As I prepare my message for Sunday morning, I am struck with the phrase, “you have kept My word” (Revelation 3:8). Jesus repeats this statement in verse 10.
What alerts my mind and heart to this statement is the circumstances of the church at Philadelphia. To start with, Jesus admits that they had “little power,” meaning, they had very little power, they were weak, and from a human view, it would seem that they could be overcome at any moment by the forces that were arrayed against them. What did they face?
· There was increasing pressure to give up the authority of God’s Word. This is often done today in Western cultures by “redefining” the words of Scripture to allow for popular trends to be accepted in the church.
· Following the crowd would mean denying the Lord Jesus and following self-proclaimed leaders.
· The synagogue of the Jews had become so radical against Christianity that Jesus calls it “the synagogue of Satan.” It was a bed of liars.
· Persecution was intense and it appeared that “open doors” would soon close.
With all these factors pushing their weight against the believers in the Philadelphian church, they used the “little power” they had to stand firm in their faith. In the eyes of Jesus, these saints were “pillars in the temple of God” (3:12). Nothing would move them from the Word of the Lord and His name.
I wonder how many of us are standing true, even in our weakness, against such forces?
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