This topic has been in my heart for a long time. These images are from a Bible of mine. I wanted aspects of the messages to pop out and I like how the highlighting like this did just that for me. I hope this post encourages examination and inspires to build relationships, especially between us and our Creator and Messiah.
I will not get into the meat of these messages or other scripture. The goal is to inspire to consider these things , searching our hearts and growing in Godly character while we seek His Kingdom. It is all for His glory and purposes that we do these things. I do have a list of questions below to ponder and of course, there is a lot left unsaid here but may this be a springboard for deeper study.
Imagine if God’s people spent more time looking inward, growing individually and collectively without the near constant pointing out everyone else’s sins and disobedience to the Creator. Then consider the self-righteousness that consumes the Body. We all are guilty of this, if perhaps only on occasion. Many are eager and sometimes become consumed with teaching others. Yes, I know there is a time for that and that some have a calling to teach- but we need to remember these messages are for HIS PEOPLE. A lot continues to be missing today; it is nothing new.
We have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, seeking first His Kingdom. Please consider that while we can know many things and do the physical necessary, our efforts can be in vain if we are not focusing heavily on ourselves and our own homes, marriages, family, and relationships with friends, brethren, and neighbors. There is always room for growth that we can do without burning ourselves out. Much gets neglected, which we all are guilty of, even if it is not that often.
Throughout the Bible, there are warnings to His people about their sins and calls for them to repent. Even in Revelation- it still matters.
How many of us will hear “Well done My good and faithful servant”? It is either that or “I never knew you”; it does matter what we are doing. We will be held accountable.
A bit in the messages to the churches are not favorable. We are missing things that are so important. It is easy to live like it does not really apply to us; I daresay it does more than we would like to admit. There will be times when we fall short; we shouldn’t be brushing that off as “I am not perfect”; not a single one of us is.
Thank God for His gifts of grace, mercy, and forgiveness towards us! He gives us a chance to repent for our sins against Him. Praise Him for this opportunity! It is not a one-and-done repentance in this walk.
What we do and how we treat people matters. We cannot know what is important to Him and how to walk for Him if we do not get into His word and pray to Him a lot. Not only focusing mainly on certain parts constantly. All of it matters, all the time.
We must not get lackadaisical and fix it when we do.
What are our examples and how we are living actually teaching our children what all of this means? It is far more than what we tell them and the talking AT them what it means.
We are all called to be lights and salt. Not wrongly abrasive that is damaging and not tyrannical that makes others’ calling harder for them as they have to overcome and heal. We could be adding to their hardships for growth.
Does how we live match what we tell them? Are we searching hearts deeply to examine if our actions match our words and what we say we believe? All the bumps along the way included and how we handle them. Those times will come, and we will have struggles- let us keep fighting the good fight as we remember that we are not doomed to failure. We can repent, dust ourselves off, and try again.
That is where the rubber meets the road.
How are we representing our Creator and Messiah? Are we helping to turn people towards Them or further from Them? These things are all part of showing love to others, especially ourselves and our families.
Are we doing good to or causing harm to His Name
Some more questions to ask ourselves:
- What is my example to my children? To others?
- Am I chasing people or things more than God and Messiah?
- Where/who have I been looking for approval?
- Have I hardened my heart in anything?
- Have I been letting love grow cold in me?
- How does the message to each Church speak to me?
- What are my strengths?
- Have I left my first love as described? What about possibly neglecting it?
- Am I taking care to walk carefully considering how I am affecting others?
- If married, am I truly making my marriage a priority? (To the degree that I can and have control)
- Are my children taking a backseat in an unbalanced manner as I tend to others needs?
- Where do I see my need to repent in these messages to the Seven Churches?
- Have I become lukewarm?
- Where am I unbalanced in my life?
- How can I encourage my children and spouse in all of this in a manner that pleases my Father?
- What are the small steps I can take to stay the course and not get overwhelmed?
Keep going on your own list if you would like to examine more deeply. Search His Word, pray to Him often. He cares about His people and wants to tell us “well done” We have control over our walk with Him, let us take advantage of that access He so lovingly gives us!
If you are in a hard season and struggling right now, you are seen and being prayed for. We all have times we have nothing or next to nothing we can give to others, that’s life and does happen at times. We all can grow and be there for each other. Know your circle and be there for each other. Always try to remember to lean into our Father and that we can do all things through Messiah Who strengthens us.
Although at times it can feel like we are alone, we are not. Even when some people are not being there for us, sometimes that is just out of neglect and/or caught up in their own lives, lean into Him and who is there when needed. May we not be the ones who get so distracted and caught up in things that we fail to recognize we are being neglectful and hurtful. People will let us down at times, we will be guilty of that too, however rare or much that might be. May we get better at encouraging, uplifting and supporting each other. Most of us probably are not intentionally falling short. We would want others to be merciful, forgiving and not bitter towards us when we do things poorly, so let us be quick to do the same. (Obviously, toxic or dangerous relationships have to be handled differently).
Sometimes we need to take a step back but be very careful what we allow to happen inside our hearts and not to inadvertently or intentionally end up doing the very things that lead to being told He has things against us or worse, I never knew you.
It is all about our heart and what we do within it. Overtime we can become hardened and go very far from Him but there is good news in being able to return to Him! We see that also in the Seven Churches and many times to His people throughout His Word as He calls them to repent but we see hope given in them too. Be zealous and repent, turn and return to Him! Hallelujah, Praise Him that He does not give up on us.
So get into His word, talk to Him a lot and run towards Him.
May we all continue to grow and seek Him more and more as we see the day approaching.