Paul told the Philippian church: “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound” (Philippians 4:12). It might seem odd to hear Paul say that he had learned how to deal with plenty. We wouldn’t consider a place of blessing to be dangerous, and while no one wants to suffer need, being blessed with plenty is often the greatest danger of all.
That proved true for the church of Laodicea, because their blessings led to their downfall. Continue reading
Living for Christ is not an event. It is a way of life — and it is a way of life with sure reward. All God requires of us is faithfulness founded in trust. Continue reading
Living for Christ is not an event. It is a way of life. The church at Philadelphia understood this. Only this church and the church at Smyrna received no rebuke from the Lord – not because they were perfect, but because they were steadfast. These were not perfect Christians. They were faithful and growing ones. Continue reading
Too many churches live in the brilliance of their past. Like dead stars light years away, their residual glory might still be visible to distant observers, but what made them truly shine died long ago. Continue reading
Preaching against worldliness may be passé in the modern church, but with Christ it has never gone out of style. When He introduces Himself to the church at Pergamum, Jesus describes Himself as “He which hath the sharp sword with two edges.” He was not giving them a warm welcome. He was reminding them that He is Judge and Executioner, and that His judgment begins in His own house. Pergamum was a worldly church and Jesus was having no part of it because “the friendship of the world is enmity with God” (see Ephesians 2:16). Continue reading
The church at Smyrna lived recklessly for Christ for one simple reason: They had their eyes on eternity.
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Continue reading
The Letters to the Seven Churches: Background
This letter from John was written to the seven key churches of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). They were representative of the churches throughout the region and were chosen, in part, because they were located in the key cities of Asia Minor’s seven postal districts, making them central points for disseminating information. The order in which these churches are listed is the same order as the postal route. When a messenger arrived at Miletus, he would travel north to Ephesus and then follow a clockwise route to the other six cities. So, when Jesus delivers His messages to the churches, He begins with Ephesus. Continue reading
“Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow” (Mark 4:3).
The parable of the sower is one of Christ’s most famous parables. (See also Matthew 13:1-9). It speaks of the spreading of the Gospel and how it is received. Sadly, the Gospel seed has a success rate of only twenty-five percent – not because the seed is no good, but because not all the soil is receptive. Continue reading