"Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie — I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you." Revelation 3:9
This week I would like for us to look at the church of Philadelphia. As we read this letter let us again listen for the Holy Spirit to speak to us personally and apply the revelation to our lives. Let us begin by looking at the description Jesus gives Himself in verses 7-8:
He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens says this;
"I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name."
Jesus has all authority. Knowing this brings great comfort to all of us. He emphasizes again He knows our deeds. Nothing good or bad has been overlooked. Even though this church was the smallest of the seven it did not lack spiritual maturity. He will put before us open doors if we, like this church, keep His Word and do not deny the name of Jesus.
Then we come to verse 9. Obviously there was a synagogue of satan in their midst. This church was composed of unsaved Jews opposing the Christians. God defends His own by telling them He will cause those of this synagogue to bow at the feet of the true believers and make their enemies know that He has loved them. If we persevere to the end and keep His Word, and do not deny the name of Jesus, our enemies will be made to know God loves us! There is no greater accomplishment I can possibly achieve than for my God to make known to others He loves me! Whose approval can possibly reward us eternally, and save us from the hour of testing which is about to come upon the whole world as promised in verse 10? Yet, we tend to seek the vain approval of man rather than the approval of God Almighty. Let us take a moment to give thought and search our hearts for whose approval means the most to us in our lives. We need to ask God to reveal to us the true answer as our own hearts are so deceitful and who can know it. Jeremiah states:17:9-10 states:
"The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to His ways."
Let us look at verses 11-13 for the reward of making the right choices:
"I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have so that no one will take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and He will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from heaven from My God, and My new name. He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
God help us to have ears to hear and a heart of understanding that we might prepare as Jesus has instructed us through the letters to these seven churches. May we be encouraged by the promises from Jesus who went before us and prepares a place for our eternal home with Him forever. May the reality of the spiritual realm become more real in our lives than the physical one we live in which is a small dot on the timeline of eternity. We will all live an eternity. Your choices on this earth determine how and where you will spend eternity. Perhaps our focus needs to be on making others know how much we love the God who first loved us.
In His love.
Photos were taken during a trail race in the Black mountains of western North Carolina, "Quest for the Crest", I ran last weekend. This 6.5 mile run climbed 3300 ft in the first 2.5 miles. Beauty does come at a price, but well worth it in my humble opinion!