#LoveLetters: From Jesus to the Seven Churches – Revelation 1-3: Part 1 Blog #2
Greetings, loves! Happy Monday! As mentioned, here is Part 1 of the study #LoveLetters: From Jesus to the Seven Churches. If you have yet to read the introduction to this study, I encourage you to take some time to read the previous post prior to moving forward with this one!
In Part 1, we are discussing the first two letters that Jesus addressed to the Church of Ephesus and the Church of Smyrna in the Book of Revelation. There are so many things that we can discuss on a deeper level as it relates to the first three chapters of this book, but we are only going to focus on the letters to the seven churches in this blog series. I hope you were able to commit to your reading of Revelation 1-3 and your assignment from last week! As you read today’s post, please note some of the things you see in your own relationship with Christ (if applicable) and ponder on any areas that may require repentance.
Letter to the Church of Ephesus (The Loveless Church): This church was being commended for their labor, their patience and endurance, their hard work and dedication, and their firmness in not tolerating those who are wicked. They stood for truth in a dark world. The one thing that Jesus reprimanded them for was that amidst all of their doing and striving for the Kingdom, they had abandoned their first love. They were guilty of spiritual pride. They lost their fervor and awe for the one they were supposed to be working for – Jesus Christ. (Revelation 2:4). They also lacked love in their service and duty to the Lord – and without love, you know that we are nothing and we have nothing. Our work is useless and pointless without love. We must seek to maintain a pure and sincere love for God first, and for others second. Firm warning: Jesus tells this church to repent and return to their first love. Truth to ponder: According to history, this church is no longer around today. Which is another firm warning: We cannot survive and thrive in any way without the kind of love that is born of God; the kind of love that will permeate our souls and give us the grace to accomplish every work and task. We must focus on the main thing in all of our efforts.
Letter to the Church of Smyrna (The Persecuted Church): This church was a spiritually rich church filled with faithful Christians who were being persecuted for their faith. Even amidst spiritual warfare, they were bold witnesses for the faith and the cause of Christ. Everyone in their city was prosperous (in a worldly sense) except for them. Being a Christian in Rome during a time of emperor worship meant that it would cost the church of Smyrna their jobs, their properties, their livelihood, etc. Yet Jesus knew their situation, and He didn’t change it. Why? Because their lives serve as a powerful witness as He continues to work in their lives. He simply encouraged them to persevere in the midst of persecution, and to be faithful unto death so that they will receive the crown of life (Revelation 2:10). They were smack dab in the middle of fierce suffering, trials, and tribulations, yet “they gave light, and were bearers of God’s light and truth.” This church was one of the two churches that Jesus had no reprimand for. They were – as is – a pure, blameless, and spotless church.
Over the next week, take some time to reflect on the heart of Jesus as He wrote to these two churches specifically. What do you see about His heart? What do you see about your own heart as you evaluate the areas where you are strong, as well as any areas where you can improve in your relationship with God?
Thank you so much for reading Part 1 of #LoveLetters: From Jesus to the Seven Churches! Stay tuned for next Monday’s study where we will cover letters 3-4!
With God’s Love,
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