Cultivating Enthusiasm

2 Chronicles 15:15They sought God eagerly, and He was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side. (NIV 1978)

My Musing – We must be eager to seek, serve and follow the Lord. We need to cultivate the enthusiasm we had as new Christians. It need not die out. It usually doesn’t over night. We need to be alert for signs of erosion and act early.

My Advice – When you find that your eagerness to seek God is waning, it is pretty good indication that you are drifting away from Him. Take this to heart and ask Him to restore the eagerness and remove the hindrances (and you must be willing to let go of them). If you do this, He will answer you.

Thyatira: Increased Works But Tolerates Evil

THE LETTER – “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): Only hold on to what you have until I come. To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations – ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery’ – just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 2:18-29)

Background – Thyatira, now called Akhissar, was situated some forty miles south-east of Pergamum. A Lydian city, it had been under Roman rule since 190 BC, housing a large military garrison. Thyatira was a trade center, and was especially known for its dye for royal purple. It was the home of Lydia of Philippi named in Acts 16:14. Various inscriptions indicate that it was full of trade guilds. Apollo was the chief pagan deity of the city. The emperor was linked with Apollo and may have been worshiped in Thyatira as his earthly manifestation. It was another center of influence for the Nicolaitans, known for their idolatry and licentiousness. Locally, it was influenced by a “prophetess” who stood in opposition to and defiance of the church there. This was the longest of the seven messages to the churches, although Thyatira was the smallest city of the seven.

Greeting: What’s in A Name – The name of the city, Thyatira, apparently means Continue reading “Thyatira: Increased Works But Tolerates Evil”

Complacent Self-Suffciency

2 Chronicles 12:1After Reheboam’s position as king was established and he had become strong, he and all Israel with him abandoned the law of the Lord. (NIV 1078)

My Musing – This is a typical scenario. Before we are established we lean on God a lot. Afterwards, we have a tendency to look at who we’ve become and what we’ve accomplished rather than who got us there and made it all possible in the first place.

My Advice – After you graduate and become established in your job, and you are enjoying life and living comfortably, be on guard. It is at times like these that we can begin to feel self-sufficient and complacent in our spiritual lives and in our dependence upon God. Do not let that happen.

When Faith Does Not Know Where, How, When or Why

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FROM THE MIND OF WEBSTER

Even Though – Used as a stronger way to say “though” or “although.” In spite of the fact.
Obeyed – To follow the commands or guidance.
Not Know – Not in possession of knowledge or information.
Past – Beyond the capacity, range, or sphere of.
Enabled – To make possible.
Promise – A declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something.
Tested – An ordeal required as proof of conformity with a set of beliefs. Continue reading “When Faith Does Not Know Where, How, When or Why”

Dealing With The Spider

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Micah 4:2-4 – He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths. The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken. (NIV 1978)

My Musing – This is a picture of a tee shirt that was shared by a friend on Facebook following the tragedy in Parkland, Florida this past week.  It did not go without comment by another friend, which suggested a somewhat opposing view.  I typically shy away from commenting on issues that can be socially or politically charged, especially on social media, because they generally do not change anyone’s mind and often result in merely fanning the flames.  I also value the friendship of both.  Nevertheless, here are my two cents worth. Continue reading “Dealing With The Spider”

Pergamum: True To Faith But Permits Heresy

THE LETTER – “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives. Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it. (Revelation 2:12-17)

Background – Pergamum was located about 20 miles inland from Smyrna. Like Ephesus and Smyrna, it was a wealthy city, but Continue reading “Pergamum: True To Faith But Permits Heresy”

If, Then

2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (NIV 1978)

My Musing – The world keeps getting worse all the time. We would like to blame the worldly for the problems our country faces. But we cannot. The responsibility rests squarely with those called by His name: Christians.

My Advice – Be humble, not arrogant, boastful or proud. Pray often, do not be a stranger to God. Seek His guidance rather than the counsel of those that the world consider wise. Do not follow the ways of the world, but rather go in the opposite direction. Do these things and you can be confident that God will hear, heal and respond.