So, I've decided that Monday's are going to be my Beth Moore "Revelation" re-cap days. Not that the rest of you signed up for this study, but it is my blog so you'll have to bear with me. :-) God has been speaking to me so much through this study that I just can't help but share!! Here are some of the key points from Beth's discussion on Revelation chapters 2 and 3.
1. God cares about the local church. Whether you worship in a huge mega-church, small-town church, or are building a church-start--God is THERE and he CARES about what's going on in your congregation. Even if you can't see him, he is walking through the halls and aisles of your church. So, whatever you're facing in your congregation, know that God sees it too.
2. The book of Revelation is about conquering. As children of God, we are conquerors. Yet, as Beth said, to be a conqueror, you have to have something to conquer. We all face challenges in life, yet the thing to remember is that we are not bent under those challenges, we are conquerors of them. We stand on our challenges, not under them. As Christians, we are called to overcome.
3. Like the church in Ephesus, we can forsake our first love-the God who created and sustains us. We forsake God by actively sending him away or by passively letting him slip away. The latter really convicted me!! Busy Mom syndrome hit anyone else recently? Loving God should be our first priority (see Mark 12:28-30). It is only in loving God that we are capable of loving others.
4. The antithesis of forsaking is forgiving. The same root word is used in each. In order to forgive, we have to send away what we are holding onto into the hands of God. And remember, God's hands are both affectionate and avenging. Also, God does not just love, HE IS LOVE!! So when we love, we are closer to God. If we truly love God, who is love, we HAVE TO love others. I've blogged about the power of forgiveness in my own life recently, and I can tell you, it is truly a gift of God. Beth stated, "You will either hang onto unforgiveness or to your first love, but you cannot hang onto both." We have to let go.
5. Finally, Christ called the church at Ephesus to do three things: remember, repent and return. Remember your calling, repent of your sins, and return to those first things.
Blessings and Peace,