Wow. Lots has happened today.
We had music/church this morning. Meeting thingy after church. DRIVING for a little over an hour. NIPTO. Encounter. Applebees. Home.
Okay. Expanding on things a little bit. Minus driving. Because that's an entirely different post!
Music practice went well. Church went well. Our pastor is taking a 4 week vacation/sabbatical. Kinda crazy. But he deserves it after almost 30 years of non-stop pastor-ing.
Meeting thingy after church with a bunch of people who live around the church to find out what could be improved/what needs we can meet&whatnot went well too. As far as I know. I sat at the kid table and read a book. (The Irresistible Revolution. Very good book. I'm 3 chapters in :)
DRIVING=Driving with Abby post! Look for it tomorrow. Or the day after.
NIPTO... I'll talk about that in a minute.
Encounter! The birds and the bees. Boundaries. Defining "sexy." Making a timeline of a typical 5ish month high school relationship. Discussing timeline.
It was a good discussion. Somewhat awkward at times... but still good.
Applebee's! We went to Applebee's with Erin, Brandon, and Michael. It was fun. We got dinner and talked about life and whatever. Fuuuuntastic!
NIPTO! Revelation. We went over two churches. Philadelphia and Laodicea. It's a lot so I'm going to jump right in!
7"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.
Who Jesus is: Holy. True. He holds the key of David. He opens things no one can shut and shuts things no one can open. BOO to the YAH. It gets better. (By the way, key of David opens&shuts the doors? Yes? No? Maybe so?)
8I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.
Something that Hannah pointed out was that there isn't really anything negative about this church. It's all positive/encouraging.
Jesus is saying to them "I know what you've been doing" but doesn't reprimand them for what they've been doing, so they've obviously been doing something right!
He tells them that they have an open door in front of them. No one can shut it. He acknowledges that they've been through the mill and that they don't have much left. But even through the trouble and hardship they've been faithful and have obeyed God's commandments and haven't denied his name.
9I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.
Okay. This was kinda crazy. So it seems like the people who are "of the synagogue of Satan" are oppressing the Jews. The real Jews, not the ones who claim to be Jews, don't have much power. BUT Jesus is telling them that these "powerful" people will fall down at their feet. Not to acknowledge them, but to acknowledge that Jesus loved them. Fantastic, no? (Not to mention that things get all topsy-turvy with the "powerful Jews" falling at the feet of the real Jewish people... interesting.)
10Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.
They haven't strayed. They're faithful. They're patient. And as a reward, they get to chill during the "hour of trial." Uhm... can I transfer church memberships? hahaha. Seriously though, because they've gone through the trials and trouble now, they're being spared later. What a fantastic reward!
11I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.
Reassurance. He's coming soon. You don't have to hold on much longer, but hold on in the time remaining so no one will take your crown.
12Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. 13He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Alrighty. Overcomer statement: These people are going to be pillars in God's temple. We were talking about how they seem like a stable church. And this kind of proves it. They're so stable that they can be pillars. They can support God's temple.
Not only are they going to be pillars, they're going to be imprinted with God's name and the name of the new Jerusalem. AND Jesus' new name.
Verse 13=If you have ears, you should be listening and heeding what's being said.
Okay. Got all that? Now: onto Laodicea.
14"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.
The Amplified version says this: These are the words of the Amen, the trusty and faithful and true Witness, the Origin and Beginning and Author of God's creation.
A good reminder. Just in case you forgot that God created the earth. You know.
15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!
Soooo Jesus knows these people's deeds... and they weren't on fire. They weren't cold either.
A little background: in the "olden days" they had aqueducts that brought water from hot springs and cold springs. But after it traveled the distance that it needed to go, it was usually warm. Just... warm. Hot water is useful. Cold water is useful and refreshing. Warm water... not so much of any of these things.
But to have Jesus tell you that he wishes you were one or the other... kinda harsh! But wait. It gets even better.
16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
Because they're not useful in any way, shape, or form, Jesus is about to SPIT them out of his mouth. Hannah brought up the example that a speaker gave during IGNITE this past winter. She was at a Christmas party and was eating cheese&crackers or something. She took a bite and someone asked "Is that mold on the cheese?" And she spit it out of her mouth onto the ground as quickly as possible. Spit. Completely out of her mouth. That's what Jesus is talking about here. Nothing dainty. Full out spit out of the mouth.
One of the key words, though, is "about." He hasn't already spit them out of his mouth. He's about to...
One of the things that was said about hot, cold, and luke-warm was this "Hot tea, cold water, moldy cheese." Don't be the moldy cheese.
17You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
They thought they had everything they needed. They didn't need anything else. But guess what? They were wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. Uhm... that doesn't sound like a great example... This is coming from someone who loves them. It doesn't sound loving. But it's a rebuke in love. We'll get to that a little more in a second.
18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
He's telling them to buy gold from him. Gold that's refined. Something that was pointed out was that "true wealth isn't money. The gold of God isn't the same as the gold of man."
Man's gold is just money. Or stuff. Or whatever satisfies you materially.
God's gold is tested by fire. Which means that whatever "money" we get, we're going to have to work through some tough stuff to get to it.
White clothes: Kind of the "Jesus clothing." Pure. It covers shameful nakedness.
And a salve to put on your eyes so you can see. Kinda what it says it is.
19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.
The amplified version of this verse was awesome. So I'll let you read it :)
19Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude].
This is a challenge to not be luke-warm! And it's all because he loves them. And us for that matter!
20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
He's waiting. He's knocking. If you hear and respond, he'll come in. And EAT. In the middle-east, meals together were a sign of intimacy. That verse shows what kind of intimacy we can have with God. I mean, tonight at Applebees was great! We sat and talked about life and just random things. Imagine eating with your best friends. And then imagine something even BETTER than that. Eating with GOD. Kinda crazy.
21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
To him who overcomes... the right to sit with Jesus on his throne... just like how he overcame and sat with his Father. Woah.
Material riches now, or sitting on Jesus' throne with him later? NO CONTEST!
Again. If you have ears, you should be hearing and processing and applying this. You have no excues not to.
Woah. that was a lot of stuff! I hope that you got something out of it. If you saw something that we totally missed, feel free to comment! It's always nice to get feedback and new opinions! :)
Hope you had a good weekend?! Back to the weekday grind tomorrow =P (I don't have anything planned... Probably blogging and cleaning my room some more...and practicing piano...... maybe going to the library? And VBS in the evening! I definitely have stuff to do tomorrow. It's just not "the weekday grind" =P)
Adios! (Driving with Abby post up soon! Annnd yeah!)