Summary: This road of life often seems to have potholes that will throw us off course. We begin to go this way or that, and soon discover that we are off of the path that God desires us to use. That's when the warning of Jesus to the church at Ephesus is given;
Potholes in the Road to Ephesus
Sunday, February 10, 2013
By Rev. James May
The Holy Ghost led me to a passage of scripture this morning that I know He wants to use to speak to someone here this morning. As I read this passage, I could not help but feel the heart of God as it ached; and I could sense the very hand of Jesus reaching out, hoping that someone would hear what he was saying; that someone would reach out, take His hand and begin to get closer to Him than ever before.
I felt as though Jesus was looking at me, and at each one of us, with both a look of approval and a look of disappointment at the same time. It’s like the look you would give a child that you love so dearly, after they have broken a valuable heirloom; or perhaps dumped a glass of chocolate milk on your brand new white carpet. You love them; and yet, at that moment in time, you resist the urge to be harsh with them because you know that they are only a child and they don’t even understand the full impact of what they’ve done. I believe that Jesus is looking at some of us that way this morning. His love is everlasting; but there are times when His chastisement, as a loving Father, is what we need most of all, even though it’s never pleasant to experience. He loves us all too much to allow us to continue on without any guidance and course corrections in our life.
If you will, let’s turn to the 2nd chapter of the Book of Revelation. In this chapter, the Lord Jesus Christ is walking among the golden candlesticks, which represent the church in its various spiritual conditions. Any church body, or any individual among us, can find ourselves somewhere in the descriptions that Jesus gives of the various churches. The churches are candlesticks because we are the ones to whom God has entrusted the Light of the Gospel. We are called, anointed and given the commission of spreading the Light wherever we are so that those around us who are caught in the darkness of this sinful world may be able to lift up their eyes, as the Holy Spirit helps them, and then they may see Jesus, the Light of the World.
Jesus speaks to seven churches of John’s day; but not only to those churches, and to the Christians of the early church; but the words that Jesus speaks are timeless and eternal, and they reach right down into the very heart of each of us today. They still speak the same lessons; still carry the same warnings, and also still carry the same promises if we will heed what Jesus says.
The number 7 itself is God’s number of completeness. That simply means that every condition of the church; and every church; along with the spiritual condition in the heart of every Christian is included; and the relationship that we have with Jesus at any given point in time, can be found somewhere in Jesus’ seven messages to the churches.
Perhaps this message today isn’t for you personally; and then again, maybe it is for you. If this doesn’t speak to you personally, then somewhere in those first three chapters of Revelation, you will find yourself. Somewhere among those messages, you will step in front of the mirror of God’s Word and you’ll find your image being described by the Words of Jesus to the churches.
Today, I believe that the Lord wants to talk to someone who is walking the rocky roads around the church at Ephesus. As we examine Jesus’ message to Ephesus, look within your own heart; examine yourselves; listen to that still small voice of the Spirit; shut everything else out and see if the Lord is speaking to you. I know that He will be whispering to someone. Could Jesus be talking to you? Let’s try to hear His voice as this message goes forth.
Lord Jesus, open our spiritual ears, that we may hear; and open our hearts that we may receive what you have to say this morning.
Revelation 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
The first thing that we must realize here is that God speaks first to the “angel of the church”, and then that “angel” is to speak forth what Jesus has said for all the church to hear.
Those seven stars are representing the ministers; those are involved in the 5-fold ministry, the Apostle, Pastor, Evangelist, Prophet and/or Teacher, who is called upon and anointed to bring the messages of God to the church by the leading of the Holy Ghost. Jesus is the power that holds it all together; and in His hand and by His hand we move and we speak. He holds us all in the palm of His hand, and the Bible tells us that “no man can pluck us out of His hand”. It’s a comforting thought to know that while you are ministering in this ungodly world, that the Lord has you in His loving and protecting hand, and that He will never let you fall.