Do I resemble the Church at Ephesus?
The Risen Lord, had told John in 1:11 “Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches.” Here, John receives a message “to the angel of the church in Ephesus.”
There are some things for which this church is to be commended, things like its toil and patient endurance. Do I toil or am I too lazy at times? Do I grow weary in doing well, even though the word admonishes me not to grow weary in doing what is right, since I will reap the benefits of a good harvest if I do not give up (Galatians 6:9).
What is the motivation for my continued work, though? Is it that I am simply only a retiring workaholic or is it that I know my labours will help others come to share their place in God?
Do I keep on working to validate some hidden fear that without my work, I will simply go unnoticed, that no one will have a clue about the good that I can do, or is it that I believe that my good deeds are really the way to go in terms of pleasing God?
Other questions pop up and I am learning to value them, so that my work from day to day does not simply become my fashion show to show off my blessings rather than to show off the source of these many blessings. Please, God, help me today to do and to be just that way.
The church at Ephesus was commended for not tolerating evildoers. Do I? I must admit that it can be hard to discern which evil doers to scold like a prophet and which ones to correct like a pastor. It’s sometimes tough recognising the difference. Sometimes there are those who seem rough in their know-it-all attitude; but their toughness is really a cover-up for their own insecurities in faith. They want to look like they know so that others won’t marginalise them the way they have learnt to ostracise others from faith! It’s such a tough balancing act to handle. Please, God, help me today.
A Ephesus false apostles were exposed. Oh boy! Today, named apostles abound; and I have seen that while some are about extending ministries to the glory of God, many are about self -promotion. Lord, deliver me from the tendency to promote myself at the expense of your glory. I ought to be wise enough to know that can only destroy me; but you know, God, I need your help with that.
The church at Ephesus opposed the teachings of the Nicolaitians. Who are like them today? They were in the church, not prepared to admit that their beliefs and practices were not completely in sync with the Way of Christ. Today, it is really tough to embrace all sources of wisdom without properly holding the tension between revealed truth and hidden truth. You know, in the global postcolonial community, we discern past and present imperialistic tendencies to align truth and interpretations of truth with only what Massa say, even when Massa is not God.
Lord God, help me to be bold enough to uncover falsehood as I discover truth. Amen.