Passage of the Day: Revelations 2: 4 – 5 … 4 Yet I hold this against you [i.e., the Church @ Ephesus]: You have forsaken your first love. 5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
My Journal for Today: Why don’t we (the Church in the USA) see it? The last few days we have read [in Ephesians 5: 15 – 16] how the Apostle Paul tried to wake up the Church in Ephesus about the evil influences of the world; and then, God, through John’s Revelation in today’s passage, warned the same Ephesian Church, about 30+ years after Paul, to return to their first love. God perceived that the Church in Ephesus had waned in their love of Christ [see also John’s warning in 1st John 2: 15 – 16]. But history tells us that the church at Ephesus did not heed God’s warning; and God, the Holy Spirit, apparently removed the lamp stand from that church which God had planted there in Ephesus, … the church about which Paul instructed Timothy (in 1st and 2nd Timothy) as to leadership. Sadly there has not been a viable Christian church in Ephesus for some 20 centuries now; and we in the U.S. should learn from those warnings and wake up to sense the urgency of what is happening in our midst today.
I totally agree with John MacArthur in his devotional for this date (from Strength for Today) that it may take a nationwide or worldwide persecution of Christ’s Church for the spark of revival to be lit for what appears (at least to this observer) to be a church [in America] who is slowly succumbing to the evils of the world. Actually we see these revival fires burning in China, in South America, and in Africa today where Christianity is outlawed or under great oppression and where the first love of the church in these areas – i.e., their love of Christ – burns ever so brightly and is growing in intensity.
We need to take heed of Paul’s warning to Timothy and again to the Ephesians (see 2nd Tim. 3: 13 - 14) where he wrote, “… while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of.” That church (i.e., at Ephesus) did not ultimately heed Paul’s warning through Timothy; and God lifted their lamp stand, their church dwindling into oblivion.
Therefore, if it takes evil growing in our midst to awaken us to God’s prescription for revival in 2nd Chronicles 7: 14, … well, bring it on; but … Lord have mercy on us!
My Prayer Today: Whatever it takes, Lord; wake up Your Church here in America! Amen