February 08, 2024

To the Church in Ephesus

Revelation 2:1-7

“You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.”

—  Revelation 2:3

On a trip to Ephesus, I was able to walk through what had once been a neighborhood of houses and streets. Etched into a stone in front of one doorway was a symbol that looked like a fish. According to tradition, this may have identified the house as a place where Christians lived and met together for worship, prayer, and fellowship.

In Revelation 2, Jesus tells John to write to the church in Ephesus, saying, “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. . . . You have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.” Jesus’ followers in Ephesus are commended for holding up the light of Christ against the darkness of this world. The apostle Paul had earlier reminded the Ephesians, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against . . . the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). Still today, the devil aims to harm the church until Jesus returns. Jesus commended the church in Ephesus for standing strong in defense of the gospel. God’s Word to us today remains: Be strong, know the difference between light and darkness, be wise and ready to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1).

Lord Jesus, strengthen us to serve you faithfully, shining your light into this world.

About the author — Evan Heerema

Evan Heerema is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington state and in Michigan. He was also on the teaching staff at Kuyper College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for ten years. He and his wife are the parents of two daughters and the grandparents of two grandsons.

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