Devotion for Tuesday, February 28, 2023

“Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds” (Revelation 2:22).

When it is bad, the only thing you can do is remove the one who is causing the trouble from your midst.  We don’t do that in our age and so congregations die off.  If they won’t repent, then you repent of them in your midst.  Being nice may make it seem like things are going smoothly, but if you ignore the Lord, He loves His church too much to not deal with the situation  appropriately and for their sake as well.

A junkie gets high to forget his pain.  He looks in the refrigerator and there is no food, so he gets high.  When he sobers up, he realizes that while he was high, someone stole the fridge.  Looking the other way at unholiness will only make matters worse.  If you are a part of an unrepentant fellowship, then find another.  If you are a leader, do not tolerate a Jezebel in your midst.

Lord Jesus, help me to take these things seriously.  One who is unrepentant is temporary.  You are forever.  Guide me, Lord, in the right way of living and thinking so that I live according to Your Word and walk in the way You would have me walk.  Guide me in Your goodness to see things from Your perspective and to act on them as You would have me act.  Guide me, Lord, always and open my ears to hear and obey.  Amen.

Devotion for Monday, February 27, 2023

 “I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality” (Revelation 2:21).

The Lord is gracious, kind, and slow to anger, but there is a limit.  The Jezebel effect exists.  What is it?  One (or more than one) who move away from the truth, pull the strings, and serve themselves.  The Lord is not first, they are.  This happens all the time right under the nose of folk who look the other way.  Either it is you or it is the Lord.  There can be no compromise between the two.

Too often, we think of immorality as some gross misconduct and not what, in our society, has become common place behavior.  Bearing false witness, whether it is a gross lie, or a untruthfulness, to misdirect is an equal offense in the Lord’s eyes.  Manipulating others is a sin.  The Lord will settle for nothing less that our complete righteousness.  One drop of poison pollutes the whole well.

Lord Jesus, I would not tolerate one drop of scat in my food, yet I allow all kinds of evil to dwell in me and in those around me without a thought.  Help me to see that You have come to make me pure, completely pure.  Guide me, Lord, in the way of purity so that I may grow into the life for which You died.  Let me not compromise but set my course to be wholly Yours now and forever.  Amen.

Devotion for Sunday, February 26, 2023

“But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols” (Revelation 2:20).

She considers herself empowered and the sheep believe it.  This has played out over and over as the false teachers ply their lies.  “But we love them and they’ve been here forever!”  That’s the mantra.  When will the church learn to hold fast to Jesus and only Jesus?  In Him alone do You have truth and life.  All others are fallen and in rebellion, needing what only Jesus can give.  This is not offensive, this is truth.

Lord, what a mixed-up world this is.  We are nice to wicked ones, but do not care that You have said: “then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart”.  We do not want to offend and so we offend everyone.  We tolerate garbage and smile.  Time tells that eventually we go the way of the spewed lies.  Lord, free me from this insanity to have eyes that see and ears that hear so that I may learn how to faithfully walk the way of righteousness.

Lord Jesus, You know what I am talking about.  It is what You are saying here.  Help me to speak the truth even if someone is offended.  Help me, when it is mine to do so, to not tolerate those in this world who induce others to go astray.  Please, Lord, never let me be one of them.  Guide me so that I live a life that is moral and pure.  Guide me in the way I should live, think, reason, and act.  Amen.

Devotion for Saturday, February 25, 2023

“I know your deeds, and your love, faith, service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first” (Revelation 2:19).

It is not a bad thing to work hard, but we cannot work our salvation.  When one begins a journey of doing it on their own, they increasingly focus upon the self.  Is it not pride which brought down the devil?  Are we not under the cloud of pride which has wreaked havoc upon this world?  Do not be proud of your good works but do continue to work out your salvation by resisting the devil, being contrite, repenting and looking to the Lord.

Lord, there are traps every direction I turn.  Help me, I pray, to see reality and truth.  I am saved by Your grace.  I need to be saved.  Guide me, Lord, along the narrow path of salvation so that I may continue to do what You give me to do.  Lead me through all obstacles so that I may grow in the likeness of Christ and daily be strengthened by the grace I need to persevere in this world of sin.

Thank You, Jesus, for standing before me and confronting my sin.  Help me to be quick to repent and willing to amend those actions of mine which are not in accord with the Father’s will.  Lead me through all difficulty so that I may overcome this age of rebellion.  Help me to heed Your warnings and yes, work hard, but better still, listen carefully to all that You say and then, obey.  Amen.  

Devotion for Friday, February 24, 2023

“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this” (Revelation 2:18)

There is no One other than the LORD who is all seeing and who can be in all places at the same time.  His feet go to the farthest reaches and His eyes blaze with holiness.  Some may be too cavalier about the Lord, not looking to the Holy One, God Almighty, but often just giving lip service to Him.  He Who always has been speaks to us.  Listen to His Word and be healed of the rebellion of this age.

Forgive me, Lord, for looking at other things as more important than You.  Guide me in Your goodness to see through the lies of this age and live according to Your goodness and mercy.  My priorities are askew.  Change them and put in me a right position with a contrite heart which willingly repents as You taught us that I may walk with You.  You see and know all things.  Keep me as the apple of Your eye by Your grace.

Lord Jesus, the Alpha and Omega, guide me to willingly and freely repent of all things that are against You.  In Your goodness, help me to see that I do need all that You provide.  Help me work through all the difficulties that come along so that I may become faithful and listen to Your instruction.  Lead me, Lord, all the days of this life and prepare me for eternity.  Help me to be conformed to Your image and live in the faithfulness You give by grace through faith.  Amen.

Devotion for Thursday, February 23, 2023

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it” (Revelation 2:17).

Isaiah 42 speaks of those who have ears but do not hear and eyes do not see.  There is a tendency to hear what we want to hear and have our bias confirmed.  Open your heart and the Lord will give you wisdom, understanding and strength to persevere.  Trust the Lord and the Gospel and humbly walk with the Lord, your Creator and Redeemer.  He will make of us what we will become, but first we must be conformed to the image of Christ.

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, to receive the full message of Your Gospel.  Open the ears of my mind to receive understanding and wisdom.  Take away the doubts and fears that remain within me so that I may be Yours.  You created me.  You have redeemed me.  You have made possible the way for all who believe.  Guide me on the narrow path through all the treachery of the wicked of this world.

Lord Jesus, only with You and by Your gift of grace am I able to take even one step on the path to glory.  You are the author of my faith and You are leading me as You will.  Help me to remain in Your arms of love and mercy.  Guide me this day such that no matter what happens, I rely solely upon You.  Teach me what it means to live life.  Help me to live the life You have given me and become what You will make of me.  Amen.

Devotion for Wednesday, February 22, 2023

“Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth” (Revelation 2:15).

The church has been in a constant struggle since Jesus ascended.  Why? Because people are either going this way or that way and not truly following Jesus.  To the heretics, watch out, the battle of wickedness continues.  Many religious have spent the last five hundred years in a war of words.  Amongst all these wars is the simple truth of the Gospel.  It is time for Christians to stop being at war with one another.

Rightly so, Lord, have You unleashed all the rhetoric of the past few centuries.  The wicked use whatever they can to foster their wickedness – and it shows.  But the faithful continue to struggle to be faithful in a world of evil.  Let the words of my mouth be in harmony with Your Law and Gospel.  Guide me to do good, love You and my neighbor, and learn how to obey all Your commandments.

Lord Jesus, Your Word, which endures forever, shall never fail.  We live in a time when so many cheap words fly all over the place and people are functionally ignorant.  Help me to learn from You to hear and obey the words of everlasting life.  Guide me through the morass of the war of words so that my heart remains with You and subject to Your Gospel.  Lead me, Lord, in the way of truth and life.  Amen.

Devotion for Tuesday, February 21, 2023

“So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans” (Revelation 2:15).

Many in the church go the way of the Pharisees and become overly legalistic.  You know the type, “We never did it that way before.”  But there are the others who think, “Jesus saved us, so it does not matter what we do.”  If you are to become like Christ, then set your heart to work on becoming like Christ.  You and I are not to pick and choose what we believe.  We are to believe what the Lord has said.

Lord, I do have favorite verses, but keep me from focusing upon just a few verses so that I may receive the whole of the Word that You have given for our benefit.  I need to work out my salvation with fear and trembling, but also never to forget that it is You who makes all things possible.  Let me not stray from the narrow path but hold fast to Your word as I learn to obey all that You have commanded.

Lord Jesus, it is true that without You I can do nothing.  Help me, I pray, to always look to You, knowing I need Your grace, and living for that day when I will be with You in eternity.  Do not let me become cavalier in my attitude so that I simply say, “fiddlededee,” to doing good, loving my neighbor, or meditating upon Your word.  Lord, give me a heart that hungers for the truth.  Lead me ever closer to You.  Amen.

Devotion for Monday, February 20, 2023

“But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality” (Revelation 2:14).

This world is filled with sensuality.  Our entertainment is built upon the premise, “If it feels good, do it.”  Feelings never satisfy, but people pursue them anyway.  What a tragedy this world is.  Such a waste that so much is sacrificed for nothing.  People live their lives to have a few futile moments of pleasure.  Do not abandon the way of the Lord in favor of such nonsense.

Lord, teach me the way of everlasting life.  Guide me in Your goodness to see through the temptations of sensuality.  Lead me into understanding so that I may learn how to love.  Teach me how to be faithful.  Guide me in Your goodness to know that in You there is all hope and a future.  Keep the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart pure in Your sight.

Lord Jesus, You know what it is to walk through the pitfalls of this age.  So many, all around me, are tugging, pushing, and making demands.  Help me to navigate through all these things so that I may come to look to You alone for hope and fulfilment.  Lord, You know what I need.  Give me wisdom to avoid the snares of wickedness in this age.  Amen.

Devotion for Sunday, February 19, 2023

“And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this: ‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells” (Revelation 2:12-13).

The title “Satan” means one opposed to God, usually in reference to the devil.  There are many who are opposed to God and we are to learn how to stand firm and hold fast against those who would tempt us to not follow the Lord.  Do not be swayed, but even to the point of death, hold fast to the truth.  Live and even die for the truth.  Living and dying for a lie is absolute foolishness.

Lord, help me to see clearly that holding fast to You is not hard, but the only alternative there is in this foolish and hate-filled world.  Guide me in Your goodness to know that in You is all hope and only in You is there life.  Help me to learn how to be Your witness and faithful no matter the cost.  Even though Satan be in this age and all around me, yet I do have the gift of Your grace to persevere.

Lord Jesus, You went to Your death, even a death upon the cross, to free those who would receive You, learn to love You and become like You.  Guide me this day to live into the life You have promised me.  Teach me to always hold fast to Your goodness and mercy.  May I be a true witness of Your goodness in this messed up world.  In You, Lord, I can do all things. Help me to do what You know I need to do.  Amen.