In chapters 2 and 3 of today's reading, Jesus through John gives letters to seven churches in Asia Minor (now modern day Turkey). Some have taken them as seven periods of church history. Some have taken them with other meanings. But first and foremost, they were letters to seven churches in Asia Minor. Churches are made up of people, which is where I can personalize today's reading and let God speak to me as He spoke to them.
Have I lost the first love I had for Christ, the kind of fervor, zeal, and commitment that marks the beginning of relationships? If so, I need to remember what it's like, repent of my hard-heartedness, and do the works I did at first (2.5).
Am I facing fear head on in light of what is coming? If so, I can stand confident in what God has promised and who He has made me to be (2.10).
Do I tolerate bad sources of input in my life? Do I find things entertaining that shouldn't be? Repentance is my appropriate response if so (2.14-16).
Is there sin in my life that I just like having around, even though God has shown it to me faithfully and consistently? It's like a pet copperhead - it's only a matter of time before it gets me. I need God to do some severe work! (2.20-22).
Are all my acts of righteousness one big act? Am I alive on the outside but dead on the inside, a white-washed tomb like the Pharisees? I must remember and repent (3.1-3).
Am I walking through trial, successfully and faithfully navigating the waters while clinging to Jesus? If so, I can hear His commendation and exhortation to stay faithful (3.11).
Do I have "God and" Syndrome? Do I add something to God or God to something, as if He's a secret ingredient? Have I mixed my relationship with God and something else from the world? I think I'm rich, but I'm poor! I need to be zealous and repent (3.19).
How about you? Where do those letters land on you?