Grace and peace on this Lord’s Day Dear Hearts ❤ I’ve been thinking about how far we, as followers of Jesus Christ, have moved away from the first century Church this morning. The example left for us in Scripture speaks of unity, gladness and simplicity of heart.
42 They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in the prayers. 43 Fear came to every soul. And many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 They sold their property and goods and distributed them to all, according to their need. 46 And continuing daily with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.Acts 2:42-47 MEV
A few decades later Apostle Paul wrote to his young disciple, describing the changes that were already beginning to appear in the body.
Know this: In the last days perilous times will come. 2 Men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 without natural affection, trucebreakers, slanderers, unrestrained, fierce, despisers of those who are good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness, but denying its power. Turn away from such people.2 Timothy 3:1-5 MEV
Today’s headlines tell me that we have indeed arrived in the prophsied perilous times.
In John’s Revelation we see God’s Message to the church in those perilous times.
First, let us consider the following: when we simply go by the literal application of the word Laodicea, it is merely the name of a city that was along a trade route in Asia Minor. To understand the deeper meaning of the word “Laodicean,” and why Christ inspired its use in the context of Revelation 3, one must examine the Greek root words from which it is derived: Laos (Strong’s #2992, meaning “people”) and dike (Strong’s #1349, meaning “principle, decision”). In other words, as Christ showed in verse 20, Laodiceans trust in their ability to rule themselves, judging and deciding matters to the exclusion of Christ’s rule within His Church.
3:14 “To the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write:Revelation 3:14-20 MEV
“The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says these things: 15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of My mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, and have stored up goods, and have need of nothing,’ yet do not realize that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments, that you may be dressed, that the shame of your nakedness may not appear, and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
19 “Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me.
21 “To him who overcomes will I grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
My prayer for this Lord’s Day and the season we are living through — Abba, Father, grant that we may return to the simplicity of Your first church, loving You, loving Your Word and praying as Jesus taught: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Bring us, as your church and as individuals, back to our “first love.”