SATURDAY: LOVE by Pastor Steven Grosvenor
SCRIPTURE: Revelation 3:1-6
We are waiting for the Second Coming (Advent) of Christ and are instructed to “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” (Ps. 27:14).
Waiting is a difficult discipline. Waiting for Christmas or my Birthday as a child was agonizing. Jesus instructed the early disciples to wait in Jerusalem following his ascension for the gift of the Holy Spirit. That must have been difficult. They did not know what to expect and Jesus did not give them a timetable.
The Bible contains numerous calls to wait (Psalm 5:3; 130:5, 7; and Hebrews 6:15). We are told: “Those who wait for the LORD will renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31). Waiting is grounded in God’s faithfulness to His Covenant and His love for us. It grows out of our call to “love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” (Mark 12:28-31; Deuteronomy 6:4).
St. Peter writes: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise...” Really? But he continues to write: “as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Our Scripture for today is a letter from Jesus. It is one of seven letters to churches in the Revelation that sets the stage for the vision of the promised Advent of Jesus in which God will destroy evil and establish heaven forever.
This letter is a warning about apathy and complacency: “you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead” (v. 1). They appear to be practicing the routines of life and church but Jesus declares they are “dead.” This draws us to an earlier teaching of Jesus: “They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules” (Matthew 15:8-9; Isaiah 29:13).
God loves us and wants an intimate relationship with us. He wants to be a divine shepherd and our “Father in Heaven” who walks with us through life. Jesus’ prescription is very clear: Wake up! (2). Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God (2). Remember ... what you have received and heard; hold it fast (3a). Repent, which includes turning to follow Jesus as our Lord (3b).
He warns us “if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you” (3c). The prevalence of evil and suffering in our world prompts us to cry, “How Long, O Lord?” (Ps. 13). We pray, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20).
Jesus inserts encouragement for every believer in him: “You who walk faithfully with me are worthy to walk with me dressed in white. I will never blot out your name from the book of life. I will acknowledge you before my Father and His angels” (Rev. 3:4-5, paraphrased).
Whoever has ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches (v. 6).
Lord, teach us to wait well. Help us to trust in Your promises.
Teach us what it means to abide in Your presence
and in Your love.