I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. (Revelation 2:2, ESV)
In Revelation, Jesus sends messages to seven Churches in Asia, consistently reminding each one, “I know your works.” This message was consistent regardless of His praise or rebuke of their actions. And it’s a message He is still echoing in our Churches today.
What did He mean by “works”? Starting with the Ephesian Church, Jesus outlined the positive actions that found favor with Him: their diligent work in His name, their patient endurance, and their intolerance of false apostles, exposed through their testing. He commended the Thyatiran Church for their love, service, faith, and patience.
However, Jesus also rebuked certain Churches for their missteps. The Ephesians were chastised for abandoning their initial love for God, their sincere devotion and service that characterized their early faith. Notably, He rebuked the Christians in Pergamum and Thyatira for tolerating false ministers and doctrines (Revelation 2:14, 20).
In essence, your “works” reflect the fruit of the Spirit in your character—love, joy, peace, patience, righteousness, etc.—and the impact you make on the lives of others, such as winning the lost and nurturing fellow believers.
Jesus emphasizes, “I know your works.” His message is clear: our works matter. We are not saved by works, but saved unto good works( Ephesians 2:10). Not only will our works be rewarded(Revelation 22:!2), but they also serve as the primary means to glorify God on the earth; our works are a powerful divine instrument to fulfill God’s purpose to fill the earth with His glory( John 15:8, Matthew 5:16).
Ponder this: Which of your works would Jesus praise, and which ones would He rebuke?
Apply the Word
Jesus’ ultimate message to the Churches is to persist in doing good works and repent from wrongdoings. And that is the same message to you and me now: abound in good works and turn away from sin and every appearance of evil( 1 Thessalonians 5:22).
Pray for the Lord’s guidance to help you grow and excel in good works.
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