A Message to the Church in Casselberry!
Good Afternoon Metro,
Jesus' words to the church in Sardis from Revelation 3:1-6 are still ringing in my ears. How about yours? Why did God preserve those seven letters to the churches in Asia? Only He knows all of His reasons, but I believe one of them is clearly expressed by Jesus Himself. He wants us to "hear" what he had to say to each of those churches, because in all likelihood, our own local church can relate to many of the strengths and the weaknesses that the churches in Asia experienced. Just like those individual churches, each church is comprised of individuals, which means not everyone is experiencing the same thing. Not everyone is strong in the same way, or weak in the same way. Every church on the planet experiences varying degrees of the strengths and weaknesses listed in the seven letters to the churches in Revelation, because every church on the planet is made up of individuals walking out their relationship with Jesus Christ. What should matter most to us is, what is Jesus saying to us personally? What does He want me to have "ears to hear?" How does my individual walk with Jesus contribute to the local expression of the body of Christ that is Metro Life Church? How do my own strengths and weaknesses contribute to the "fabric" of our local church? What is Jesus speaking to me personally, that will not only serve to strengthen me, but also my local church? What do I personally need to be watchful of? Are there any ways in which I need to "wake up"? Is the Gospel of Jesus Christ "everyday" for me? How? Who or what do I see as the greatest challenge or obstacle in my passion for my relationship with Jesus? What might need fanned-into-flame in my life right now that would propel me forward in my love for Jesus? The point is that it isn't the same answer for each person, anymore than each church has the exact same strengths and weaknesses. There isn't one application; there are as many applications as there are people in our local church. So, what is the "message" to you and to me personally? I can't answer that for you and you can't answer it for me, but the Holy Spirit has the answers, the grace, the power, the encouragement, and the strength to follow where Jesus is leading us. So, ask Him! And share with others what Jesus is saying to you, so that as a body, we are collectively encouraged and strengthened.
The letters to the churches in Revelation should matter to us because they serve as encouragements as well as warnings. They remind us that we have not arrived yet. Let's fight "arrival" together. May the words of Paul Tripp encourage us all in the good fight. God bless your week, friends!
“The lack of a meditative, Christ-centered devotional life is not just the result of the seemingly unending demands of life; it is the product of arrival. I am convinced that when busyness intersects with arrival, one of the first things that goes is private worship. Perhaps it is a combination of fear and gratitude that drives us to our knees and into communion with Christ each morning. It is when we face who we are and the fickleness of our hearts that we feel the need to have our hearts recaptured morning after morning. It is when we reflect on the fact that sin is not always a horror to us but sometimes appears positively attractive that we want to run into the protective arms of the Lord again and again. It is when we consider the dangerous temptation of this fallen world that we will want to get help for the battle day after day. It is fear of our own weakness that drives us to the Savior for strength. It is when we fear the power of foolishness that still remains in us that we are propelled to daily seek the wisdom that can be found only in the pages of Scripture. A humble and holy fear is a major part of what propels a consistent life of daily personal worship. So when you’ve forgotten who you are, when you assign to yourself more maturity that you actually have, and when you think you are more capable than you really are, you leave yourself little reason to seek the ongoing help of your Savior.” ~ Paul Tripp, Dangerous Calling, pg. 185-186 paraphrased