Today's devotion from Revelation 2 & 3.
In Revelation 2 & 3, seven churches are addressed. They range in size, importance, geography, and health, but each needed a word of encouragement toward the desired end, which is standing firm in the gospel to the glory of Christ and the hope of their residents. Some of these names are familiar to you. We've read through the New Testament about several of these churches that began, struggled, and stumbled in their attempts to follow after Christ.
Each of the letters has been studied in detail by generations of pastors. They will dissect and analyze every nuance and phrase in order to more fully understand the specific meaning of the message. They will assess the context of each church in order to more fully comprehend the reason a certain phrase was used or to justify the use of a specific verb tense. The result has been countless sermons dealing the minutiae and delivered in every manner imaginable.
But what if there are unintended consequences?
What if we become so academic in our pursuit of understanding this section that we fail to see the most basic point of application? What if we become so comfortable with these messages that we actually neglect the truth they convey?
The point I'm trying to underscore is this: press forward. Even in this letter designed to create an understanding of the end of time, Christ is compelling these churches to continue their march toward faithfulness, toward stewardship, toward passion, and, ultimately, toward Him.
It doesn't matter how celebrated our faith to this point we cannot be lulled to sleep. We cannot think that we have our act together or that our small flaws are somehow insignificant. We must press forward, both in our personal discipleship and in our corporate worship. I think this is a very broad summary of the message given to the angel of each church.