Journal Rev 3 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)

Scripture: (To the Sardis church) “…I know your works.  You have the reputation of being alive, but (are) dead.  Waken up, strengthen what remains (and is about to die), for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God…” Rev 3:1-2


(To the Philadelphia church) “…I know your works…I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my Name…Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world…” Rev 3:7-10


(To the Laodicean church) “…I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.  (I) would that you were either cold OR hot!  So, because you are lukewarm…I will spit you out of my mouth.  For you say: I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing—not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked…” Rev 3: 14-17


Observation: Here are three local churches being prophesied to.  The Spirit begins: I know your works.  Judgment is not necessarily condemnation.  The Spirit evaluates as well.  These are points of evaluation to take up even in our day…


Analysis: “I know your works…”


Thinking about this statement, do I know my own works (Conduct? Heart?) and how it lines up with the Word of God?


What if I am under siege by the everyday cares of life?  Do I relax to complain about my lot in life or do I redouble my efforts to walk worthy of the Gospel and to persevere in patience to Him who called me?


What if I am taxed by indwelling sin?  What if I let sinful imaginations wreak havoc on my mind, savoring titillating thoughts, welcoming temptations of the eyes and body?


What if I revert to handling things on my own, disavowing faith in God and turning to my own efforts and strength to solve problems that will not conform my life to His Word but to conform my life to my wants and desires?


What if I am satisfied to cruise through life on a single belief that once upon a time, I made a “confession” of faith in Christ and I need to do no more than that?


God’s Sovereignty and Human Responsibility: “I have been saved through Grace and that is not of myself.  It is the gift of God so that no one may boast.”  This is a statement of fact in His Sovereignty—I have nothing to add or subtract from God’s sovereign intent and action.  It is looking at Grace from the 5,000-foot level.


Life-long PURSUIT of God: this is not pursuing His Favor as if the more pursuit I do stacks His Judgment in my favor (like scales of balance).  It is the MINIMUM calling of the Believer; It is my Human Responsibility towards the Almighty God.


Works are rewarded by jewels in a crown, not a ticket into the Gates.  Nevertheless, no one can tally up a jewel count while on earth.  Refer to the story of the Rich Man and the poor Widow (Luke 21:1-2).


Works start within, evaluating the Face in the Mirror, confessing and repenting.  Then to your household (no matter how big the household is).  It might feel silly; if to a spouse, there might be derision and disbelief towards the confessor—this is where work comes in, not attempts at being convincing, but demonstrating HUMILITY and conscious effort towards being worthy of the Calling in which you have been called.


Note: it is relatively easy to show “good works” to people to whom you don’t live with.  Beware of compliments from folks that point out good works. To husbands and fathers: If your families are not boasting about you unbidden, then outside compliments, while encouraging and perhaps from the Spirit of God, are not the compliments you want.


Prayer: Father, writing about the 2 principles of Your Sovereignty and My Responsibility is tough.  I think I see it well enough but understand that I still need to think about this every day.  I realize that I can muddle it up and make unhealthy choices.

Please let Your Words be somewhere in my words.  Guide me to write better, make coherent sense of these principles and doctrines.