillment.

2. Lord, help me to close the gaps in my life so I can make a change.

How to revitalize anything: WAKE UP! Strengthen what remains! “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God” (v. 2)

Remember what you have heard from God’s Word. Obey and repent (the wake up portion), change directions. Hear what God says and do something about it. “Remember therefore how you have received and heard, hold fast and repent. If you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you” (v. 3).

Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord (Lam. 3: 40). This is what repentance is about.

Let go of your false security to close the gaps. You need to WAKE UP! God will come upon you as a thief…

3. Lord, I will overcome! I’m going to have VICTORY over the gaps in my life!

“You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments, and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy(The picture of those who overcome). He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name in the Book of Life, but will confess his name before My Father and His angels” (The promise for those who overcome) (v. 4-5).

What does it mean to be one who overcomes?

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world ~ our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5: 4-5).

“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

How do you overcome when you have troubles?

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (v.6).

Jesus says; “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Ephesus ~ The Loveless Church

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2012 by greatvictories

You’ve Got Mail…What Jesus says to the churches

Revelation 2 and 3 are about the seven churches of the Apocalypse. They were congregations in Asia Minor in John’s day. These seven assemblies are examples of the kind of churches that exist throughout history. This means that all seven letters are warnings to every church in every age.

Let’s take a look at Ephesus, “The Loveless Church” in chapter 2:1-7.

Jesus recognizes their accomplishments, their activity…work hard, patient endurance, opposed evil, stand for truth, endure hardships, didn’t give up. “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil” (2:2).

What does it profit, my brethern, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you don’t give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? In the same way, faith by itself, if it does not have works , is dead (James 2:14-17).

Jesus reprimands, you’ve lost your first love. your passion is fading, you’re shifting priorities. “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (2:4).

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow ll my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing (1 Cor. 13:1-3).

Jesus’ remedy, Remember therefore from where you have fallen, repent, and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place ~ unless you repent” (2:5)

Yet indeed I count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish (Phil. 3:8).

Jesus’ reward, eternal paradise. “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his works.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (2:7)

We are the church folks. Don’t settle for less when the best is in your grasp.

Have you lost your first love?

Change priorities. Spend time with Jesus.