Church in Ephesus: Judgmental

As Christians there are many worldly things we must say “no” to so that we can say “yes” to the things that please God. In the letter to Ephesus Jesus acknowledges these worldly sacrifices.

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

Revelation  2:2-3

God hates evil. He is proud when we shun practices He has deemed unacceptable. However, as we continue to say “no”, we slowly begin to judge those saying “yes”.  We are tempted to pat ourselves on the back when we make sacrifices for our faith. We may fail to see that our hearts are hardening to those we’ve deemed unworthy. Judgment is not our right, it is God’s. Instead Jesus called us to love our neighbors and our enemies.

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

Revelation 2:4-5

Perhaps more important than what we choose not to do,  is what choose to do. Jesus tells us that love is the greatest commandment.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:36-40

If we don’t love, nothing else that we do matters. We were made to let God’s love shine though us, making us a beacon to those lost in darkness. If we instead pass judgment on those needing love we only push them further away. If we do not show love to others, we are failing as Christians.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:3

God wants us to share his truth with other, and that includes his law. But we must do this in humility, realizing that as much as we might do right, we are still sinners too. When we realize this simple fact we are able to communicate these truths in love and respect, which makes our message better received.

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Revelation 2:7

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