Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Old Bread and a Rock





Scripture

‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’
(Revelation 2:17 NASB)

Observation

Through the revelation given to John we are challenged to be overcomers in our Christian lives. Literally we are being cheered on to not give in and/or compromise with the world around us. The first generation of believers were passing away and now those who were in the Church were being challenged to keep the faith! And what was the reward of this faithfulness? Manna! Interestingly when the children of Israel no longer needed the manna from heaven, it disappeared. What did it mean that there was still some hidden manna? That the people of God, who were faithful to Him, would have their daily needs supplied. The daily bread, about which Jesus taught us to pray, would be available for those who were overcomers. And not only would God supply our daily needs, but we would receive a white stone with a name written on it. This is a new name which is to last for all of eternity, uniting us with God and signifying our citizenship in His kingdom.

Application

It is simply too easy to compromise with the world and even with the Church around us. Living in the former Soviet Union we discovered what the communist system did to the work ethic. Basically the work ethic was completely destroyed. Everyone was paid the same amount of money dependent on the job, not on performance. Therefore there was peer pressure to be mediocre. If you came in and did a good job you were ridiculed by those that worked with you until you finally would come down to their level and live in peace with those around you.

The sad results of this mediocrity led to the demise of the Soviet Union. Creativity was destroyed because it had been replaced with paranoia. Therefore instead of designing new items, technology had to be stolen from the rest of the world. As soon as the computer era began technology changed at such a rapid pace that no longer could it be stolen and adapted in a timely manner. The first gulf war revealed this to the world as the Soviet technology appeared as if it were archaic compared to that of the rest of the world.

And this is what happens to Christians who give in to the mediocrity of the Christian life. Everything will eventually be lost if we are not challenged to raise to higher heights. Sadly, when someone begins to soar in their spiritual life they are often attacked by those around them because it makes the others feel uncomfortable. However, giving into peer pressure in regard to our spiritual lives has detrimental consequences.

I would like to encourage us to be motived by the old bread -- the manna -- that God wants to provide for us. I would encourage us to be willing to be aliens here on this earth and work toward our heavenly citizenship. I want that new white rock!

The world may think we're crazy but may our motivation be to continue seeking God -- and work for the old bread and a rock!

Prayer

Lord, please, help me to soar with You and not compromise with the world around me. Amen.

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