“These are the words of him who … walks among the seven golden lampstands: I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance.”
Throughout the first century A.D., Jesus’ followers fanned out across the Roman Empire to spread the good news of God’s salvation in Christ. They formed communities to support and encourage each other in life, faith, and witness. Yet by the end of the century, persecution came to many Christians in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), and they needed support.
The apostle John, one of the exiled leaders, wrote the book of Revelation to them. It’s filled with hope from Jesus to the churches, whom he calls golden lampstands.
What a comfort to know that Christ the King walks among the churches he loves. In the first of seven messages to different churches, Jesus tells the church in Ephesus that he knows their deeds, hard work, and perseverance. He also challenges them, giving compliments before critique. That’s a pattern we can follow in our families, schools, workplaces, and churches: build each other up before naming challenges.
Church communities are filled with blessing because Jesus walks among us! Christians care for each other, hear biblical preaching and teaching, praise God, and pray together. We host programs, help community causes, and contribute to international relief and missions.
In what ways is your church community a witness for God? How could you do this better?
Lord Jesus, thank you for walking among us. Encourage and challenge us by your Spirit, we pray. In your name, Amen.
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