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Try Liking Your Neighbor – Loving Your Neighbor

loving-your-neighbor-2The fright-inducing Son of Man whom John saw in his vision was flanked by seven lampstands.

These, he explained in a booming voice, represented the seven churches to which John would write commendations and warnings.

These congregations were commissioned to serve as a source of light to their surrounding communities. But Jesus warned that if their lights sputtered out, he’d remove them.

Interact with God’s Word:  Revelation 2:1-5

  1. How do you react to the realization that Jesus cares about the people and events in specific congregations and wants them to fulfill their potential?
  2. For what successes (vv. 2-3) in the midst of an immoral culture and religious persecution did Jesus praise his followers in Ephesus?
  3. What failure (v. 4) did he single out and urge the Ephesian believers to correct?
  4. For what (Ephesians 1:15) had Paul commended these same Christians a generation or so earlier? What may have happened over time?
  5. Why can battling to maintain sound teaching and moral and doctrinal purity have the unintended side effect of undermining a charitable spirit and weakening love for the unsaved ?

Spend Time in Prayer:  Ask God to help you relate to people around you in a manner that whets their appetite for your Savior and Lord.

Revelation 2:1-5

1″Write this letter to the angel of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands:

2 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. 3 You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.

4 “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! 5 Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.

Adapted from Adapted from Relationships: A Mess Worth Making (New Growth Press, 2006)

Prayer for the Week: Lord, help me build at least one friendship solid enough to create openness to your good news.

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