Isaiah 26:3-4 - “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the
Lord forever, For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.”
As I came across this passage I couldn’t help but think about the churches we have studied in our Sunday series out the book of Revelation called The Seven Churches. The two churches in this series that did not receive condemnation from Jesus are Smyrna and Philadelphia. Five of the seven churches received harsh words of rebuke from Jesus. At some point in their history the church collective did not maintain a steadfast mind focused on God. The discipline of a steadfast mind brings strength to our faith.
Our current series has also been a good reminder that Jesus is the image of the invisible God! Another biblical author put it this way, “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3). Colossians 2:9 says, “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” Although God the Father and God the Son are two distinct persons they are one God (along with the Person of the Holy Spirit) with one essence. There is no part of deity missing from Jesus. He has existed from all eternity and will exist for all eternity.
At some point the churches that receive a word of correction ultimately did not believe the truth about Jesus. The church at Pergamon compromised the teachings of Christ for a form of godliness. This upcoming Sunday we will study the church at Thyatira and notice that they embraced tolerance. These words of correction come because the church had drifted from the important discipline of the teaching of God’s Word.
It is obvious that God’s number one concern for churches is the purity of their teaching. Is the church holding fast to the truth, and are they effectively dealing with those who contradict His truth?
The letters to the churches in Revelation are also weighed down with concern for godly living among churches and their leaders. Jesus told the church at Ephesus that it would be better for them not to exist than to exist without love (Revelation 2:5). The full lists of requirements for church leaders spelled out in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 are overloaded with godly character, with just a line or two about requirements of household management and one’s ability to handle God’s truth. Faithful churches repent of their sins and pursue love and good works (Revelation
2:19; 3:2-3, 8, 15).
Although a church full of joyful Christians just trying to love the Lord and each other, and live godly lives may not score very well on the cutting edge best seller list, it is a precious point of evaluation to the Lord Jesus. What grade would we receive in this category? Is our church really trying to honor God by living a life of godliness? Is sin taken seriously within the members of our congregation?
My prayer is that we will develop a steadfast mind in order to keep perfect peace with the God we serve.
Our Pastor writes most of the blog posts we publish, however, occasionally some of our other church leadership (some staff, some volunteer) who also contribute to the New Life blog.