Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Revelation 3:19 | My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Proverbs 3:11-12
Similarly, 100% of believers in the body of Christ falter from time to time and need the Lord’s loving rebuke and discipline to restore them to fellowship and get them on the right path again.
The early chapters of the book of Revelation, in fact, is one part praise and another part rebuke to each of the seven churches. Revelation 2-3, span the Lord’s message to these churches with each message following a general pattern:
- Character of Christ
We are not immune to breaking faith with God and falling short of the holiness he desires for us, either. Believers in the body of Christ, the church, have periods of falling short, falling away, and falling into sin.
If it’s any consolation, even Moses the man of God, servant of God and the one to whom it is written was “a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth,” broke faith with God and was disciplined for it by not being allowed to enter the promised land. (Numbers 12:3; Deuteronomy 32:48-52)
So we sin. But we need not nor should not keep on sinning. Instead, when convicted of our stubborn waywardness (or lukewarmness as was the case with the church at Laodicea) towards God we must be earnest about repenting of it.
And the good news is when we do turn back to God the Bible says, “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
And look, let’s understand and accept that Jesus rebukes and disciplines those whom he loves – those who are already fruitful. It’s because he loves us that he rebukes and disciplines us. If he didn’t care or was indifferent towards us he’d leave us in our sin.
And let’s also remember, there’s a higher purpose for his rebuke and discipline – that we may bear even more fruit! Jesus said in John 15:2:
He (the Father) cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
Aside from bearing more fruit, there are a couple more benefits to repentance:
- fellowship with him and
- living victoriously
Revelation 3:20, in this context, is not about our initial salvation, it’s about being restored to fellowship with him when we sin (as born again believers):
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
Lastly, every one of these letters to the churches carries with it the exhortation and benefit of being victorious. We are victorious when we repent and are restored to righteousness both now, and in the life to come:
To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Rev. 3:21
The #LoveChallenge for today or for whenever we need it is to earnestly repent of any sin that’s keeping us from the joy of intimacy with our Lord and Savior and living as fruitful, yet humble citizens of a heavenly realm looking to gain the victor’s crown.
More Posts in the #LoveChallenge Series
- Remain in Jesus’ Love
- No Greater Love
- What Great Love
- What Not to Love
- Turn On Your Love Light
- An Introduction to Love According to John
- Love Deeply
- His Everlasting Love
- Love for Neighbor
- His Loving Eye
- God Gave us a Spirit of Love
- Love Never Fails – Period
- Love Is – Love Is Not
- How to Live an Ineffective and Meaningless Life – Without Love
- The First and Greatest Commandment