Have you ever thought about the reality of Jesus speaking directly into your life? For example, you’re working away in your garage and suddenly an audible voice starts speaking directly to you about how your life is going. I am sure many of you would either be freaked out or cautiously silent, fearing that people would think the worst of you if you told them what had happened.
Yet, this is precisely what happened to the Apostle John when he was imprisoned on the island of Patmos. While there, Jesus spoke into his life and instructed him to not only listen to what was being said but also to write it down so that others would hear the message.
Imagine: Jesus speaks – humanity listens up!
In Revelation chapters 2 and 3 we have the record of those messages from Jesus to the church. These message are a mixture of encouragement and rebuke, from press on to shape up or ship out. For the next seven weeks we are going to be looking at these seven messages and see what Jesus might be saying to our church, Calvary Burlington. I am sure that we will find encouragement, but we might also find rebuke, and we as His church need to be ready to listen.
Whenever Jesus spoke to someone in the gospels, people had the choice to listen or not. He never forces His message to be obeyed. So we as a church will also have to decide whether we are going to listen to Jesus and respond with faith and obedience. I want you think about that as we prepare for Sunday’s message- will we be a church that listens and obeys, or one that listens and then forgets?
In Revelation, when John the Apostle realises that it is Jesus speaking, he falls like a dead man at His feet and only rises when Jesus gently lifts him up. It’s a beautiful picture of what response to Jesus looks like. When Jesus speaks and we listen, we are changed, and that change leads to worship. Jesus’ words of comfort in vs 17 remind us that we don’t have to fear listening and responding to the message, because He has done the hard work of salvation already…
“Fear not! I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore and I have the keys of Death and Hades! Rev 1:17-18
In a world that is topsey, turvey and tough we have a Saviour, Jesus Christ, who speak above the noise and confusion and into our context with a message of challenging hope. John believed that the end of time was at hand and therefore he listened to Jesus and responded accordingly. What Jesus says might not always be easy hear, but the singular truth remains; that Jesus doesn’t lie to us.
I’m looking forward to seeing what Jesus has to say to our church and I hope you will be too. Pray that as we listen, we will follow Jesus with courage, boldness and fidelity!
Pastor Aaron Groat, Senior Pastor at Calvary Burlington