I Know Your Deeds – Part 3
“I know your deeds … and that you are now doing more than you did at first.” (Revelation 2:19 NIV)
In the letter that the apostle John wrote on behalf of Jesus to the church in Thyatira in the book of Revelation, Jesus commended the believers for their love and faith and service and perseverance. And then we see the key to their effectiveness, when we read that Jesus said, “I know… that you are now doing more than you did at first.” There’s a simple yet important lesson for us here; namely, that no matter where we are in our Christian life, there is the need and the potential for growth.
The church in Thyatira showed the love of God through their service, and that’s something that should challenge us all. Is it just “go to church on Sunday”? Or do we say, “I love the Lord and I love his people, so I try to find ways to serve them and pray for them, clean the church building, work with the children, visit the sick”? Also, the church in Thyatira had a faith that persevered. The Christian life isn’t easy sometimes, but they weren’t up and down. They didn’t quit when things got tough. So they had love that serves and faith that perseveres. But the key was what Jesus commended them for: “You’re doing more than you did at first.” In other words, this church was doing well, because each day they were going higher and higher and doing more and more. They were loving more, serving more, trusting more, and persevering more than they did at the beginning. That’s healthy! That’s growth! That’s what God wants for all of us!
The danger is this: Many think they can get to a place in God where they stop growing and increasing, and can just hold it there for a while. That’s impossible. That’s why, toward the end of the letter, the Lord says, “I’m not going to put anything else on you, but don’t let anybody rob what you have. Hold on to what you have!” Now, he would not have said this if it weren’t possible to lose what you have. The reason he said this was because he knows we’ve got to fight off the enemy of our souls, who comes like a thief to steal. Steal what? Steal our love; steal our faith; steal our service. He makes every effort to get us tired and get us distracted. He tries to get us caught up in politics rather than preaching the gospel; to get us caught up in money rather than blessing people; to get us captivated by anything that will take us away from what Jesus wants for us. So Jesus is saying, “Don’t let anybody rob what you have.” But there’s only one sure way to achieve that, and that’s to keep growing more and more each day. The minute you stop, somebody is going to rob what you have. You have to keep going, with more and more determination, getting stronger and stronger each day.
To be continued…