Random Reflection (Dec. 8, 2010)

8 Dec

“But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love that you had at first. Remember therefore from where 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.” – Rev. 2:4-5

For the longest time, I thought that these two verses meant: “Repent and love God… and then he won’t come and remove your lampstand (whatever that meant).” However, for the first time today, I noticed that Jesus says, “Repent and do the works you did at first” which seems to imply that an action, rather than affections is involved here.

When I looked up G.K. Beale’s commentary on the book of Revelations, he writes this and gives us a hint as to which action in particular is being discussed here:

The idea is that they no longer expressed their former zealous love for Jesus by witnessing to him in the world. This is why Christ chooses to introduce himself as he does in Rev. 2:1. His statement that he “walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands” is intended to remind the introverted readers that their primary role in relation to the Lord should be that of a light of witness to the outside world.

I tend to agree with Beale’s conclusion (over and against those who would say that the Apostle was simply talking about love for the Lord or those only within the Church). Though those are involved, too, I think primarily, what the Apostle is speaking about here is the Ephesians’ loss of fervor in being the light of the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In this light, this warning that Jesus gives to the Ephesians is one that hits close to home for me personally (and I would assume many other Christians, as well). He says that if we do not repent and “do the works” we did at first, He will come and remove our lampstands.

Prayer:

Father, I am one of those “introverted” Christians who know the truth of the Gospel, but, because of fear of man, am unwilling to be that light to this dark world. Forgive me for putting my hope and my trust in what others think of me rather than what you think of me in Christ.

I plead the blood of Christ, receive his forgiveness (1 John 1:9) and clothe myself with His righteousness. God, I deserve to have my lampstand removed and thereby, incur your righteous wrath. But, I thank you that in Christ, I have an advocate, the propitiation for my sins (1 John 2:1).

Help me now to boldly be that light that you have called us to be in this dark world. Give me courage upon courage to tell others of the greatest news in the world. Empower my words, Holy Spirit, for without your power behind those words, they are merely words.

In Jesus’ powerful name I pray,

Amen.

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