Dear Saints of Living God – Grace and Mercy to you and your family!
This is such a beautiful and pleasant time of the year… the weather is not in two extremes… and the fresh new leaves – green everywhere… Praise the Lord! I pray, the Lord will bless you and expand your territory, for His Kingdom and His glory.
There is a Matthew west song named – Strong enough… there are several pieces of the lyrics I am totally amazed by – but there is one place, where it is so beautiful…
I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Cause I’m broken
Down to nothing
But I’m still holding on to the one thing
You are God
and you are strong
When I am weak
This is a prayer – for every day… we don’t have to strong enough to deliver.. we are not delivered by our strength, but instead – it is “His” strength that delivers us from all the hurdles, and we will cross through valley and cut through the bronze doors. Praise the Lord!
As we are reading through the 7 letters to the churches of all ages… these are kind of churches that exists even today – and so it is a reminder to get real with God – instead of being superficial about our journey. We have so far seen churches, that looks and does amazing things, but they lack the first love… and in other cases, they have allowed the spirit of Jezebel, to churches that are either compromised or corrupt on their behavior. But there are only 2 churches, who doesn’t have any condemnation. And we are going to see one of the churches – Church in Philadelphia.
Often times, we are only see the bad things that happen in the churches, but there are good churches and the Pastors who persevere and not give up on their calling. The data science part of my brain says – that is only 28% of the church (2 out of 7)… and if that is true of this day – then we are in a weak position – as a church, and that’s what God is going after… but you know what – there are churches that are Faithful, Godly, and Effective…
There is so much, that the Lord is speaking – and so we will do deep dive, and split them into multiple meditations, so we can understand what the Lord is saying.
First of all, verse 7 introduces the Lord Jesus, the one who writes, the author as “He who is holy.” Such absolute holiness belongs to God and God alone. If we take the trip to chapter 4 into heaven we’ll hear the four living creatures saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty.” – it is the main and unique characteristics that belongs to Him and Him alone. Holy – What does it mean? The word holy means separate and He is utterly separate from sin. What a reverence we need to have, when we reach out to Him – Oh, Jesus, what an wonderful Savior…
When reading about this church, there are couple of things that that caught the attention:
“for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name “
Can you imagine, we don’t need to bring our strength to the table… Jesus knows our capabilities, that’s why in Luke12:32, He says, “you are little flock, you are so small” – often times, our strength can lead into pride and destruction. When we accept our inabilities – that’s when He can become our strength.
Keeping His word – there is no compromise… lot of times, when people who go to interview, they will just say what is in their resume – trying to prove their qualification, that’s not necessary – the fact we are sitting in that room says, you are qualified, we have to say – what the differentiator is. The same way, as man and woman of God, redeemed by His precious blood – there is nothing, that should separate us from His word. The Word of God is the cleansing factor, the strengthening oil, and the pipeline to His anointing. It is like a medicine, if we don’t take them consistently, then we will be dealing with the effects of sin and destruction.
Not denied His name – in other words, what Jesus is saying is: You stood by me, You are faithful, You are loyal. It doesn’t matter what people do to you, you didn’t deny me.
you have kept My command to persevere…
Persevere: easy to say, but hard to go through… we all have our breaking points. I went to the dictionary to look for the meaning – and it says, “continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.”.
We need audacious faith, and I have been very impressed with William Wilberforce, he fought and fought and fought for the equality in Europe and the fruit of his labor was complete one month after his death, can you imagine, every day for him to get up to what he was doing for over 50 years – perseverance.
There is a quote that I read, which aligns superbly with what we are talking about… by a man of God, named David Bednar:
“Prayer is a privilege and the soul’s sincere desire. We can move beyond routine and ‘checklist’ prayers and engage in meaningful prayer as we appropriately ask in faith and act, as we patiently persevere through the trial of our faith, and as we humbly acknowledge and accept ‘not my will, but Thine, be done.’ “
These days, I have the joy of meeting and speaking many of the kids – and as I learn about their life, it makes me humble, how these kids were able to handle their pressures. One of the kid says, her father is in prison for killing her mother – and she has fought all the hurdles and passed through her high school; in the midst of being totally abandoned by her family and raised by her aunt…
And another kid, has her father serving time (currently) in Kershaw and the mother is in Leath – but inspite of all the odds, she managed to fight through the maze, to get 3.4 GPA. Talk about the perseverance…
I was wondering what gave these kids the strength to persevere? It is hard, lot of things come parading, only when we are down. What keeps us aligned is, Keeping up with His command. It goes beyond bringing our strength to the table. We will fail miserably – if we don’t replace our strength with HIS.
This kind of endurance, is displayed only by our Savior on the rugged cross.
Let us close with this thought – Our strength comes from the Lord! As this verses to the faithful church goes, it doesn’t take a much from our part – because with our faith, we cannot even move the anthill, but as we put our head on His shoulder, He takes over…
This church overcame their hardship and persevered mainly because of their obedience to His command and the Loyalty to His name.
As Matthew West song goes…
I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don’t have to be
I don’t know what is going in your life this morning, but let me tell you – we can do all things through Christ…
When we read about this church, there are so much to offer, and so we will come back to it, in the next couple of days – but in the meantime let me remind you – “All it takes is the little strength, when we rely on His… “
May the good Lord bless YOU!