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The Journal

Weak yet strong

Dear Friends
T
he church at Philadelphia was a church which was weak which probably means that it was small and yet we see that this is not a barrier to obedience and serving the Lord because the church is commended for being faithful 3:8. This is a great encouragement to us that the smallness of a church doesn’t precluded God’s commendation and blessing. Of course we want to grow and see more people converted but our first and highest priority is to be faithful to Jesus. It is the pattern of Biblical teaching that God always reminds us of who He is and His power. So for example in the message to this church Jesus is identified as Holy and true. Jesus is pure and there is no sin in Him and His word can be relied upon. As we reflect on our situation both individually and corporately it is good to remember that the Lord Jesus is powerful and won’t let us down. Further He holds the keys of David pointing to the fact that He is the promised Messiah who has come to save us from sin and also that nothing can happen without His permission - He holds the keys. This should build great courage meaning we don’t have to fear tomorrow and people and we can live boldly for the Lord now ! The message to this church about enduring patiently 3:10 is also our message. Much of the Christian life involves faithfulness and pressing on and not being discouraged. Finally the last church to receive a letter is Laodicea. This was a city renowned for its banking and clothing made from black wool as well as its famous medical skill. In 3:17 the church is aware of its material wealth but Jesus’ assessment is that it is poor and blind and pitiful. There is a link in this passage between independence and wealth and being spiritually luke warm. It is not an automatic link but it is a warning that dependance on wealth can lead to us saying like the christians at this church “that I do not need a thing” which must include not needing God. We see the Lord’s heart in all this that His rebuke come because He loves us and is willing to say hard things to us 3:19. Repentance combined with faith is one of the greatest gifts which God gives us because repentance calls us to let go of rubbish in our lives so we receive God’s Blessings. It is difficult to receive God’s blessings if we hang not unhealthy things in our lives. IN 3:20 we have some of the most quoted verses of Scripture which indicate that God’s attitude to us is gracious. Jesus says to the church He wants to be in their life and eat with them. To offer to eat with someone is an indication of friendship and intimacy and that is what the Lord offers us. May we accept His kind and gracious offer in 2018. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara 

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