In Revelation 2 and 3 we find the seven letters to the seven churches. Each letter, carefully dictated, locally personalized, and carrying a promise was intended both for the individual churches of John's day, as well as for us today.
It is challenging to consider the good, the bad, the exhortations and the promises for the church today and for each of us individually as we continue to learn to live IN JESUS. In the letters, Jesus makes it clear what he is looking for as over and over he challenges the churches toward faithfulness, endurance, and purity.
Jesus is looking for a church who remains faithful to HIS name and to HIS faith. Jesus is looking for a church who maintains a high value on the truth and clarity of HIS gospel. Jesus is looking for a church who is willing to stand strong in the face of the most severe persecution and trial.
While it continues to be difficult for us in the U.S. to imagine severe persecution, the messages about faithfulness, genuineness, truth, and purity should hit us right where we live. How willing are we to declare that JESUS is Lord and that HE is the ONLY way of salvation? How willing are we to separate ourselves from a culture of permissiveness and immorality? How willing are we to live a life that is consistently coming closer to who we have become through faith in Jesus?
Jesus loves the church, and he continues to look for the same things he has always been looking for. What is the Spirit saying to the church, and to each of us today? Are we listening?