Sunday, August 30, 2009

Passionate Patience

Ahh... Philadelphia. The city of brotherly love. Not the one in the US though. Obviously.

We are in Revelations 3, starting with verse 7. I love this description of what Christ can do with "David's key in his hand." It says, "opening doors no one can lock, locking doors no one can open." That is a prayer I often pray. I will ask God that if it is His will that such-and-such happen, would He please open the right doors. And when something seems to be God-ordained, I will ask Him to close the door on me, if I have read the situation wrong. In other words, "lead me not into temptation."

He praises the church for being true to Him, for not denying His name during the rough spots. There are hypocrites around this church, as there were in the others. Jesus encourages the believers with these words: "watch as I strip off their pretensions and they're forced to acknowledge it's you that I've loved." WOW! I have to admit, of all the letters, this is the one I wish God would send to me. That is a nibble of pride on the fishhook, though, isn't it? To want others to be forced to acknowledge God's love for me? I choose to hear this as encouragement for my husband's heart, in situations stemming from a painful past. His heart is true, and God does see that.

Next, God warns that a time of testing is ahead. He wants them to know He will honor their faithfulness and take care of them through the trials headed their way. The Message uses the phrase "passionate patience." 2009 is my Year of Patience, remember? So I am drawn to this verse, to this letter, in a deeply intimate way. I want to finish the year and see that I have been practicing "passionate patience." I want God to see that in me.

Jesus ends by telling the church He is coming back. Sometimes, we forget this. He will return. We need to hang on to that.


Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing
through the churches. (Rev 3:13)

1 comment:

  1. These letters are great. You would probably enjoy a study called Attending the Bride of Christ (published by Lifeway, 6 week study) - it's amazing! Looks at the ancient Jewish wedding ceremony and comparing all aspects of it to Christianity - will just give you chills. Studying these letters is part of that study and it was REALLY good. Gave me a whole new perspective on it...well, as did Crazy Love with the lukewarm stuff... :)


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