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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

CHRISTIAN LIFE STRUGGLES

 

Today’s Reading:

Psalm 47

Exodus 24:15-18

Revelation 1:9-20

 

John’s opening sentence of verses 9-18 is very captivating:  “… your brother and companion in the suffering, and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus.”  John was exiled to the Island of Patmos because he refused to stop preaching the truth about Jesus. Jesus himself said in Matthew 10:22 and John 15:18 that, the world will hate you on my account, but he who stays firm to the end will be saved. Further in John 16-17, you did not choose yourself, I chose you … Love one another. Since the inception of the Christian faith, believers have been facing the same plight - 1) Persecution for what we believe in, our faith; 2) we are members of the redeemed community of which Jesus is the head, Lord and King; 3) we eagerly anticipate the second coming in glory of Jesus, His millennial reign here on earth; and 4) our patient endurance and perseverance in the face of difficult times as in the times of persecution. This is because Christianity was birthed in Palestine, right in the centre of hostility.


Going through the lists of the seven churches mentioned (vv. 1-11), one would expect to see the leading churches of the time mentioned. Like churches in Ephesus, Corinth and Colosse because at this time, many churches had been established by the founding apostles.  But the issues about these seven churches represent particular issues of the age.  Their particular struggles are the same struggles facing churches in the twenty-first century to date. These struggles are:

  • Lack of love of Jesus and ourselves (Rev. 2:1-7);

  • Serious Persecution (Rev. 2:8-11);

  • The Church is fast compromising her faith (Rev. 2:12-17);

  • Corruption has taken over Christian virtues (Rev. 2:18-29);

  • The Church is virtually dead (Rev. 3:1-6);

  • There is a lack of faithful Church (Rev. 3:7-13);

  • The Church is lukewarm – neither cold nor hot (Rev. 3:14-22).

Today’s Christians are also going through persecution, either within or from the world of unbelievers, socially, politically or economically. Several are being killed also today because of their faith in Christ Jesus. Also, the command in verse 19 where John was instructed to write the things which he had seen [in the vision], and the things which are [now happening such as the letters to the churches chaps 2-3), and the things which will take place in the future such as revelation of the future history chaps 4-22); all provide a simple outline for the whole of the book of Revelation: he was instructed to write because God wants all who would read the book to understand very much, the future events He revealed.  Paul told the Thessalonians “We want you to know what will happen” (1Thess. 4:13). God does not want us to be ignorant of all these things.  Ignorant is not being spiritually ignorant, it is when there is no knowledge about a particular thing that one can admit ignorance. God has set the truth about the future because He wants us to go through the trouble of enlightening ourselves, and so gain confidence for the present.  It is said that knowledge is power.  God desire us to arm ourselves get prepared and work toward Jesus’ second coming in glory by preaching the gospel and harvesting souls with the angels.


The question now is, how prepared am I and you for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ? With the level of freedom today to preach the gospel, compared with the time of the founding fathers, how much are we doing to preach the gospel? The truth now is that if we hesitate to preach the truth about Jesus Christ now, with what courage and boldness will we preach when the time of severe persecution comes? To effectively preach the gospel, you need to have surrendered your life to the lordship of our Lord Jesus Christ, and get ‘born again’.

OLUFUNMILAYO TITILOLA ADEKUSIBE


 

To surrender your life to Christ, say this prayer aloud: Father, thank you for Jesus Christ. Forgive my sins, take control of my heart and lead me in your righteous path by the power of Your Holy Spirit.  Thank You, Lord.” If you said the prayer, Congratulations! Prayerfully look for a living church and report to the resident reverend, pastor or priest.


 

Prayer:

  1. Lord Jesus, thank you for being faithful and trustworthy, to the extent that You love me and have once and for all freed me from my sins by Your blood.

  2. Lord, empower and help me not to depart from You or lose the depth of my first love for You, in Jesus' name.

  3. Holy Spirit, fill me with Your power, fire, enablement to be bold and courageous, Your anointing and the authority to preach the gospel, in Jesus' name.

  4. Lord move me higher and forward in my Christian life, my heart has no desire to stay where doubts arise and fears dismay, in Jesus' name.

  5. Lord, strengthen me to move in the current of Your Holy Spirit in Jesus' name. 

  6. Lord let me experience your deep, great and mighty deliverance; transform my thoughts, in Jesus' name. 

  7. Father, mend fence in Christian homes, unite the husband and wife to build a god-fearing family to the glory of your name, in Jesus' name. 

  8. O Lord, rescue the perishing, care for the dying, release those in prison unjustly, save those in captivity, deliver those in bondage, and transform their lives, in Jesus' name.

  9. We commit the leaders of the church to Your care, Lord; grant them the fear of You in all their decisions, in Jesus' name. 

  10. King of glory, the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle, intervene in the affairs of nations of the world, especially our nation Nigeria, in Jesus' name.

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