Keeping the faith: sometimes it’s harder than it sounds.
Everyone has days where they feel a little run down. We may struggle to get up in the morning and do the simple things. Yet somehow we manage to stumble through the daily habits like that first cup of coffee
And whatever else we do to get ourselves going in the morning. Most of us have breakfast and feed our physical bodies every day, but do we remember to feed our spiritual bodies as well? Am I picking up my Bible daily and studying to fill my spirit with His word? Or has it become one of the habits I do without really taking the time to think through the message?
Read along in Revelation 3:7-13 for this short study
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““And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”
Keeping His word it’s more than just a daily habit of picking up your Bible to check off another chapter. How easy it is to slip into a habit of just reading and not really gleaning anything from it’s pages. Love is one of the those important and easy to overlook things that we might forget to apply to our day and it’s an important part of keeping the faith. The church of Philadelphia is remembered as the church of brotherly love. Did you know love is not in our nature, not the unconditional kind that Jesus was trying to teach us in His words and actions. We all struggle with loving and showing love to people who have hurt us, let us down, treated us badly, or sometimes simply showing love to a stranger can be tough. As a church we should show love to our members, but we should also show love to those outside. How can we be a light to someone living in darkness if we aren’t showing them the love that Christ has given us?
“Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”
Verse 11 of Revelation chapter 3 reminds us to “hold fast to what we have, that no one may take our crown.” It’s not that we need to be worried someone will steal our salvation from us, but that we might loosen our grip on the Lord as we reach for other things. Remember, we cannot serve two masters at one time.
If I follow my sin nature and desire to spend my time doing things that are of the world and allow those things to take a place of power in my life, then how can I be living my life for Christ? (You know, daily studying to grow my faith and showing live to the people I may not want to.) The world is always offering alternative ways to spend my time and literally placing them in the palm of my hand. It’s not easy to stay focused on faith and continue to show love to others when we are living and acting in opposition of the rest of the world. As we draw nearer to the last days, it will become more apparent that we are different from the rest of the world and it will make us more of a target. We need to prepare our faith for the attack by strengthening it every day.
Turning up the heat:
““And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”
Unlike the church of Philadelphia, the church of Laodicea had lost its focus. Not only were its members not showing love and not growing in the faith, they had grown stale and stagnant in their walk with God. Think of a sourdough starter. If I have a jar of yeast that I keep feeding on a regular basis, it will grow and continue to grow and I can make more and more bread from it to feed my family. But, if I don’t feed it and I use it to simply make one loaf of bread that my family eats in a single day and it is now gone, why did I bother making it? Believers, we are not called to salvation to simply declare ourselves saved, tell our friends once, and then continue on with life as it was before that day. No, there has to be a lasting change. There has to be change and growth. We are called to share the saving knowledge of Christ with others and show them who he is by being an example, a witness to all who know us. I need to live my life as unto God and not unto man. That means, it’s time to turn up the heat.
Are you noticing a trend in my devotions lately? I’m sure you have heard it before. Daily Bible reading is so important, little sparrows. I pray you won’t let it become just another habit but that you will allow it to be an important part of your day whatever time of day you choose to do it. I pray that you will spend that time listening and learning and growing closer to our Savior. I pray that you will use his word to not only Grow closer to him but two grow and expand like the yeast that is consistently fed. I pray your faith would grow in leaps and bounds and spread to others, infectious and desirable because He is a light in your life.
Open the door:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ ””
Though it’s the last of the things I will mention that we should do daily to keep our faith growing and strengthening, we most definitely need to open the door of our hearts to the call of Jesus. How can I hear someone calling my name if I keep the stereo volume up too high? If I want to hear God’s voice, I need to tune my ears to listen for his whisper. That means turning down the distractions so I can be ready for His timing. I can say from experience than it is far better to be ready for a big change and then to be forced into it simply because I wasn’t listening when He called. The Lord promises to chasten His children. When he calls your name, you may not be comfortable with where and how he calls you, but if you focus on His word and His timing, you can find peace in whatever it is He calls you to do.
So, little sparrows, remember today to focus on building and strengthening your faith, showing love to others, and keeping the doors of your heart open to God. Be prepared in season and out not just to give an answer for your faith but to give your life and all it’s comforts to defend your faith if you must, because that day is fast approaching.