‘To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands:
‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance. I know that you cannot tolerate evildoers; you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them to be false. I also know that you are enduring patiently and bearing up for the sake of my name, and that you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
We end this week’s devotional readings in Revelation. John gives us a “status update” on the church in Ephesus some time after Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians urging them to live in unity with one another. It seems like the believers have done a good job in resisting evil and division, but the years of struggle have taken their toll on the community. This is important to acknowledge: living in community can be joyful and fulfilling, but it can also be draining.
This week, remember that our mission to bring the Kingdom of God on earth can only be done with the members of the body working together. We are called to treat others with love and forgiveness, modeling how to live and patiently enduring the inevitable suffering. However, we do have our fellow believers to support and encourage us in our work. Allow God to refill you this week through the fellowship at Cross Creek. Find the “love you had at first” by bringing your weariness and burdens to God, and pray for a renewal of spirit. Come worship with your brothers and sisters in Christ and allow them to re-energize your efforts to bring about the Kingdom. Amen.