And the Winner Is…!
May Your Word a lamp to my feet and a light for my path today, Lord (Ps. 119:105).
Read REVELATION 2:12-17
 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword.  I know where you live-where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city-where Satan lives.  Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality.  Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.  Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat is Jesus’ call to this church and why?
Every year there is an award for the “Worst Street in the UK.” If being known for having the most run-down, visitor unfriendly and economically depressed street is bad, imagine being branded as “where Satan has his throne” (13)! The academic city of Pergamum was the recipient of this dark title. Perhaps this was due to the dominating Altar of Zeus where smoke from countless sacrifices would constantly rise, or because of the proliferation of idol worship (14). Or maybe it was the presence of the Christian-persecuting Roman proconsul, and the ungodly emphasis placed upon emperor worship.
The Pergamum believers were constantly being enticed into abandoning and renouncing their faith, and Jesus issues a clear warning to stay loyal and true (13). It is alarming how popular but erroneous doctrine or distorted spirituality can twist our understanding of the Christian faith. How difficult to swim against the tide when the waves are carrying us away from our God-source. Yet Christ calls us to overcome, and for everyone who does, there is an award (17)!
Is it hard to swim against the tide and walk the holy way? How can God help you do it consistently?
Lord, You know all the temptations and pressures I face. Help me to resist and overcome them each day.
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