Mark on the Edge – Whoever Has Ears…the work – the love

Would you like to be victorious? You might ask, “In what?” or “What will it cost me?” They are good questions, but I’m talking about gaining victory in a humility driven sagacious life for the Lord. Oh, I didn’t know what sagacious meant either. A little Google help – “having or showing keen mental discernment and good judgement; shrewd, wise, clever, intelligent, knowledgeable, sensible, sage, canny, perceptive, astute, prudent, thoughtful, insightful…” This kind of life is referred to in some circles as a fully developed follower of Christ. So, would you like that kind of victory?

Well, the rewards are many: You get to eat from the tree of life in God’s paradise; you will not be hurt by the second death; you will be well fed and get a new name from God that speaks of your victorious character; you will rule over the nations with God’s authority; you will be dressed in purity and spoken highly of by Jesus to His Father and to the angels; you will be a support in God’s house and have God’s graffiti written all over you; you will be able to sit with Jesus on His throne. That is pretty good stuff. That is the stuff of the destination, but what about the journey? How do you get there from here?

Do you know what the Spirit is saying to the churches? Do you have spiritual ears? The journey is opened up for us in the second and third chapters of Revelation, the last book in the bible. You need to know that the journey is full of detours, U-turns, rough trails and dangerous places. There seems to be construction everywhere and it seems to be that the route is intentionally in that condition to strengthen our resolve and our focus. So what is the Spirit saying to the churches?

Our first discovery along the route is that Jesus knows how hard the journey is. He says that He knows our hard work, but that seems to be the first chance to get off the road. The hard work gives us opportunity to change our focus. We start on the journey as a response to God’s love that He shows us and we have a desire to share that love with others, but we sometimes get stuck in the roughness of the journey. It is possible in this place to get so bogged down that we begin a new journey of bitterness. It threatens to replace the journey of origin. The bitterness trail is off the intended journey; it is a path of its own. It can make us forget why we started on the trip in the first place. It is a downward plunge; a dangerous road. It is a road that pits us against one another in some kind of a comparative competition to the death. The Spirit is saying WRONG ROAD! Remember the love that you started with? Do you remember the source of that love? Change direction! Get back on the journey that you were on and remember the attractional love that you desired to be filled with and to share. The Spirit is saying not to get so burdened by the work that you lose the sweetness of the connections with God and with one another. That is what the Spirit was saying to the church in Ephesus. It also might be one of the things that the Spirit is saying to our churches. What is the Spirit telling you – if you have ears – listen to the Spirit speak. Rev. 2:1-7 What do you think…until next time in Smyrna,

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