Saturday, November 26, 2011




Read Revelation 2:8-11

      "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, 'these things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: "I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich)..." Revelation 2:8-9a
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     The believers in the church at Smyrna were suffering persecution and all their material goods had been confiscated. Jesus tells them that He sees everything that is happening to them and though they are poor, they are actually spiritually rich in hope for the future. (This stands in contrast to the church at Laodicea who were rich in material goods, but spiritually they were poor.)
     The worst is yet to come for those in Smyrna, as some of them will be cast into prison even unto death. They will suffer for their faith, but for a limited time.  Jesus said, “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison - that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days... (2:10a)
    Though some may have to suffer persecution for following Jesus in this life, God’s Holy Spirit will give us the ability to endure. We have all of eternity to enjoy the rewards of a godly life. Jesus said, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (2:10b)
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    Lord, at this point in our culture we have not experienced real persecution, but there are many throughout the world who are in prison and have even died for their faith in the past few years. Should we ever have to endure this Lord, help us to depend on You. Even in a time of material blessing, keep us faithful unto death.
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    "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death."   Revelation 2:11 NKJV

Sunday, November 20, 2011




Revelation 2:1-2

      "To the angel of the church of Ephesus write ..."I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil....” Revelation 2:1a, 2a NKJV
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      The Ephesian believers were diligent in guarding the true gospel which had been given to them. Jesus commends them, “...You have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary...” Then John writes the convicting words dictated by Jesus Himself: “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Revelation 2:4

       In their sincere desire to root out false teaching, a sad thing happened - they lost their love for the very people they were ministering to. After awhile perhaps they viewed everyone with suspicion rather than depending on the grace and love of God to be their guide. Jesus sternly warns,

     “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place -- unless you repent.” (2:5) There would be nothing worse than a once vibrant loving church to lose its light in the place where they lived.
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      I can see from this passage that serving without love is futile. We can be oh so busy and oh so right and yet without love we are nothing. Restore to us a right spirit O Lord. Amen.
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      "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal." 1 Corinthians 13:1 NKJV

Sunday, November 13, 2011



Read Revelation 1

      To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood... to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:5b, 6b
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      Reading through the book of Revelation, we get a glimpse of the almighty power and glory of God in Jesus Christ. But at the same time we are reminded that this all powerful God loved us and gave His Son to die for our sins. The contrast of Jesus on the cross with Jesus in Heaven is breathtaking. 
      Though His own people rejected Him at His first coming, they will realize what they did in that final hour. John writes, "Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him... " (1:7)
      Our Savior as portrayed in the gospels, is now seen by John in Heaven as one "like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters..." (Revelation 1:13-15)
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      Lord, I can only imagine what it will be like to stand in your presence. Perhaps I will fall at your feet like John, but then hear your words of comfort: "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.” (1:17b-18a)
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      "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."   Revelation 1:8 NKJV

Sunday, November 6, 2011




Read Jude

      Beloved... I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.   Jude 3b NKJV
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      Jude, the brother of James and of our Lord Jesus Christ writes a very serious letter to Jewish Christians of his day. He reminds them and us, “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit." (Jude 17-19)
      Jude describes these Mockers in highly descriptive terms as "ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ." (Jude 4b) He warns that grave judgment is reserved for those who corrupt the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ for their own gain. “These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.” (Jude 16)
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      Lord I pray that You will protect our churches from the inevitable rise of apostate men and women. Give us discernment to recognize those who would cause divisions and confusion by their false teaching. Help us to become more familiar with the Truth of God's Word so that we can discern error in our midst.
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      “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God..." Jude 20-21a NKJV