Rewards and Promises

Yesterday was a full day with a trip to Englewood to follow up on business at my mother’s house. A lot to deal with and important decisions to make. Thank you for your prayers for insight, favor and wisdom.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY….. “To the one who conquers….”  Revelation 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21

The churches of Revelation all had their unique qualities and challenges. But with each one there is a promise or a reward that is mentioned for the one who, “conquers.”

The good news from the Resurrected Christ is that there is not just a warning or word of correction, but a promise or a reward to every person who is a “conqueror” or “overcomer.” Regardless of whether first love has been lost, or a church is lukewarm and everything good and bad in between there is a message of hope. We don’t need to diminish the bad or rest in that which is good. It is not how we view ourselves that matters, but how Christ views our life.

To the Church at Sardis we read, “I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead….” (Revelation 3:1 ESV) We read about the Church in Laodecia, “…you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” (Revelation 3:17 ESV)

The key toward alignment of our lives with Christ’s is found in the repeated statement, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3:13 ESV) I recall my high school German class. The instructor would, speak the instructions in German that said, “listen and respond.”

That is Christ’s desire for our life. To listen and to respond. His observations and instructions matter. They make the difference between victory and defeat. Christ’s desire is for all to be “overcomers.”

The promise and the reward is appropriate to each church and significant to their future.

To the Church at Ephesus the promise to the one who overcomes a loss of first love is, “I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7 ESV)

To Smyrna, the one who overcomes suffering and persecution, “The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.” (Revelation 2:11 ESV)

To Pergamum, those who overcome false teaching and ungodly behavior, “I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the onule who receives it.” (Revelation 2:17 ESV)

To Thyatira, those who overcome seductive and sinful behavior, “I will give authority over the nations…”  (Revelation 2:26 ESV)

To Sardis, those who overcome spiritual lethargy,  The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.” (Revelation 3:5 ESV)

To Philadelphia, those who keep the Lord’s Word and endure patiently, “I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name…” (Revelation 3:12 ESV)

To Laodicea, those who repent and open the door, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (Revelation 3:22 ESV)

As read read those, we can see that the Lord has a great future and destiny for those who conquer through Him. Let’s listen, let’s respond, let’s overcome, let’s look forward to that which the Lord alone can provide.

Prayer for today….. Lord grant us ears to hear and hearts ready to respond. Let us do so in light of what your promise is as we overcome through You.