The Church of Thyatira: Being Faithful
This week I was reminded of the following words, “The sun will come out tomorrow…” For days now, fog had settled in, clouds threw anchors to the earth, grey became the color scheme, rain just wouldn’t go away, and the eerie feeling of winter lingered on. I didn’t think the sun would ever re-appear. However, the sun truly did come out tomorrow! The sun is shining, warming the earth, and reminding us that even when we experience dark and gloomy days, the light of Christ is still shining brightly within our life. I hope you are able to enjoy the sunshine this coming week!
Today, I invite you to journey with me to the next Church that John travels to in the Book of Revelation. This church was experiencing gloomy days, but were reminded of the sun that was shining brightly within them. This church is called the Church of Thyatira.
The city of Thyatira was about 30-35 miles southeast of Pergamum along a trade route, and it had a small military garrison to protect the well-known city of Pergamum. It was known for its wool and dye industries. Beside these facts, there is not much history on the city of Thyatira from ancient times, but it was founded by the Lydians and used in the 3rd Century B.C. as a defensive position for other cities. The only other time Thyatira is mentioned in the Bible occurs in the Book of Acts when we encounter a woman named Lydia. Luke wrote in Acts 16:14, “A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul.” Lastly, Thyatira, throughout its history, has been known as the place of Jezebel: a place of deceit, false teaching, corruption, the unfaithful, and the sinful.
You see, the Church of Thyatira was in trouble–just like Ephesus, Smyrna, and Pergamum were. Except, the Church of Thyatira forgot how to get out of trouble. Jesus caught the church following the ways of a lady named Jezebel. Jezebel was a mean person: causing believers of God to not believe in God, persuading people that she was always right, and mistreating others in her life. Jezebel wasn’t a nice person and those in Thyatira were following in her ways. They were sinning and getting in trouble. Have you ever listened to someone in your life that got you in trouble? If so, then you are just like the Church of Thyatira. However, we must remember that Jesus is still watching over us. In times of trouble, being misguided, not doing the right thing, and sinning, Jesus is there wanting to guide us back to him.
Jesus did just that when he reminded the Church of their faithful ways before they followed the teachings of Jezebel. Jesus said, “I know your works: your love, faith, service, and endurance. I know that your latest works are greater than the first” (Revelation 2:19). Jesus sees who we were, who we are, and who we need to be. Jesus needs us to someone who is willing to do some work: to find ways to work for and with Jesus in our life. Jesus needs us to show love. With love we learn more about Jesus and how Jesus loved everyone, which we need to do. Jesus wants our faith to grow. When we are faithful we remember that the word of God is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12). Jesus needs us to be involved in service. When it comes to service, we need to find ways to serve others instead of always wanting to be served to. We have to be there for others. Lastly, Jesus needs us to have patience. Sometimes, things don’t always happen right away: we need to be patient and trust in the ways of Jesus and know that Jesus will take care of us in his time.
When we focus on our works, love, faith, ministry, service, and patience, our “works are greater than its first” (Revelation 2:20). What Jesus means by these words is this, “We are to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus.” We have grown and continue to grow because Jesus is present in our life helping us to stay clear of the bad things in life. When we commit ourselves to Jesus, our works, love, faith, service, and patience become stronger than anything that the Devil sends before us. The Church of Thyatira, just like us, forgot how what Jesus calls us to do will save us and bring light into our life. But, we must be willing to do what Jesus is calling us to do.
Are you willing to do what Jesus needs you to do? Are you willing to work for Jesus? Are you willing to love others like Jesus loves you? Are you willing to serve Jesus and those around you? Are you willing to be patient and wait for Jesus? Are you willing to set aside the bad stuff so that you can grow in faith of Jesus? It’s time to let the light of Jesus shine! “The sun will come out tomorrow…” but it is also shining brightly within you today!
Your Friend, Holy Spirit!
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