Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Morning Devotional: New Series

I thought for Monday Devotionals, to get a great start to the week, we could go through the seven churches in Revelation. Each one had things they were doing well, or ok, as well as things to work on. Remember, this book is Jesus’ revelation to John.

We will start in Ephesus:

Expanded Passage: Revelation 2: 1-7

Key Scripture:
“But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”
(Revelation 2:4-5 ESV)

Ephesus is doing a great job of making sure they kept their doctrine* cautiously and vigilantly. However, Jesus points out that they have lost their love, and this loss has affected their works.

Where in you life are you not loving enough? I know for me this is a huge struggle: and it is so interesting to me that the church in Ephesus most likely thought they were doing awesome at running their church. But what is a church without love? What are you without love?

Here are a couple of scriptures on how we can love others:

“And he said to him, ‘You hall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’”.
I know that if we set our eyes on Christ and are truly in love with our God, we will reflect Him and love will be overflowing in our hearts.

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” Mt 5:44
Ouch. I don’t know about you but this hurts; it’s hard enough loving people that are easy to love, much less my enemies. I do love that Jesus includes a way to love them: pray for them. (also see Luke 6:32-35)

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.” Galatians 5:6
Religiosity counts for nothing, and our faith counts for everything, which manifests itself as works based on love.

“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22
‘Nuff Said.

Jesus, thank you for your sacrificial, incredible, unfailing love. Thank you that is does not depend on me or what I do, but on you. It is truly unconditional and unfathomable. Please fill my heart completely with your love, and help it to spill out into my life. Help me not to take something that is good like biblical convictions and use it in a way that is unloving. Help me to see others as people that you love, not as the things that they do. Push me to love others as you love me. Most of all, I love you, Lord. Please help that love to continue to grow.

*a belief about your religion: ex: one Christian may believe that the earth was created in 7 literal days, and another may believe that the 7 days were not literal and represented an amount of time

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