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The Journal

Resisting opposition

Dear Friends,
The modern sports brandname, Nike is a derivation of the Greek goddess Nico who was the goddess of victory. Jesus speaks to us of the victory He offers us. He wants us to be overcomes who defeat sin, the world and the devil. This is a major theme in the first 3 letters written to Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamum. For example in 2:7, 11,17 Jesus expects us to be victorious. If we are going to be victorious in our Christian life we need to recognise that we are in a spiritual battle and that Satan is in opposition to us (see 2:9,13) and will try to discourage us. Jesus warns His church that there is opposition so that we are not surprised. But He encourages us by reminding us that He walks amongst the church 2:1 and within this passages He provides us with promises of blessing to encourage us to see that the Christian faith is worth it. These promises speak of a God who is not only with us but is powerful to help us in our time of need. The other theme which occurs in the 3 letters is the need to hear what the Spirit is saying to the 
churches - 2:7,11,17. In fact that is the secret of living a victorious Christian life ! To be strong and overcome temptation and spiritual opposition we need to listen to the Lord speak to us.The primary way that He speaks to us is through His Word. In fact the way to be strong in Christ is to abide in Jesus John 15:1-5 , allowing His Word to dwell in us and to take hold of the divine promises 2 Peter 1:3-4. This is also the key to ensuring that we don’t lose our first love. Losing our first love is not primarily about how we feel about God but it is about loving Him so that we obey Him as He deserves - John 15:9-10. If we have lost our first love for the Lord how do we regain this ? We come back to Jesus and remember Him, who is the source of our salvation and the one who loves us 2:4-5 and where we have taken Him for granted or been spiritually lazy we repent of that and then do the things which we did at first which is to live for the Lord and not for ourselves ! Be encouraged that God sheds abroad His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit Romans 5:5. May I encourage you that 4 aspects of retaining our first love for the Lord is to make fellowship a priority, make reading His Word a priority and make prayer a priority and engage in corporate worship of the Lord because this refreshes our spirits and uplifts us with His joy ! God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara