In my chronological bible reading I’ve come to the book of Revelation and the letters to the seven churches. Revelation 2:1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. The stars are the angels of the churches and the lampstands are the churches. Jesus Christ is the Lord of the angels and churches.
What struck me this time reading it is a sobering reminder especially as a pastor, is knowing God sees and knows the heart and activity of the churches. Vss. 2-3 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. He knows our thoughts, attitudes, interactions with people and much more.
The church at Ephesus was experiencing hard times and persecution! As a pastor the things listed in Vss. 2-3 would sound rather good. Those people were doing a lot of good showing their true faith in Jesus Christ and not compromising with the world. I sometimes wonder what God sees at Pilot Knob Lutheran and what he would say.
What is surprising is that with all the good listed there is one problem: Vs. 4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Was God nitpicking, looking for areas to criticize? No! Falling from their first love is no small matter. In fact, it’s the lack of love that starts the problems in all seven churches. Remember what the greatest commandment is, the sum of the entire law? Love the Lord your God with all your heart . . . and your neighbor as yourself. Paul said: if I don’t have love I’m a noisy gong. All the good things churches can do are worthless without love for one another. This often and easily happens in marriages. When a couple becomes settled in their work, routines and the business with children their first love for each other can cool down leading to problems.
Jesus warns the church, every church, to examine the measure of their love for God in word and deed.
What temperature is you love for Jesus?
Pr. Bob Snitzer
By the Way:
Today 4:30 Confirmation.
March 26, 9:00 AM Morning worship. Sermon: Purim
10:15 Sunday school for all.
12:00 L.L.S. practice. (Lunch: 11:30)
April 1, 4:00 The last LLS rehearsal.
April 2, 2:00 Join us for the presentation of the Living Last Supper. Refreshments follow.
Sermons may be heard on KIOW 107.3 FM Sunday mornings at 7:00. Spread the word. If you would like to support this outreach with a contribution, it costs $55 each week.
Pilot Knob Lutheran What Might God Say? 3/22/2023