This week I have been blessed with the opportunity to meet individually with a couple of my sisters in Christ; mostly because of the mentor program we have at our church. It is so refreshing to have honest, frank conversations about what is going on in our lives with someone who you know will keep those things confidential and pray for you about them. What a great blessing these ladies are to me. What a great encouragement they are to my walk with Jesus.
In both conversations we hit on topics of how to say what needs to be said in a way where what needs to be said will be heard with as much love as possible. This is such a learned skill that also requires a lot of prayer and discernment. Two things that come with experience and maturity in the faith.
In my study of Revelation yesterday, I was going over the letter to the church at Ephesus.
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’ (Revelation 2:1-7 ESV)
One of the commentaries suggested that the body of believers at Ephesus, which was a very wicked and perverse city, was spot on with their doctrine and discernment, but over the years they had lost their love for Jesus. They were doing good deeds out of duty and not out of love. This church is not in existence today. Their lampstand was removed. They were not able to correct the Martha/Mary imbalance; too much doing and not enough sitting at the feet of their Savior in love and devotion.
This is one of the big stumbling blocks of ministry work (in which we should all be partakers). Doing so much that we’ve not got enough time to simply be with Jesus. We need this time to be filled by Him and to really love our Savior.
I pray that today you will make time to sit at Jesus’ feet and that you have not lost the love you had for Him at first. If you have lost that love, repent! Beloved, Jesus wants your heart before He wants your hands. Christ is our best example of how to speak the truth in love. He didn’t cower back from the difficult things that needed to be said and neither should we. This is how iron sharpens iron in the body of Christ. With love.
We who are in Christ Jesus are already overcomers. Be encouraged. Press on.
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:2-5 ESV)