How would you like to sit down with Jesus Christ Himself for an “end of the year review?” Don’t you wish He could coach you, challenge you, and change you for a greater year in 2018?
He did. It is found in Revelation chapter two.
I believe these are the seven things He would say to you:
1. “Love Me more.”
- The Ephesian church was better at enduring than endearing. They "hung in there" and "gutted it out" but they lost the joy and delight of fellowship and enjoying the presence of the Lord Himself.
- Marriage is not about just being faithful (though that is important). It is about being intimate. Love to spend time with Jesus in Bible reading, prayer, and worship. That is priority ONE.
2. “Hang in there.”
- Smyrna would go through terrible persecution. Some would be imprisoned for ten days. This is happening worldwide right now with thousands of Christians facing jail, beatings, and martyrdom.
- Most of us in America are facing what Paul called “light affliction.” Your car died at Wal-Mart. Take ALL of your troubles, put them in a pile, and see how small they are compared to others.
3. “Keep your eyes open.”
- Pergamum was a "deceived church." They were very "open-minded" about new doctrines. They loved the Word ("hidden manna") but tasted any and every doctrine without realizing the dangerous doctrines they were swallowing.
- Stay close to your pastor when you hear a new doctrine. Don’t go running off after the latest spiritual fad. Study doctrine and church history to be grounded in the basics.
4. “Check your associations.”
- Thyatira was the "tolerant church." They tolerated relationships with people who appeared spiritual but were living a double life. They were afraid to confront sin when it was right in their midst. They feared "rejection" more than “deception."
- False prophets and spiritual relationships are not easy to spot. Check out my recent blog on “How to Spot a False Prophet” HERE.
5. “Wake up.”
- Sardis was the "dead church." They had the buildings, the gym, the playground, the school, the cafeteria, the bowling alley, the balcony but they all were empty. They were living on reputation, not revelation.
- What did you start this year that you didn’t finish? What ministry have you dropped out from because of distraction or discouragement? Hitch it up again. Step up to the plate again. Get in the game again.
6. “Take it to the next level.”
- Philadelphia was the "progressing church." They were pressing forward into the new "open doors" God had set before them. They did not stay in a rut but were looking for the next door God was opening in the earth.
- I spend the last two weeks of the year looking at everything I am doing with one question in mind: “How do I take this to the next level?” Get feedback and take action.
7. “Stay on fire.”
- Laodicea had cooled down. They had lost their fire. They had become distracted with riches, pleasures, and success.
- Rekindle your energy. Restart your workout. Fire up the routine and schedule. Get motivated. Shake off the cobwebs. Your best days in the kingdom of God are right ahead of you!
Well, that’s what Christ would say to you today.
Put 2017 behind you and step forward toward 2018.
Let’s do it!