Archive for the ‘Revelation 3’ Category

We have come to the final letter in our series on the seven letters to the churches in Revelation. Today we look at what Jesus has to say by the Spirit to the church in Laodicea, and also to us.

Laodicea was situated on major north-south and east-west trade routes. It was a prosperous city, even able to rebuild after a devastating earthquake in 60 AD without imperial help. It was known for several things: its banking and financial industry, it textiles – including making clothes, and a medical school.

The situation in Laodicea

Something is seriously wrong. This letter is arguably the worst of the seven in tone and critique.

  • In v. 16 Jesus says, “I will spit (or vomit) you out of my mouth.” In other words, they make Jesus sick!
  • In v. 17 Jesus says, “You are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”
  • They have shut Jesus out. v. 20 presents a picture of Jesus on the outside, knocking, hoping to get in.
  • They need to repent, as Jesus says in v. 19.

When we look at what’s going on, it isn’t exactly clear. They are doing well. In v. 17 Jesus has them say, “I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.” And all this in a time of persecution, which raises some questions. We have already seen in other letters that persecution can bring economic hardship. But they are doing just fine. Perhaps they are using their wealth to keep them out of suffering, through bribes or calling in favors and otherwise using their influence.

In v. 17 Jesus tells them the truth, “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” They think they are faithful. They haven’t denied Jesus (having used their wealth to escape persecution), but in reality they aren’t standing up for Jesus. If it is true that they have bought their way out of testing, they are avoiding true faithfulness to Jesus.

In vs. 15-16 Jesus says, “you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

The idea of this hot-cold contrast, with lukewarm in between seems to be that they are trying to be something in between two extremes. They are trying to have it both ways, being faithful to Jesus, but also not having to suffer for him. But the truth is they are neither standing up for Jesus (hot?), nor denying him (cold?), but are doing something in between (lukewarm).

The Laodiceans didn’t have good drinking water, so they would have understood Jesus’ image here of spitting out bad water. They would have gotten the message that Jesus doesn’t approve of their behavior.

Jesus’ message

v. 18 picks up on the last three words of v. 17 – “poor, blind and naked.” Jesus says, “I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.”

In this verse Jesus gives them the answers to their problems. 1. They are poor (even though their city is famous for its financial industry and wealth). The answer – “Buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich” – v. 18. Refining is a common metaphor for testing and persecution. Jesus is saying, gain true treasures that come through enduring testing.

2. They are naked (even thought their city is famous for its textiles and clothing industry). The answer – “Buy from me . . . white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen” – v. 18. In Revelation, white garments have to do with righteous deeds, including suffering (Revelation 19:8; 7:13-14). Jesus is saying, gain true righteousness through enduring testing.

3. They are blind (even though their city is famous for its medicine, including eye medicine). The answer – “Buy from me . . . salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see” – v. 18. Jesus is saying, gain true vision so that you can realize your situation of unfaithfulness.

Jesus’ call to change. Although judgment is threatened, Jesus says in v. 19, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” His warnings come from love, so that they will listen and have a change of heart and behavior.

In v. 20 Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Now this verse is popular and is often used to speak of becoming a Christian. But in context it is spoken to those who are already Christian, but need to repent because they are being disciplined by Jesus.) In this verse, Jesus is looking for those in the church in Laodicea that he can share fellowship with. This fellowship is pictured as eating a meal together. The path to this is repentance. They have shut him out, and so they must let him back in.

Jesus speaks to us

v. 22 – “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Jesus is speaking to all who will listen in his churches. And so, once again, we have to ask ourselves, ‘Do we have ears to hear what Jesus is saying to us in this letter?’

1. We often don’t see when we are failing. The Laodiceans thought they were faithful and were probably expecting a good word from Jesus. They were clueless having deceived themselves.

And we too can be unaware of our own faults. We too can be deceived and oblivious to reality. This is why we need to be in relationship with God and with others so that we can receive admonition and correction.

We need others. When we isolate by ourselves; when we stop coming to church and stop reading the Scriptures and praying, we cut ourselves off from God and other. And we are setting ourselves up for failure.

But we are Americans and we love our privacy! But we are called to love each other enough to help each other see our faults, so that we can repent and receive God’s blessing in our lives.

2. Even when we fail, Jesus still loves us and invites us to come back. In v. 19 Jesus admonishes us because he loves us and wants us to change. And in v. 20 he knocks on the door of our hearts because he wants to be in fellowship with us.

Even when we sin and are under threat of judgment, Jesus still wants us to hear him and respond with repentance so that we can be in relationship. We may shut Jesus out of our lives, but he still pursues us.

3. Beware the dangers of wealth. All through the New Testament wealth is seen as potentially dangerous. In Mark 4:18-19, the parable of the sower, the seed among the thorns represents – “those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.”  Wealth can choke out and kill our Christian faithfulness.

In Luke 12:15 Jesus says, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Jesus is saying, don’t even desire an abundance of things.

When wealth is used to help those in need it is a blessing to all. But when it is used for personal comfort and security it becomes a stumbling block. This seems to be how the Laodiceans were using it.

4. Jesus wants us to be truly faithful to him. In v. 15 he says, “you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!” Like the Laodiceans, we try to have it both ways. We want to be faithful to Jesus, but we also want to be comfortable. We don’t want to experience the downside of faithfulness, you know, things like suffering and ridicule. And so we find ways to get out of this.

But you can’t have it both ways. To be faithful to Jesus means being faithful precisely when it is hard, and precisely when it takes away our comforts. We can’t be both hot (faithful) and cold (unfaithful) at the same time, that is, lukewarm. We have to be either hot or cold. Not just faithful on the surface.

As we end, lets remember Jesus’ words of encouragement for faithfulness: v. 21 – “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.”

William Higgins

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In the first message I noted  the  literary structure in each of the letters, what I have outlined as five parts:

1. The address – “to the angel of the church in”

2. A description of Jesus – “the words of”

3. Jesus’ review of the church – “I know your”

4. A call to hear – “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”

5. A description of the reward – “the one who conquers”

Sections #4 and #5 are reversed in letters 4-7.

The letters themselves seem to be arranged in an inverted outline (chiasm):

A. Ephesus – the whole church is lax and is threatened with extinction

B. Smyrna – the whole church is faithful under suffering

C. Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis – some are faithful and some are not

B. Philadelphia – the whole church is faithful under suffering

A. Laodicea – the whole church is lax and is threatened with extinction

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We are up to the sixth letter in our series on the seven letters to the churches in Revelation. Today we look at what Jesus has to say by the Spirit to the church in Philadelphia, and also to us.

Philadelphia was about 28 miles southeast of Sardis. It was founded the second century BC. It was called the gateway to the east. It was a conduit that helped spread Greek culture eastward. It was famous for it grapes, frequent earthquakes and volcanic soil.

The situation in Philadelphia

They are suffering. v. 8 – “I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” v. 10 – “. . . you have kept my word about patient endurance.”

In these verses we see that they are marginalized. They have “little power.” “Patient endurance” speaks to persecution. This is a theme in the book of Revelation, that we must endure persecution. We also learn that they are faithful in the midst of this. Jesus says that they have “kept my word” twice, and they have “not denied my name.”

If we ask, ‘Why are they suffering?’ it’s the same as we saw in Smyrna, and other cities, the demands of Emperor worship. Some cities, especially in Asia Minor at this time, competed to see who was the most loyal to their government. One way to do this was to emphasize and require worship of the emperor. For instance offering up incense to the emperor and calling him a son of God; or the Lord and ruler of the world.

As we have seen, by Roman policy, Jews were exempt from this, because of their faith in one God. The early Christians saw themselves, rightly, as simply a form of Judaism. But because of conflict over the confession of Jesus as Messiah, Christians were put out of some Jewish synagogues. They were denounced, as it were, ‘you aren’t Jews,’ and so were now subject to persecution, including death, for refusing to worship the emperor.

All of this is the background to the language of Synagogue of Satan, as we saw before in Smyrna. v. 9 – “those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie . . ..” Just as some Jews had said of the Christians, ‘they say that they are Jews and are not,’ so Jesus says of them, ‘they say that they are Jews and are not, but lie.’

To be a Jew is to be on God’s side. But they are acting like God’s “adversary,” who is Satan. This is what the name Satan means. They are falsely accusing Christians and exposing them to persecution.

So the Christians in Philadelphia are in a difficult spot. They have been put out of the synagogue by unbelieving Jews, and are enduring persecution from idolatrous Gentiles.

Jesus’ message

There are no words of criticism or judgment. Rather Jesus has words of encouragement for them throughout the letter.

First of all, although they may be put out the door of the synagogue, Jesus gives them an Open door. This is the background to the key and door imagery in this letter.

v. 7 – “The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.” Jesus is the one who has the key of David. This comes from Isaiah 22:22, words spoken to Eliakim, the new steward of the house of David, under Hezekiah. “And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.” The one with the keys, has control over who gets into the king’s palace.

This is then applied to Jesus, as David’s son and the Messiah. He has authority over who is a part of the people of God and who gets into the kingdom of God, not the unbelieving Jews of the synagogue.

Jesus is saying, they put you out and marked you as excluded from God’s people, and from the blessings of the age to come. But “I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut.” -v. 8. These are powerful words of affirmation.

Next, Jesus tells them that They will be vindicated. v. 9 – “Behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet and they will learn that I have loved you.”

This comes from several Old Testament texts that refer to the Gentiles acknowledging that Israel, the people of God, do have God’s blessing. For instance Isaiah 60:14 says, “The sons of those who afflicted you shall come bending low to you, and all who despised you shall bow down at your feet; they shall call you the City of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.”

But now this gets turned around and is applied to non-believing Jews acknowledging that these Christians are a part of God’s people.

They will be vindicated in that those who humbled them will themselves be humbled. Those who marked them as rejected, will learn that Jesus accepts and loves them.

Jesus also tells them that they will be Kept from the hour of trial. v. 10 – “Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.” There is a word play here. Since they have kept Jesus’ word, he will keep them from trial.

Now, many want to see this as a key passage about the end times, but it’s not. This is a promise to these specific people concerning a test that will affect them, not some later time after they are dead. Perhaps this refers to new pressure to coerce worship of the emperor under Domitian? This would affect the whole known world of these believers; the Roman empire. (Colossians 1:5-6 also uses the phrase “whole world” in this way.) They have already experienced some of this and been faithful, but the worst is yet to come. And Jesus is saying that they will be kept from this.

Finally, he tells them to Remain faithful. v. 11 – “I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.” Jesus is coming to reward them. The reward is a crown. In Greek athletic contests the winner receives a wreath or crown.

If they fail to finish the race or are found to cheat, their crown can be seized. But if they “hold fast,” if they keep enduring, they will keep their crown. They will be overcomers.

Jesus speaks to us

v. 13 says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Do we have ears to hear what Jesus is saying to us in this letter?

1. Rejection and ridicule (or worse) should be expected as a follower of Jesus. There was nothing wrong with these believers that they experienced this. It is because they are living faithfully. And so they are models for us.

Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:12, “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” Peter says in 1 Peter 4:12, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.”

It should be seen as unusual not to experience some of this. What does it say about us, if we are not experiencing some ridicule and rejection for our faith?

2. If you’re faithful to Jesus, it doesn’t matter what others say about your salvation. The Christians in Philadelphia were marked as rejected by some synagogue leaders. But Jesus affirmed his acceptance of them.

In the same way, others may say you are excluded, or even act to exclude you. But this doesn’t matter. All that matters is what Jesus says. And when Jesus opens the door for us – no one can shut it!

Not only are we in – a part of God’s people and of the kingdom of God – Jesus promises that we will be like pillars in God’s temple forever in the kingdom.

3. God can spare us testing. In Smyrna, where other faithful believers were experiencing persecution, they were told to expect more testing. In Revelation 2:10 Jesus says, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. . . for ten days you will have tribulation.” But those from Philadelphia will be spared. As Jesus says in  v. 10, “I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming . . ..”

So God does at times spare us from testing. And this is why Jesus teaches us to pray, “Lead us not into testing, but deliver us from the evil one.” And we are to pray this, so that God will hear our prayer and have mercy on us.

4. You don’t have to be strong to be faithful as a Christian or as a Christian community. They weren’t from the biggest, most important town. They had “little power” as it says in v. 8. But they kept Jesus’ word. They did not deny Jesus. And they patiently endured difficulties.

And this faithfulness is acknowledged by Jesus. This is a very warm and encouraging letter, and the one in which he tells them that all will know that, “I have loved you” (v. 9).

We too may feel weak, small, insignificant. But we can still be faithful to Jesus and know his affirmation and love.


As we end lets remember Jesus’ words of encouragement for faithfulness: v. 12 – “The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.”

May we be among those so blessed in the final day.

William Higgins

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We are up to the fifth letter in our series on the seven letters to the churches in Revelation 2-3. Today we look at what Jesus has to say by the Spirit to the church in Sardis – and also to us.

Sardis was an important city, although more so in earlier centuries. It was known for its wealth centuries before, but was still doing well in Roman times. It was also a religious center. There was also a large Jewish community in Sardis – perhaps from the time of the Exile. Several from this community were wealthy and leaders in the city.

The situation in Sardis

Something is definitely wrong. It’s a very strong and negative letter. v. 2 – “I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.” Not a lot of specifics, so let’s look closer.

First of all, they are asleep – v. 2. This metaphor is used in several places in scripture and never in a good way. It means that you are not spiritually alert. You are complacent, apathetic, lethargic or just coasting along.

The language of “sleep” and of Jesus coming as a “thief” is used in:

  • Matthew 24:36-44 – talks about people “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage.” They are caught up in the routines of life and not ready for Jesus’ coming.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:1-7 – refers to people who say, “there is peace and security.” There is no need to worry, things will continue on as always. These are not ready for Jesus to return.

To be asleep is to live like things are normal, unaware of the spiritual reality of Jesus and his coming and our need to be serving him.

Another clue is the phrase “soiled garments” – v. 4. According to Revelation 19:8 “garments” have to do with the righteous deeds of the saints. This verse speaks of the bride of Christ dressed in “fine linen, bright and pure – for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.”

Soiled garments, then, pictures that they have allowed sin and unfaithfulness in their lives.

So they are asleep and have dirty clothes. Is sounds like they are just going along with society around them, compromising in order to continue to fit in. This might be why there is no mention of persecution in this letter. It looks like they are doing well – “you have the reputation for being alive” – v. 1, but when you look closely, they are dead. They are complacent and unfaithful. Only a remnant among them is faithful and alert.

Jesus’ message

Change now!

  • “Wake up” from your slumber and get moving (v. 2).
  • “Strengthen what remains and is about to die” (v. 2). Whatever is left, tend to it before it’s too late.
  • “Remember, then, what you received and heard” (v. 3). Get back to where you were when you started, when you first believed.
  • “Repent” (v. 3). Have a change of heart and mind that leads to changed behavior.

And Jesus is saying, change now, or else. There are strong threats of judgment. v. 3 – “If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.” Jesus will come, not referring to the second coming, but in a visitation of judgment. He will be against them.

And also in v. 5, the one who conquers, Jesus says, “I will never blot his name out of the book of life.” The message is clear. If you don’t overcome, your name will be blotted out. And as Revelation 20:15 says, “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Jesus doesn’t mince his words. He speaks the truth to them. You may think you are OK, but you aren’t. And if you don’t remedy things, you will be judged.

Finally, Jesus encourages the faithful. Some in Sardis are still faithful. They have not soiled their garments. “They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy” – v. 4. This is referring to the day of resurrection and eternal life.

Jesus speaks to us

v. 6 says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Notice again the plural. Jesus’ words to the church in Sardis are also words for us. And we need to have ears that hear his words.

1. Will we listen to Jesus when he speaks truth to us? These believers thought they were OK. But Jesus dealt directly and pointedly with them. He spoke the truth, you are dead!

We don’t know if they listened or not. But if Jesus comes to us and challenges us, when we think we are just fine, and he speaks the truth to us, will we listen? Will you listen?

2. Is our congregation dead or alive? Jesus says in v. 1, “You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” This means a church can look alive, but really be dead – or dying. What would Jesus say to us?

What do you look for in a church that is alive? A certain kind of lively music or worship style? Charismatic leaders? Lots of programs? A big crowd?

According to Jesus, its not about any of these things. It has to do with our works of love and service to God and others.

3. Are you asleep? Jesus rebuked the believers in Sardis for being caught up in the normal routines of life – eating, drinking and giving in marriage, enjoying peace and security.

What about you? What’s different about you from the world around you? Are you just the same in your attitudes and actions as everybody else? Just trying to fit in with the world around you?

Jesus calls us to wake up as well. To put aside our complacency and spiritual apathy and renew our commitment to him; to be busy at his work, and to be ready for him.

4. Sometimes we have to get back to the basics. Jesus said to these believers who were complacent and unfaithful, “remember, then what you have received and heard. Keep it and repent” – v.3.

And sometimes we get off track as well. We allow sin in our lives or we get distracted by the demands of life from our commitment to Jesus. And we need to remember as well what it was like when we first became a Christian. The freshness of our commitment and the basics of the gospel.


As we end lets remember Jesus’ words of encouragement for faithfulness: v. 5 – “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.”

May we be among those who are so blessed on the final day.

William Higgins

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 In the story of the triumphal entry, on Palm Sunday, Jesus is presenting himself as a king to the capital of his people – Jerusalem. But then, in Luke’s telling of the story, Jesus pauses before he enters the city and speaks. And this is what I want us to look at today under the title “Are You Ready for a Visit from God?”

Luke 19:41-44 – “And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.’”

I would like to pick up on this last phrase “the time of your visitation”  to make the point that . . .

This was a visitation from God

God was coming to Jerusalem in the coming of Jesus. Now this idea is not new. God “visiting” people is a regular theme in Scripture:

  • The exodus – when God came to see Israel’s suffering in Egypt and deliver them – this is called a visitation of God in Genesis 50:25.
  • The return from exile in Babylon is a visitation of God. Jeremiah 29:10 says, “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.” And God brought them back to Judah.
  • The second coming – when Jesus will return and all humanity will stand before him is called “the day of visitation” in 1 Peter 2:12.

God doesn’t just visit in these big kinds of events. God also visits people throughout the course of history, even just individuals:

  • Ruth 1:6 says, Ruth heard that  “the Lord had visited his people and given them food” – at a time of famine. God provided for his people in a specific situation.
  • Luke 7:16 notes that the people said “God has visited his people!” when Jesus raised a young man from the dead.
  • Acts 15:14 speaks of the giving of the Spirit to Cornelius and his family as a visit from God. 

As you can see, God does various things in his visits – acts of mercy and salvation, the giving of the Spirit, miracles, and provision of needs. In other places, that we could look at, God even comes to visit judgment on people. God does various things when he comes for a visit.

In our story, on Palm Sunday, God is coming to give them “peace.” This word means wholeness and blessing; it means salvation. Jesus is coming to fulfill the promises of God to his people. But . . .

Jerusalem wasn’t ready for God’s visit

They were clueless. Jesus already knew this. He had already predicted before – “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed . . .” – Luke 9:22.  And all this in Jerusalem.

So he knew they weren’t aware of what God was doing:

  • As he says in v. 42 –  “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.”
  • And he says in v. 44  – “you did not know the time of your visitation”

They didn’t know what was going on.  As a result of this, they don’t receive Jesus, or the peace he brings. As the story goes on to tell, they oppose what God is trying to do through Jesus.

Instead of peace (because they weren’t ready and opposed Jesus) they receive God’s judgment. Luke 19:43-44 says, “For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you . . ..”

This is a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD about 40 years later. This was a horrendous event where many hundreds of thousands died and the city was destroyed. This is prophesied here by Jesus and carried out by the Roman armies.

And this causes Jesus to weep, as v. 41 says, “when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it.” He knew what was coming.

This is a sad story from history, but we shouldn’t let it stop there – thinking only of the past and of other people. Because this has to do with us. And we can learn from this. That’s because –

God still visits us today

I am sure we can each testify of times when God has visited our lives. How God has come to us in a powerful way and has blessed us. But God doesn’t just visit us as individuals. God also visits churches. And this is what I am focusing on today.

An example of this is Revelation 3:20. Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” This is a familiar passage. This is not talking about an individual being saved (despite any sermons you may have heard or tracts you have seen). This is Jesus talking to a whole congregation – the church of Laodicea. His purpose is to get them back on track again with their Christian lives and to remold their Christian community.

And this is framed in visitation language. Jesus is visiting them – coming by for supper – as it were. God visits us as congregations.

And so I ask – “Does God want to visit us at Cedar Street?” I don’t know what you believe, but I believe the answer is unequivocally – yes!

As we pray and seek the Lord, I believe that God has something for us.

  • I believe that God wants to bless us and give us more of his Spirit.
  • I believe that God want to show us more of who he is and do great things in our midst.
  • I believe God wants to bring his salvation to us and through us to others.
  • I believe that God wants to challenge us, to move us out of our ruts and comfort zones and push us forward.

But, after reading the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, we have to ask ourselves – 

Are we ready?

We are not different than the people in our story – the people of Jerusalem. That is to say, we are just as capable of blowing it as they were.

The people of Jerusalem were busy with their schedules and so are we. The people of Jerusalem were satisfied with the way things were, by and large, and don’t need Jesus coming in and changing things. And so often we are satisfied with the way things are.

So what I am saying is that we need to be alert and not just coasting in our Christian lives and in our congregational discernment.

May we not be caught unaware as God seeks to move among us, as I believe he will. May God’s visit not be hidden from our eyes so that we don’t know the time of our visitation.

In the language of Revelation 3:20 May we hear Jesus’ voice when knocks on our churches door and may we let him in.

Let us be alert and let us receive what God has for us as he moves in our midst. William Higgins

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