Revelation  3:7-13  (CLICK HERE FOR BIBLE VERSES)

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Revelation 3:7-13.  As usual, I encourage you to read the passage yourself first and see what you can glean with the Holy Spirit’s help, then read the GAME sharing below.  Let’s go!

Revelation 3:7-13 (NIV) 
 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.
 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.
 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars–I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.
10  Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.
11  I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.
12  Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.
13  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

On verses 7-13:  The church in Philadelphia was going through a similar trial as the church in Smyrna, which was persecution from a group that claimed to be Jews but were not.  Jesus calls this group of persecutors a bunch of liars (v9) and, as He did in Revelation 2:9, “a synagogue of Satan”.  To the suffering church in Philadelphia, Jesus expresses His love in several different ways:

1. Jesus tells them that “I know your deeds…I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and not denied my name” (v8).  Jesus expresses compassion for His church and commends His church for the fortitude she has shown.

2. Jesus tells them, “See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut” (v8).  In other words, whereas the church in Philadelphia probably experienced many closed doors in the form of trials and persecution, Jesus tells them that He Himself holds a door open for them that no one can shut.  It’s for this same reason that Jesus describes Himself in verse 7 as the One who holds the key of David and that what He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open (v8).  In other words, Jesus serves His church with authority.  Jesus did just that when He died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the grave.  In doing so, Jesus opened a door for us to be reconciled with God, a door that no one can shut, and at the same time shutting the door on sin and death.

3. Jesus promises to make those who have persecuted the church in Philadelphia “come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you” (v9).  In other words, Jesus defends His church.  He opposes her enemies and fights for her.

4. Jesus promises to save the church in Philadelphia from the hour of trial that is coming (v10).  In other words, Jesus protects His church.

5. Jesus reassures His church that He is coming back soon and tells them to hold on what they have (v11).  In other words, Jesus comforts and reassures His church.

6. Jesus promises to reward His church (v12), saying that He will do a number of things for those who overcome (i.e. those who hang onto their faith in Jesus):
·  He will make them into a pillar in God’s temple (v12a) that will never be forsaken (v12b).
·  He will write on them the name of the Father and the name of His city, the new Jerusalem.  In addition, it appears that Jesus Himself will have a new name that He will write on them too (v12b).  Apparently we get something like tattoos in heaven.

In other words, Jesus motivates and inspires His church.

What can we learn from this?

1. Jesus is the epitome of how to love your church.  Here we learn 6 ways (listed above) that Jesus loves His church.  May we love our church in these 6 ways too.

2. Notice that the trials and sufferings that the church in Philadelphia went through were very similar to the trials and sufferings that the church in Smyrna were going through.  It goes to show that you are not alone in your suffering, that there are others who are going through something similar as you and who understand what you’re going through.  Just as 1 Peter 5:8-9 says, let’s stand firm in the faith “because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings”.

Jesus, You are the greatest lover of Your church.  Thank You that when we go through suffering You show compassion to us, serve us with power, defend and fight for us, protect us, comfort us, and inspire us.  Like You I pray that I would show compassion to my church, serve my church with power, fight for my church, protect my church, comfort my church, and motivate and inspire people in my church.  In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

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