And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will mislead many people. And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pains.
Then they will hand you over to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. And at that time many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will rise up and mislead many people. And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will become cold. But the one who endures to the end is the one who will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come."
Revelation 2:1-7 NASB "“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:
The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this:
‘I know your deeds and your labor and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil people, and you have put those who call themselves apostles to the test, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured on account of My name, and have not become weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and I will remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. But you have this, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who overcomes, I will grant to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.’
There's times when I read in my morning Bible reading where I read one thing and God, through the Spirit, takes me somewhere else. This certainly is one of those times.
We read in Romans 12 of how Christians are to be in their conduct in the body. Of how they should be towards one another and towards the outside world. Read that chapter again.
Romans 12 NASB "Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many parts in one body and all the body’s parts do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually parts of one another. However, since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them properly: if prophecy, in proportion to one’s faith; if service, in the act of serving; or the one who teaches, in the act of teaching; or the one who exhorts, in the work of exhortation; the one who gives, with generosity; the one who is in leadership, with diligence; the one who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Love must be free of hypocrisy. Detest what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor, not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never repay evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all people. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
I don't pick the topic or the direction of these posts. I am to write as I am directed to write.
Your question today, my Dear Reader, is just where is your love of God? Take it's temperature. Is it vibrant and alive or is it on life support?
That part from Revelation can be directed to you or I. Has your love of God, of His Christ, grown cold?
Are you conformed to this world's ideas and ideals?
Are you on display for the world to see as a transformed life at all?
We read of John's devotion to Jesus, to the very end at the foot of the cross.
We read...but is that us? We certainly do live in a society where loyalty is as disposable as a paper towel.
We look at Church as an option not an opportunity.
We look at serving as though it was for someone else to do. We don't have the time.
We look at reading our Bible as a chore, not as something we get to do.
We look at a few hours with other believers as rough, yet spend 2 to 6 hours easily in front of a television or at a venue with eagerness and passion unrivaled.
We look at listening to other's needs in the body and look around to see if anyone sees us ignoring the plight.
Get real with your reactions and really examine your life in Christ. Has your life been about conformity to the world at the expense of your life with Jesus or are you looking for transformation?
In Christ we are born in this world at this moment in time for His purpose under Heaven. We are just as specifically placed in time, as the birth of Christ Jesus in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago.
You are as uniquely placed in God's Plan to reach those around you and to know the love of God as Jesus was in His time on the Earth in His ministry.
Where are you in your life's ambitions?
Are you passionate about the things of God or of the things of this world, trying to fit in, to not draw attention so as to avoid if possible, any tribulation of your own?
Are you looking to skate through this life, trying to enjoy all you can, without all the other parts of what a Christian is to be? Because that's a life where the love of Christ has grown cold.
As we heard yesterday about how Romans 12 speaks to being connected in the body of Christ, you have a responsibility to the others in the body of Christ.
You aren't to live out your own thing.
I encourage you to look at your loyalty to Jesus Christ. When you get dressed. What do you show the world? When you look at your car, the rooms in your home. Your home itself. Your hobbies. Your life's direction. Your thinking itself. Where does your mind go in regards to the things of God?
Where your treasure is there shall your heart be also. Your treasure being what you truly value.
Again I don't pick or choose these blogs. I am tasked with writing and sharing.
That letter to the Ephesians in Revelation is one of 7 letters. Some think that the letters are in a specific order to translate to time periods of the Church until Christ Jesus returns. That may very well be. But the topics can be for us individually.
Where, really, is your love for your Savior, if indeed you have come to Jesus for salvation? We are to show others what Jesus looks like, not show them how we look like them. We are to be light in the darkness because of the light of Jesus in us.
The love of most will grow cold.
I pray that isn't me. I pray it isn't you.