Bible Ballistics: Vol. 12 No. 05 Who’s On First???


I’m sorry for the lengthy absence, but I’ve had some health issues and just haven’t been up to par, and certainly not up to writing anything that could make any sense. But I am feeling better and we’ll see what we can come up with today; hopefully something that will speak to each of us and draw us near to the presence of our Lord! I’ve been looking at Jesus’ letter to the church at Ephesus and His call to us to maintain our relationship with Him—a love relationship that keeps Him in the first place in our hearts.

Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write;

These things saith he

that holdeth the seven stars

in his right hand,

who walketh in the midst

of the seven golden candlesticks;

2 I know thy works,

and thy labour,

and thy patience,

and how thou canst not bear them

which are evil:

and thou hast tried them which

say they are apostles,

and are not,

and hast found them liars:

3 And hast borne,

and hast patience,

and for my name’s sake hast laboured,

and hast not fainted.

4 Nevertheless I have somewhat

against thee,

because thou hast left thy first love.

5 Remember therefore

from whence thou art fallen,

and repent,

and do the first works;

or else I will come unto thee quickly,

and will remove thy candlestick

out of his place,

except thou repent.”  Revelation 2:1-5

This first of the seven letters that Jesus had John send to seven specific churches in Asia (The Asia of biblical times), and its message is sometimes elusive, but we are going to dig in and try to see what it has to say to us today.

First of all, let’s consider a bit of context to help us understand the message from our Lord Jesus; there are some uniform things in each of the seven letters: how Jesus describes Himself uniquely to each church (You’ll find these descriptions are also in chapter 1)—how He commends and/or reproves each church—how He knows exactly who ‘we’ are and where ‘we’ are (all the time and at any given moment in each of our lives)—how he has an answer for each situation, whether good or bad—how He also holds us accountable for our choices and responses to HIM. We must recognize His call to, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches”, reminding us that we are to hear, receive and respond to “what the Spirit saith unto the churches”! The same message that Paul gave to the church at Galatia:

This I say then,

Walk in the Spirit,

and ye shall not fulfil

the lust of the flesh……..

25 If we live in the Spirit,

let us also walk in the Spirit.”   Galatians 5:16 & 25

The gift of the Holy Spirit IS the New Covenant into which we come when we are born again—born “of the Spirit”!

But as many as received him,

to them gave he power

to become the sons of God,

even to them that believe

on his name:

13 Which were born,

not of blood,

nor of the will of the flesh,

nor of the will of man, but

of God.” John 1:12-13

That which is born of the flesh

is flesh;

and that which is born of the Spirit

is spirit.

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee,

Ye must be born again.” John 3:6-7

When we are born of The Spirit, we are to hear and heed His voice, the work and the direction of God’s Holy Spirit within us! It’s HIS Spirit that enables and empowers us to yield our lives to HIM!

But back to the message to the church at Ephesus; what does Jesus mean when He calls the church to “Remember ….repent…..and redo” the works they did at the first, to do them in view of their love relationship not just the “doing” of works, but “being” in love with Jesus and being yielded to His love and His Spirit’s work ‘in’ and ‘through’ us! When you go back and read Jesus’ commendation to this church, it wasn’t “not” working, but it also wasn’t ardently in love with her Savior. It’s HIS love ‘in us’ that makes us who we “are/be”—we must “be” in love with Him, before we can “do” that which will totally glorify HIM!

And hope maketh not ashamed;

because the love of God

is shed abroad in our hearts

by the Holy Ghost

which is given unto us.

6 For when we were yet without strength,

in due time

Christ died for the ungodly.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man

will one die:

yet peradventure for a good man

some would even dare to die.

8 But God commendeth his love toward us,

in that, while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.

9 Much more then,

being now justified

by his blood,

we shall be saved from wrath

through him.

10 For if,

when we were enemies,

we were reconciled to God

by the death of his Son,

much more,

being reconciled,

we shall be saved

by his life.

11 And not only so,

but we also joy in God

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

by whom we have now received

the atonement.” Romans 5:5-11

We must remember that it’s God’s love that works in us—not the ‘love’ that is of the flesh—but it’s all about Jesus! And when we remember what He has done for us, is doing in and through our lives, as well as what HE is going to bring us to—HIS heavenly glory—how can we but lavish our love and devotion on HIM through all we do.

For of him,

and through him,

and to him,

are all things:

to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” Romans 11:36

When I think of loving God first, my mind often goes to Job and his devotion to The Lord God Almighty he loved despite his circumstances and his so-called friends. When we love God and place our total trust in Him, we can walk in confidence resting in HIS love and power!!!

Though he slay me,

yet will I trust in him:

but I will maintain mine own ways

before him.”     Job 13:15

When we love Him first and foremost, we can be confident that our “lampstand” will stay where God put it and not be removed due to our careless disregard of our love relationship with HIM. Oh to join with Job and declare our love and confidence in our soon coming KING! (And remember, Job’s confidence was before the cross!!! WOW!!!) I know that I know that I know!!! How about you?

For I know

that my redeemer liveth,

and that he shall stand

at the latter day

upon the earth:

26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh

shall I see God:

27 Whom I shall see for myself,

and mine eyes shall behold, and not another;

though my reins be consumed within me.”  Job 19:25-27

Amen & Amen