Scripture: Revelation 2:18-29
Summary: Use the words of Jesus to the church in Thyatira to help you assess 2022 and gain a vision for 2023
Review 2022
– Not about comparing ourselves with Thyatira. But about using Jesus’ approach to help us.
– v18 – Note the letter begins with an inspiring picture of Jesus. His opinion about us is what matters, not the opinions of others, nor our own feelings.
– Some questions to ask ourselves personally and in our local groups:

1. What has gone well? v19
– They prioritise love
– They are growing
– “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV11)
– Their love is not intellectual, but practical – Galatians 5:6; Acts 10:38.

2. What needs improvement? What is being tolerated? What sins are apparent? v20-21
– Jezebel: 1 Kings 16:31, 2 Kings 9:22. The adultery is likely metaphoric as in the OT, Jer 3, Ezek 16, Hos 2, but the immorality is also real. The worship of idols is replacing the worship of God.
– Who was she?
– 1. Lydia, Acts 16:14-15, 40
– 2. Wife of a church leader in Thyatira
– 3. Local sibyl – pagan prophetess
– 4. Symbolic representative of Thyatiran church
– 5. Prominant woman: claiming to be a prophetess. A charismatic female teacher.
– The baddest of all the bad girls in the Bible!
– eating food
– The trade guild issue. Necessary for networking and acceptance. If you belonged you had to attend. Esp. prominent and numerous in Thyatira. Not only for trade, but some like a club.
i. Immorality
ii. Compromise with worldliness

3. What will be the consequences if you do not pay attention to the things God has brought to your attention? vv22-24
– “I will kill her children with death”.
– Cannot hide behind Jezebel and blame her.
– ‘hearts and minds’ – we know that God knows our hearts and minds, but it is healthy to own up when things ‘at home’ are not spiritually healthy before God feels the need to intervene!

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm

PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John