Thy Kingdom Come – Day 9

Day 9


Revelation 2:4-5 

I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 

The Lord’s letter to the church at Ephesus might have been the most painful one for John to write. This was his church. He is writing home, and although Jesus praises the Church’s doctrinal purity and capacity for the hard work of sharing the Good News, there is one devastating challenge. Unless the church rediscovers true Christian love both for the Lord and for one another, their very existence is threatened. 

The love of years ago is no use for today. 

If love for God has been replaced by mere habit, and if love for fellow church members has given way to bureaucracy and endless committee meetings, then the fire has gone out. The danger is that we become an empty shell with no inner reality. 

The African Study Bible puts it like this: ‘No one likes to eat stale food or read twenty-year old newspapers. We want fresh food and current news. Let us not give to God a love that is stale and cold. Let us repent of any pretending in church.’ It is no wonder then that John’s letters are full of encouragements to love each other in the Christian community. The tradition, that in extreme old age John would still urge believers, ‘Little children love one another’, makes all the sense in the world in the light of today’s verse. 

Praying women in Barisal Diocese, BangladeshPraying women in Barisal Diocese, Bangladesh

Jesus has challenged, as well as encouraged, the church. When the Bible gives us a challenge: something to change, something to work at, something in us that is not as it should be, it is easy to feel, ‘I’m hopeless, I don’t have the strength to do anything about that. I’ve tried and failed many times before.’ That is not what God wants. That is why He has given us the amazing power of the Holy Spirit so that He can do what we cannot. 

If the Lord Jesus were writing a letter to you and me what would He write to encourage us? What transformation, in His grace, has already taken place? In our prayers today let us ask Him to point out to us, in loving challenge, those areas of life in which He wants to see more change, then ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to make those changes possible. 

When an artist paints a portrait, the first sketch or outline is added to with beautiful colours and fine brush strokes until the picture is clear. We are to be the image, the picture of Christ to the world, so we pray the divine artist may paint His likeness in us. The words of the old song Keep Me Shining, Lord are a reminder to us to live in a way that people may see Christ through us: ‘keep me shining Lord, keep me shining Lord, in all I say or do; that the world may see Christ lives in me, and learn to love Him too.’ 

Pray that our five may see the Lord Jesus in the lives of His people.