ok, so i've been doing a study on revelation by kay arthur and can we just say conviction? i recently read crazy love, which really focuses on loving everyone and evangelizing the truth, and this study reinforces that. i feel like everything i read, everything i pray, everything i hear...it's all about speaking the truth in love whether to non-believers or believers.
we were reading about the church in pergamum, and to each church Jesus introduces Himself in a way that points to that church. for pergamum, He's referred to as "the One who has the sharp two-edged sword." kay had us look up all sorts of different references to the sharp two-edged sword in scripture, and of course it points out that it's the Word of God. did you know that in ephesians when it talks about the armor of God that the only offensive weapon that we are to put on is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God? kinda crazy when you think about it that God calls us to put on the full armor and the only thing that is used to attack (not in a vicious way) is the Word? so i am convicted, because as previously mentioned, i stink at studying my Bible. i stink at pursuing God as my one pure and holy passion. and therefore: i am not equipped with my sword.
"for the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." -hebrews 4:12
the thing that Jesus had against the church at pergamum was that they allowed false teachers into their midst. they allowed people who believed in teachings of balaam and balak (see numbers 22:1-25:9 for more info) and the nicolaitans into their lives. they did not utilize the sword to divide out those who were of the faith and those who weren't. the thoughts and intentions of their hearts were not godly.
so my epiphany this week (which is lame, because i already know this, but still...) is that i need to be equipped with God's Word, my sword. God promises to those who overcome (in rev 2:17) "some hidden manna, a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it."
let's hold fast His name and not deny the faith (rev 2:13). let Him make us "bold and stout-hearted" --psalm 138:3