Encounter: Read through Revelation chapters 2 & 3 again this week. This time write down the words of Jesus at the end of all the statements to each church where it begins, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches…then the reward.
When I read the words that Jesus shares with each of the seven churches in Revelation, I see multiple choices that were made that either showed compromise or faithfulness. And their choices led to a challenge or a word of comfort. I doubt if any of these churches fully knew what they would be facing when they put their faith in Jesus, but now the results of their choices were being unveiled, not only during their lifetimes but ours as well. I bet they didn’t expect that. But choices are like that. They have a rippling effect for generations to come.
In her book, Multiple Choices – Making Wise Decisions in a Complicated World, Ruth Tucker writes, “Routine choices have eternal consequences. Indeed, it is the sum total of our everyday choices-big and little- that encompasses the will of God. The will of God is not a once-for-all revelation. It is not something to be found; it is something to be lived out, day by day. The will of God progressively unfolds as we weigh one set of options against another and make right choices, guided by the principles found in the Bible. This is the God-given duty that looms before us on our pilgrimage through life – a duty that demands that we seek to truly know God.”
The Book of Revelation is another way that God invites His creation to choose faithfulness. Remember the words of Joshua? … Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord,”(Joshua 24:14-15).
Do you hear God’s invitation? “To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations.” And that is just one part of the gift. As we study the Book of Revelation, may we not get distracted by all the symbolism that we miss the big idea. There will be times in our lives, especially when it is difficult, we will be tempted to compromise our faith and our God says to us, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Choose faithfulness…Behold, I am coming quickly! And aI bring my reward with me. Thanks be to God!
Choosing with You,
Reflect: What is required to overcome for each of these churches? What is their reward? What choices are they given? What choices have they made? What choices in your life would you like to have a re-do? Where do you see God’s grace in the midst of wrong choices?
Encourage: Read through 10 Questions to Ask Before Making an Important Decision by Randy Carlson at this link: https://www.theintentionallife.com/intentionals-making-important-decisions/
Gather: Plan a Zoom meeting with some friends and go through this list together and discuss how these principles can help you make choices and have less re-do’s.