If You Will Not Watch
“These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: ‘I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.
Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.
[Revelation 3:1b-4 NKJV]
At first, this meditation was going to be called "But You Are Dead", but this seemed very accusatory even if it is a problem that Jesus' identifies. What He is saying is that we can be spiritually dead, because we will not watch. He is speaking to those of us who seem spiritually alert, but in reality are anything but.
This is really an exhortation to come up higher, to abandon spiritual slothfulness and turn your eyes towards Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. In a sense, this letter is an extension of the letter to the Church at Ephesus, because there is an encouragement to remember what we have already received and heard, to hold on to that and thus return to our first love. In other words - and for the fourth time in five letters - there is an urging to repentance.
Watchfulness is the key. Our Lord says that He will come upon you like a thief if we will not be alert and watchful.
But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
[Matthew 24:43 NKJV]
“Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
[Revelation 16:15 NKJV]
What does being watchful entail? Paul says this in Ephesians 6:
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints
[Ephesians 6:14-18 NKJV]
... and in 2 Timothy 4:
I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch.
Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple.You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing (be watchful); accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.
[2 Timothy 4:1-5 MSG]
“Hold Fast Till I Come” — FOUNTAINVIEW ACADEMY
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Thursday 3rd September 2020
“Be strong in the Lord” — we much prefer to be strong for the Lord. The only way to be strong in the Lord is to be “weak in Him.”
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GEORGE and GILL STEWART