Mostly the story demonstrates how dependent we are on God’s grace. God required the death penalty for an act of disobedience. “If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” (Genesis 2:17). However, God didn’t mete out justice … instead he showed them mercy and allowed them to live for a long time.
God criticises them, not for their lack of love, but for their lack of fervour. God doesn’t want lukewarm love but rather a love that’s comparable to the first strong feelings of romantic love.
Healthy lawns need sun and rain. Too much sun and too little rain create little growth. But too much rain and too little sun doesn’t create growth either. Sun and rain are both necessary but in balance.
Even though much of Revelation is symbolic and allegorical, the overall message is: Christ is victorious. He controls the future and nothing happens without his permission. Evil will not have the final word.
Jesus gave opportunities to uneducated fishermen, quick-tempered brothers and a dodgy tax collector. Jesus also appointed Judas as treasurer even though it turned out that he was a thief. Perhaps Jesus was less worried about failure than we are.
John isn’t afraid to call out bad behaviour among Christian leaders. Today we’re more cautious, particularly if their ministry is thriving. However, God’s blessing doesn’t mean God’s approval.
God is a safe place. We can come to God and feel welcomed and accepted. We can relax in his presence. With God, we can express our feelings and not pretend.
What evil thoughts, ideas and desires are we inviting into our lives through unsavoury television shows, streaming services and social media? Are we protecting the peace of our homes?