Message to Ephesus
The Lord’s complaint against the believers at Ephesus
The Lord said, “You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen!” NLT
8. a. Matthew 22:36-40
Signs a person has lost the depth of love they once had for God and others
- Loss of passion for God and His Word
- Neglecting alone time with Him
- Not in their thoughts
- Increased interest in worldly things
- Focus on self-interest and self-gratification
- Interest in status and position
Signs the church as an institution has lost its depth of love they once had for God–
Increased focus on…
- Showing favoritism
- Salaried staff make compromises to satisfy influential donors
- Numbers over relationships
- Growth plans over nurturing disciples
- Conforming to the world
- Bigger, fancier buildings
- Legalism and control
- Raising money for buildings and salaries while neglecting the poor
- Internal and national politics
Societies and nations
- Accepting bribes
- Ridicule and persecution of believers
- Oppressive policies and taxation
- Overlook or condone sin
B. I can show my love for God and others by 1 John 2:5-6
- Follow Him.
- Trust Him.
- Worship Him.
- Spend time with Him.
- Walk with Him.
- Talk with Him.
- Read, listen to, and meditate on His Word.
- Do what He asks me to do without hesitation, procrastination, or excuses.
- Seek to please Him and bring glory to Him in all I do and say.
- Be a living sacrifice.
- Lay my life down at His feet.
- Prefer others.
- Let others choose first and go first.
- Be generous with time and resources.
- Notice the needs of others.
- Don’t be critical of others to their face or behind their backs.
- Forgive offenses.
- Don’t keep track of offenses.
- Be patient and kind.
- Rejoice with others when they succeed, receive blessings, and win.
- Mourn with those who mourn.
9. Repent (metanoeo) means to change one’s mind or purpose (NASB)—
NASB Greek dictionary; to think differently or afterwards, reconsider—Strong’s Greek Dictionary
I asked the Lord to help me think and live differently in the following areas:
- Frustrated and lack of patience
- Saying yes when I should say no.
- Failure to stop and pray when I lose my peace and joy.
- Assuming it’s up to me to solve problems.
- Feeling sorry for myself.
- Bottom line: Complete trust in God.
10. A. Tree of Life Genesis 2:8-9;16-17; 3:1-24
Instead of saying “do not eat the fruit from the Tree of Life”, overcomers are specifically promised they will enter God’s paradise and receive eternal life.
Jesus made this promise to the thief crucified next to Him.
The thief believed in God and died under the old covenant. Luke 23:40-43
B. Amazing grace of Revelation 2:7
Until their disobedience, Adam and Eve lived in a state of perfection. They enjoyed perfect fellowship with God.
After eating forbidden fruit, they hid from God in shame.
God in His mercy couldn’t allow them to live forever in their fallen state.
In Revelation 2:7, God reminds us what was true all along—Overcomers are destined for Paradise. Their souls will spend eternity with God. The tree of life will no longer be off-limits.
Hebrews 11 reminds us “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It goes on to include a by faith list with some surprising inclusions: Rahab the prostitute, Jephthah who sacrificed his own daughter, and Samson who had a lust problem.
Everyone on the list had notable failures. Each one lived and died before the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us]. Romans 8:37 AMP
We are no longer servants, but—Sons. Heirs. Priests. Friends!
No longer under the curse of the law. Redeemed.
By faith, we can are citizens of His kingdom now in this life. Galatians 3:13
But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises. Hebrews 8:6 NLT
Photo Credit Public Domain
My answers—not THE answers—to study questions for BSF Revelation Lesson 4 Day 3
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