“I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.” Revelation 2:19 NLT
Jesus sees all the things we do, public and private. He sees beyond the limits of the human eye. He sees the unseen. The eyes of the Lord see our motives. There is nothing hid from Him! “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.” Hebrews 4:13 NLT Jesus knows the good we do, and the bad. In today's scripture, Jesus commends the church of Thyatira for their love, faith, service, and patient endurance. He even adds a compliment of their constant improvement in these things. Mercifully, Jesus notes the positives that the church was doing. He didn't begin His assessment with a negative, hateful tone. Lovingly, He applauded the good things first. This was not manipulative flattery. Jesus was genuine in His words to each of the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3. He loves His church. He sees everything about us, and yet He loves us. He loves us too much to leave us in our sin. We should be most grateful that Jesus is patient with us. Every day He speaks words of encouragement and opportunity to each of us. Each day is a priceless gift from Him saying "I love you"! Some people only see the negatives in a relationship. Jesus sees the best and the worst and still patiently calls us upward to His Holiness. He will not leave us in our disobedience without a call to repentance. In His goodness He speaks the truth to us in order to give us opportunity to repent and be restored. “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” Romans 2:4 NLT There remains one problem: Our inability to see our own sins. Only Jesus can shine the search light of His holiness upon us and reveal our true condition. We must never get so caught up in the good things we are doing that we become comfortable and don't hear what Jesus has to say to us about things that need our attention. May we never misunderstand God's love as His acceptance of our sin. Yes, He accepts us when we repent of our sins and accept Him as our Savior, but He never embraces our sin. He embraces the sinner. In His love, He became one of us to die for our sins (see John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16). He did this to provide redemption for us (see Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; and Hebrews 9:12). He died to save us from our sin, not to grant us approval to wallow in our sin (see I Thessalonians 4:7; 2 Timothy 2:19; 2 Peter 2:21-22) We are His bride! We are called to represent Him. Today, take a moment to let Jesus tell you how much He loves you, and let Him applaud the good things you are doing, but don't stop there. Take a moment to settle before God and ask Him to prepare your ears to hear His words of correction, your eyes to see things that you've been missing, and your heart to know His will. He sees everything about you, things you don't even see. What does He want you to know that you may be missing simply because you are complacent in the culture? We cannot compare ourselves to one another and get an accurate assessment of ourselves. We must look upon Jesus and let His holiness call us out and up!
After all, He loves us. He will pull out the heavenly belt of correction if needed. He will apply the board of education to our seat of learning if that's what it takes to keep us walking in righteousness. Take time to read Hebrews 12:5-11. A good father will affirm his love for his child. A child should be able to trust their father. This grants him the privilege and responsibility to administer correction to the child. Our Father has proven His love for us. May we submit ourselves to His correction. What is He trying to say to you today? Are you listening?
Rev. Curtis Norris