To Thyatira, from the Son of God who has eyes like a flame of fire and feet like burnished bronze. Because I am the Son of God I search not just with my eyes but also my heart and I find that which is profitable but not that which is beneficial. I commend you for the love you have for others and how faithful you have been to My Church. You work tirelessly for the poor just as I did. Your works now are greater than when you began and for that you are to be commended.
However, I see a glaring sin. In fact, you have lived with this sin for so long that your eyes are clouded to its impact upon your flock. You no longer call sin sin but have bought into the lie of love the sinner and hate the sin and that is true. However, hate demands action and you have not taken that step. Instead, your actions reveal that you have fallen like King Ahab to the ways and mores of Queen Jezebel, an outright idolater. She has taken captive your mind and swayed you to offer sacrifices of my children to the idol god Baal. It would be better to put a millstone about your neck and throw you into the sea than to allow her to lead and teach. I love you and that is why I have been so patient with her and you. But, my patience will come to an end. Her message kills because it denies Me. Be careful lest you be judged along with her by my penetrating eye.
Father, may Your eye reveal to us where we have accepted that which you call an abomination. May we hold fast to the truth that only through the blood shed on the cross can one be saved.
Consider this question: What has God done for you? He has restored you from captivity of the enemy. You are now, as the Paul told the Galatians, free from his dominion and his ways. You are now free to rejoice and walk in the Spirit. Listen to the psalmist: “we thought we were dreaming.” And when we experience new life through Christ and the scales of darkness have been removed, it seems just like that. We are so overcome with the blessings that have been poured out upon us that we “laughed loudly and shouted for joy.” The Lord has indeed accomplished a great work in our lives at the point of salvation and because of that we should “Go and Tell” saying “Come and See.”
It begins with prayer: “Father, there are many who are captive in sin; release them by your power. Prepare me to plants the seed of the GOOD NEWS. May I shed tears as I plant so I can shout for joy when the harvest of souls happens.”
Jesus taught the parable of the sower to show us what will transpire as we seek to share the GOOD NEWS with others. Our seed will fall upon many different soils but there will be one that will bear fruit and we will rejoice with the angels in heaven when they are released. We will come in with a shout of joy carrying our sheaves of grain. “Go and Tell—Come and See.”
Until we come to grips who we were before we were touched by the Bread of Life through His pouring out of the Living Water upon our dead souls, we are incapable of understanding the power of the rejuvenating work of the Holy Spirit. The testimony of the blind man reveals the wonder given to a man born in blindness which is how we were. “I do know one thing – that although I was blind, now I can see.”[Jn 9] In addition we were a slave to our master the Devil, and as a lover of darkness we did his bidding. Jesus told the Pharisees; you do what your father desires, murdering and plotting murder. We were in this “slough of despond” of the very things God hates! (see Prov 6:16-19)
It was into this Jesus came to rescue us pouring out upon us His unblemished blood to wash our scarlet sins to become white like wool that God Himself may get the praise and glory. Thus we who were dead in our sins and trespasses have been “saved through faith—not of works for they are as filthy rags in His sight. [Is 64] But, rather God lavished his gift upon us awakening us from the dead through the power of the Holy Spirit. And now as alive we are to perform what He predestined us to do: good works as a testimony to His work in us.
Do you know of anyone you might call a “prayer warrior?” I knew a precious lady who was in my Bible Study who was nearing the 100 yr mark in her life. She would often arise as early as 5 a.m. When I asked her why she got up so early she told me “if I don’t get up then I can’t get all my praying in before I start my day at 9.” Talk about being put to shame and what a model of living life in the presence of God! The NT is replete with men and women who model for us what it means to be true prayer warriors and Paul is one of them.
As Paul is writing to his beloved Timothy he urges him to remain in Ephesus to help this precious group of saints to remain faithful to the doctrine he had taught them. In chapter one he reminded Timothy of the God whom he serves. Today in chapter 2 Paul underscores the power of prayer.
First is the instruction for prayer and its subsequent reasons: “requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks be offered on behalf of all people, even for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity”
Secondly the purpose of prayer: God “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” thus echoing Peter’s words “The Lord ….does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” [2Pe 3:9] and the words of Matthew “ In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that one of these little ones be lost.” [Mat 18:14]
Thirdly, Jesus is our mediator or intermediary between God and humanity and thus when we pray, Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us unlike the sigh of Job who said “Nor is there an arbiter between us…” Jesus has paid the price and thus has the right, the privilege and the honor of being our mediator.
Paul continues on with these words of counsel: “I want the men to pray in every place, lifting up holy hands and likewise the women.” Prayer is something both men and women can do with holy hands coming before the Father that His will for all men to be saved can be accomplished.
Psalm 69 is one of the three most quoted psalms in the NT in reference to “The Messiah.” (e.g. Those who hate me without cause [Jn 15:25], vinegar to drink [Matt 17:48]. Thus it is fitting that we walk through this psalm as part of our study in the book of Matthew about our True Messiah. This psalm and the life of Christ will teach us the two paths before us and our choices when we too face times of despair.
David begins his psalm with an analogy of physical drowning using it to show God how he is coping with the enemies that are about him. David compares his drowning to Jeremiah or Joseph in a pit with no way out. In vs 5 to 12 we feel his pang of loneliness and as we read the story of Joseph we recall the brothers as they stood before Joseph: “we saw how distressed he was when he cried to us for mercy, but we refused to listen.”
In vs 13 to 15 we see a change in David’s tone as he reminds himself of God’s lovingkindness and compassion, his saving truth, the fact that he alone is one’s redeemer. But even as he recalls this he also seeks revenge for what these enemies of his soul have done. From David: [vs 24-28] from God upon his enemies [pour out your judgment upon them, do not vindicate them, may their names be deleted from the scroll of the living]. In contrast to David’s outburst we move to the NT and see the higher way to seek justice. Jesus becomes our example as on the cross he cried out “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” [Luke 23:34]
Today may we choose the higher path, the path of our Savior, our True Messiah.