I honestly didn't know what to think about this morning when I woke up. For the past 9 months or so, the first thing on my mind every morning has been one of the churches in Revelation. I have lived and breathed the 7 letters to the 7 churches and writing Got Ears? pretty much consumed me. Last night, I drove myself to the church, set up the room where I've been teaching for years, and taught the last lesson on the letter to the church in Laodicea. When I finished, we turned off the camera and had a time of sharing. It's one of my favorite things about teaching. I love hearing what others have learned and how God has spoken to them through the study. I told my class time and again, this was a hard one to write. I cried. A lot. So needless to say, it was very encouraging to hear how God used this particular study to speak to them. I had many ask when and what I will be teaching next. Um, I have no idea. I'm sure God will stir something in me soon. But for today, I'm just trying to slow my brain down a bit. I'm not sure I remember how.
I told my class the first week that we were all standing at a Start Line about to begin a journey (and it did indeed turn out to be one heck of a journey!). We needed certain supplies for this journey - a map, a mirror, a cross, the gift, and our big girl panties. (If you were there, you are grinning with me. If you are reading this and wondering what the heck I'm talking about, you'll have to watch the first teaching session at ignitewomen.com). Last night, we crossed the Finish Line together. However, we had come so far on our journey, it just didn't feel right to pack up our supplies and head home without remembering how far we had come. I felt we needed a quick trip down memory lane. So, with that being said, here's a little something I wrote with a big grin on my face as a way to remember each of the 7 letters.
Our journey began in Ephesus and we learned quite a lot –
Their deeds were oh so good, but their hearts were not.
Their To-Do lists were long,
But something had gone terribly wrong –
Deeds aren’t the goal,
It’s loving Jesus with all our heart, mind and soul!
We traveled from Ephesus to Smyrna where slander was in full season,
But Jesus assured them, it wasn’t without reason.
“Stand firm,” He said, “and stay true to My Name,
And when persecution comes, proclaim My fame.
Stay faithful even if you die,
And I will bring you home to be with Me on high.”
Next stop, Pergamum, and their example we shouldn’t follow –
They were eating idol food with one giant swallow!
"What’s the big deal?
It’s just another meal!
It’s just, it’s just, it’s just..." –
And with that they left the teachings of Christ in the dust.
Listen to the words of Him who has the sharp double-edged sword,
And you will eat at His table where your real treasures are stored.
We moved from there to Thyatira where everything seemed to be going wrong,
Jezebel was on the scene, teaching many to sing her song,
And many followed her, quick to join in the throng.
Team Tolerant wouldn’t stand up – they too sang right along.
But Team Hold On knew right from wrong,
And they stood firm – it was God’s Word they were standing on.
“Hold on” Jesus said, “Hold on until I come,
You march to the beat of My drum.
To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end,
I will give authority over the nations and I will call you friend.”
Next we went to Sardis where they looked as alive as could be,
But on closer examination, they were dead asleep, you see!
Jesus cried as loudly as could be,
“Wake up! Wake Up! There’s no time to sleep –
Wake up and follow Me!”
“My words have been clear, I have not slurred,
Therefore remember what you have received and what you have heard.
If you don’t wake up I’ll come like a thief in the night,
It will be a shock to those who aren’t dressed in white.
So walk with Me,” says the Lord,
“And I promise you, you’ll never get bored!”
We slid on in to Philly and not a rebuke was heard,
Rather, eager hearts were stirred.
The Lord had placed before them open door after door,
Because they had not denied His Name, He promised even more –
“Even in your weakness you will be strong,
Your enemies will bow before you before too long.
Be patient, stay strong and endure,
And your reward will be great, eternal and secure.”
And lastly, in Laodicea, things weren’t so great,
They were neither hot nor cold – much was at stake.
Jesus told them, “With your riches you think you’re slick –
But honestly, you’re making me sick
Either heat up or cool down
Just be useful – turn around!
Hear that? It’s Me, knocking at the door,
Let me in and I’ll give you so much more!”
We have heard seven letters to seven congregations
Now it’s up to us to take them to the nations.
We’ve journeyed long and come to the finish line
So let’s ask ourselves one final time
Do I have an ear –
And will I hear –
What the Spirit says to the Churches?