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January 13, 2021 8:00 am
When love grows: that's today's message of Dr. Don Wilton as we open God Encouraging Word together always study another were available for you firstname.lastname@example.org. This phone number 866-899-WORD. Let's connected 866-899-WORD 9673 Revelation chapter 2 of the book of Revelation chapter 2.
This is a hum, I'm telling you God is going to speak so loudly and I'm praying for you were praying for one another as God has got a special word for us today so let me read this passage to you in Revelation chapter 2 not remember this is Jesus. It's his words Jesus is saying this and he's saying it to believe it is he saying this to the church so in the book of Revelation. You got seven churches in these seven churches salmon is that perfect number and seven. The seven churches of Asia are you and me, it's the church it's believers.
So, I want you to just get this phenomena read one or two verses and then I want to just explain something to you quickly. Okay so in Revelation chapter 2 to the angel of the church in Ephesus write these things. These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands are just couple of things. The word angel to the angel that word is on the loss Messenger so God seems one of these messengers to bring God's word to his believers and he says these are the words of him. He tells us who he is. Jesus affected my Bible. It's written in red. Jesus said this, everything I'm saying to you right now reading to Jesus stated is very important. God is not another nomination. Not me saying is not your church.
Jesus very important year and what is he say these are the words of him who holds the seven stars that word in Revelation and the Scripture. The seven stars stars refers to those who are the leaders of the church you had a look at me and you and as I will foster you a leader of the church you he's talking about leaders. Those who know Christ to have influence so that you mom and dad over your children, your sons and daughters in the church. It's that black grouper you that the group leader is parsed as those elders as overseers, preachers, teachers, and he says what he sees processes I'm going to say something to the church and I'm speaking this through those who have influence and I have been in my right hand.
That word means.
Does the witch, and over whom I have authority because they are mine. You belong to me and he says I am walking among the seven golden lampstands. That's how he talks about the church. Can you imagine did you know that the church is one of God's golden lampstands, golden purity lampstand. The lampstand gives light, the church, which is the authority of God, led by spiritual leaders gives a lot has influence over so what is he say to the church.
Herod is a menace go through the race this passage no I know your deeds, your hard work. I know your perseverance.
I know that you do not tolerate wicked people I know that you've tested those who claim to be apostles leaders, teachers, and all not in the found them to be false. I know you have persevered and endured hardships for my name. I know that you've not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you, you have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you fall, repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you all remove your lampstand your lampstand from its place, but you have this in your favor. You hate the practices of the Nicollet attends, which I also height so he who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to you, to the churches through him who overcomes I will give the right to eat from the tree of life which is the Paradise of God. So this is Jesus speaking to the church and he speaking to the church in a bicycle Ephesus just very quickly. I've been to emphasis quite a number times and many of you been with me will go back. It's quite a place.
By the way back in impose time. Probably the population around about 300,000. Some people say little if some people say little more so in Ephesus today. I've sailed in they many times.
Okay Ephesus today. Back in full study was at a crossroads very critical for the Roman Empire, which was so dominant because of the trade routes had has a great harbor ships could come and bring all the merchandise and help businesses, all those kinds of things very strategic place. Probably one of the first churches that pulling comedy with Leone second missionary journey went back the next chapter 19 on the second missionary journey and he spent a long time that by the way you be interested in a movie. Timothy became the pasta of the First Baptist Church bombing of the church in Ephesus. Timothy disconnecting all the docs for you in the Bible. Okay. Is he tells us that reminds us of that in his late so yeah because this place called Ephesus. It was a lively happening place and in the middle of Ephesus business Temple and the temple was there for the God base optimist ART EM I is the Greeks called that God is the goddess Diana. She wasn't good.
She was pagan.
Everything about the goddess Diana arguments was paganism. It was people going getting basaltic blowing their minds out excessive drinking and debauchery immorality of all kinds that you could possibly imagine and temple worship and the artisans and the businesses all kind of cooperated together they already influenced each other. So once a year, especially around about springtime. This illustration will be Mardi Gras that you have in your wallet in springtime. They would have a festival all centered around the temple and all the merchants would come down a human level pretty pretty neat. Pretty cool stuff would uphold a little where's and free markets and they would sell. But they would also mix it in with all their arrangements mean people sliding each other money under the table. I will scratching each other's backs that were allowing certain things to happen and not others. And I mean money flowed so can you imagine here comes Paul comes the preacher here comes the church and he says Jesus died for you he loves you. Once you give your heart to him and when you do you change you. You know what sin is so right there in the heart of emphasis in the middle of all a political and social and all the stuff going on in the moneymaking and the businesses in the stock market.
By the way athletics boy. They were big-time into athletics is these things, but it was connected into the paganism of the day they worshiped it they worship they athletics and they worshiped big gods and they worship they money, they worship they drinking and they debauchery and their morality. Paul came and told them about Jesus and a group of people began to spring up inside Christian people, you know what I'm talking about.
They gave their hearts to Jesus and they lives would change and they began to be filled with the love of God. They understood what sin is a soul God for who he is. They lives became filled with passion and compassion.
They served others loved others. They rejected the world's ways. They sold the sinfulness of paganism and of idol worship right in the middle of it. So why would Jesus have written a letter like this to a church like that.
So watch the skies. Jesus had seven great things to tell them see that little group of believers. They were being squeezed by will being pooled by the world. Some of them were losing their businesses.
Some of them were going into the lunch room at lunchtime and nobody wanted to sit with them because they were Christians that were having big parties and debauchery and drunkenness and immorality in because Christ did come into their hearts.
All of a sudden said no I'm going to love my wife no I'm in a do this God's way. All of a sudden they were marching. According to different standards. So Jesus writes this letter in the midst of all this turmoil to this group of Christians and he's got seven wonderful things to say to that but in the Bible.
Did you see them. He tells them seven unbelievable things. Let me just give them to you level one he commands them. He says I commend you for your deeds for the things that you do for me there.
It is inverse to number two. I commend you for your hard work correctly. The good news to recommend you for your hard work. By the way, that would hard work means you all out effort for Jesus just like so many of you just or not.
You just never seem to know the in and watch all these folks folks operate the cameras, people who serve at the bridge people to go on mission trips. People walk across the road follows you all out effort people to make phone calls people to bake a loaf of bread. Just because they care about people who just love on others just because of Jesus. He commanded them for the deeds for their hard work he commend them for their perseverance at where this fantastic love the word perseverance for the willingness to keep on in a good friend of mine sent me a wonderful text saying he was praying for for us this week. I thought I seen him a text back in our church and I see them. Hi, thanks for your word of encouragement. I see you such a faithful brother he so faithful man. Thank you. You not upgraded to run off.
Thank you Jesus said thank you for your perseverance.
Number four. He commend them for their intolerance.
Is there intolerance. He says look in verse two. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people incredible heat.
Jesus commands these believers in Ephesus for being intolerant of the wickedness of these pagan people saying no, we don't tolerate that nominative love. He commanded number five, he commanded them, for they testing Jesus takes it one step further. Nieces you know you I commend you for the way you put to the test those who lead you cannot, cannot just say something guys that's that is so commendable in churches whether it be the pasta. The deacons, the elders, the Sunday school teachers. The live group teaches the leader the groups you not just do something, you gotta be tested. You not just talking about one church you know you do the same if you're not from first Baptist. Many wonderful churches around Utah in this church. We got scores of deacons you not just become a deacon, as may be. Maybe you got a great business or maybe because your mama gave this piece of land of the church because you're a great athlete, you know you played major league ball.
Therefore, you should be unique and another. You gotta be tested church you go to go through studying God's word you want to be in the church for at least two years to prove yourself you giving your faithfulness. God's you know we have the church council in our church once stringent test church council your be a member for 10 years in good standing.
You gotta be proven that you tied, be on the church council not be a habit and then tell everybody else to do. It's like me, I can't get up and tell you to give to the church and I'm not doing can you feel SLAC hypocrisy we see in the world and Jesus commanded them, for they testing and then he commanded them for their endurance.
In verse three. It's very similar to perseverance for keeping on, and then finally number 70 commanded them for their high can you imagine I didn't use that word.
Jesus said it, he said, you have the senior fiber you hate the practices of the Nicollet attends, which I hate also, but unpacked the meaning of the Nicollet attends right now will get onto that when we get to the church and Pergamum or meditate use the Nicollet attends with people who lead others to do bad things have been around people like that.
Those with the Nicollet attends Jesus it height what they do and I commend you because you hate what they do to so what did Jesus if he commanded them or did what did Jesus have to say to them what the building I'm gotta put a counter put that on you. So what am I suppose what would I say you say something to the people that you really love Jesus did euros like moms and dads you know you love your kids so much.
But you see those one or two things you say Sridhar understand Italian. This is not going to happen because you love listening to Dr. Don Wilton our teacher on The Encouraging Word and will be back with the rest of today's message when love grows cold in just a moment but perhaps you are a parent that has said had before and realize that when we do things for our children with their children, sometimes to our children. It's because we love them in our heavenly father does that as well. You open to what the Lord is ready to do in and through and for and to you in this brand-new year. Look ahead in the month of January for 2021 we have a wonderful series of opportunities to grow in Christ through some resources. The Encouraging Word one of those is the I give up book by Laura story and another series from Dr. Wilton about science and how you can walk with giants.
The details are on our email@example.com that's TW online.org.
Let's connect today. Now that today's message with Dr. Don Wilton.
So what happened to Jesus till it's look at the civil told him one scary effect.
What's the scary fact. Jesus said, I but something against scary while Jesus said that to the church. I booked this against you, I know you doing all these things fantastic, but I booked this against you, and he followed that up with one hard truth.
What was the hard truth.
You have forsaken your first love you, not loving me like you once did that you and it comes to Jesus's church, you know, probably the best analogy of comparison is in marriage. I know not everybody is married but there's a bunch of us that all look we all identify with your love growing cold.
You don't stop loving but you did you meet that significant person and you fall in love and and you get married in the months and the years go by and you have ups and downs and you travel the road of life, and your love begins to diminish other you know what I'm talking about all of a sudden stop holding hands, stop talking to each other in a civilized manner.
Start getting angry with each other happens to all of us happens to me. It happens to you, start pulling back to stop spending time with each other. Stop hurrying home from work he stop putting every you start putting everybody else ahead of the person you love most. I forgives one scary fact to sit on about this again. She gives one hard truth you've lost your first love for me you don't love me. Then he gives one factual reminder, he puts it in perspective. In verse five he says remember the height from which you fall and what does that mean he said go back to the height of your love go back to that critical to that top point.
When you first came to know me, I met a lady she walked up to me and she said to me.she said you baptize me two weeks ago and her face was just going with Zach so fresh, she was so excited to be in worship member that time what's happened what's what's what's going on with you. God then you feel what Jesus is saying. Remember the from which you come from which you fully why you no longer holding hands with me why you no longer spending time why you no longer prioritizing me why you no longer talking to me why you no longer reading about me why you no longer serving me. Why do you just show up like this and you love me. Why does it not bother you. Why does everything else why would you rather do everything else but get together and worship me. Why mom on the list when you should love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind, and you Jesus is saying it tried to do in this passage meant is some powerful remember the height from which you forward the same lesson when you lose your first love. what is going to happen to you. You gonna become spiritually apathetic you going to become indifferent to the things of God. You got to lose your fire in your love to serve others and to love people with no strings attached. You start shopping around for the best show in town all new with God that mean he puts his sold-out case that you got a win win win, you lose your first love. When you love grows cold. You gonna become a compromise anything that comes along you can excuse yourself about this against you, one scary fact one hard truth you've forsaken your first love.
One factual reminder. Remember the height from which you fall many gives one only one acceptable solution.
What one acceptable solution you noted is reprint. Okay, I want all married couples look at me from all of you a look up from your sofa. Tell your kids just to hold it for a 2nd to 2nd lesson may not be married for long time to some people think Noah was my best man.
It happens to me and Karen.
I love grows cold.
So during your marriage right now and you sitting there and it's a little awkward is not as you both know you have those awkward moments.
You know she knows so what you do is you say it's like another cup of coffee or maybe when this came up just a minute ago, you immediately began to get yourself busy with the kids all like your give me a break. I'm just gonna take a seat. I don't need this.
You know it's true you know you know. Can you feel it and Jesus is only one acceptable solution reprint archive. Married couples are almost through. You can get back to you go to go to each other so I am so sorry that's it.
The final thing he tells them is one series consequence, he says, look, if you don't repent of your forsaken love is what's going to happen. I'm gonna remove your candlestick. What is that mean doesn't mean you gonna lose your salvation is mean you're not going to go to heaven is what it does mean it means you can lose your influence. God will give you a fireball and a freshness in your life in your marriage. He will give us that freshness in every aspect of our life if we were walking with him for Dr. Wilton from the pulpit and she's been preaching. Perhaps you've heard the Lord stir your heart as well. Now let's listen to Dr. Don as he comes in the studio with perhaps the most important 60 seconds of today. Are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Why did you pray this prayer with me right now. Dear God, I know that on the center and I know that Jesus died for me cross today.
I repainted my sin and by faith I receive you into my heart. In Jesus name, my friend. I welcome you today into the family of God. This is exciting news you've given your life to Jesus Christ. Welcome welcome to the family of God and welcome to the next steps we would love to walk alongside you.
We have resources free resources for you if you given your life to Christ. Call us at 866899 word that's the phone number 866-899-9673 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I mentioned the Laura story book is Liz with all the details about what's email@example.com discovering Juliet surrendering your will God control heart study. Laura uses her own story to explain why it is important that we are submitting to go about doing this decision on lines and the people around that secret joy in the surrendering online Laura story dollars and works in the Encouraging Word limiting the available readings were anything anywhere and listeners ministry for listening today it's been a great day with The Encouraging Word and Dr. Don Wilton tomorrow. Dr. Don's messages on incredibly godly people.
I hope you'll join us.
That's tomorrow at the same time here with The Encouraging Word