Lord, I don’t want to be one who knows about you but doesn’t know you. Holy Spirit, refresh and revive my walk with you.
Read REVELATION 2:1–7
To the Church in Ephesus
2 “To the angel[a] of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
- Revelation 2:1 Or messenger; also in verses 8, 12 and 18
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat challenges are before you today? Remind yourself that, even if you feel overwhelmed, God is there to help you carry the load.
Perseverance is one of the great Bible words, and is a key characteristic of Christian discipleship (v 3). It is the ability to keep going in the midst of difficulty and hardship, not quitting because life is hard but choosing, with God’s help, to make it through to the end. ‘Resilience’ is a more modern word, with the connotation of bouncing back after setbacks or difficulties.
The church in Ephesus figures prominently in the New Testament, having been founded by the apostle Paul and then cared for by his young protégé, Timothy. One of the things that Jesus, as Lord of the church, appreciates about this congregation is their consistency – they have worked hard and not given up, despite being troubled by false apostles (v 2). They have endured hardship and not grown weary.
How is this possible? Only when we look to God for daily strength. This means taking time as you are doing today to be still in God’s presence, in order to receive his strength through prayer and the Scriptures. Worship also plays its part, as does the encouragement of fellowship with other believers.
As you look back on your life, can you remember times when God brought you through difficult times? Take encouragement from such memories as you look to God now to help you through today’s challenges.
Dear God, I know I am a great starter but a poor finisher. Give me the strength to persevere in my daily walk with you.
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