Natasha’s Daily Scripture, Prayer, and Reflection for 2.13.14

But I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place — unless you repent.
 Revelation 2:4, 5 HCSB
 Father I thank You for another day. Today I come to You to ask for forgiveness for those moments when I doubted that my circumstances would be bearable, or could get better. I ask for forgiveness for those moments when I thought that I could intervene and handle a situation because I felt that You were taking too long. I ask for forgiveness for those moments when I didn’t place You as my highest priority, as my first love. Please forgive me Father.
 Next I would like to pray for my church and its leaders, and for the leaders and congregations that make up churches around the world. I pray that we all rebuke and depart from the viscous cycle of departing and returning to You as displayed in the Old Testament, and towards the end of the New Testament. I pray that we continue to serve You and only You, that we teach all generations coming after us to love and serve only You, and that our outreach to nonbelievers has well intentions, and is never aggressive.
 I pray that we place no one and nothing above or near You. May You be the only power and presence that we consider and use for our decision making, and that we follow Jesus’ way to You. I pray to You as a believer and follower of Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
 Today’s scripture describes the intensity at the time when Jesus had had enough of these churches repeating the ignorant cycle of those from generations earlier. Jesus wrote to several churches (Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Laodicea) including the one shared today, Ephesus, and others. He outlined their sins, told them to repent, and then explained to them the consequences if they didn’t repent. Jesus told the church of Ephesus that if they didn’t repent for turning their backs on God, their first love, that he would shut down their church.
 To the church at Pergamum (worshipping another god, committing sexual immorality, and eating food sacrificed to idols) Jesus said he would fight against them using the “sword” of his mouth. Thyatira was warned (about tolerating and being intertwined with the false-prophet Jezebel, being misled by her to take part in sexual immorality and eating sacrificed foods) that he would repay them according to their deeds. The church at Sardis (living life like they did before Christ was in it) was told that he would come like a thief and they wouldn’t know when he would come for them. The church at Laodicea (indecisive, fence-straddlers, taking no position to follow Christ or darkness)—he was going to spit them out of his mouth (totally dismissing them as a part of Christ).
 Think of today’s churches compared to Jesus’ time. Do you see any similarities? Pray for your church, the leaders within, and the congregation that fills the spaces. Consider why there are people who shy away, flee from, and refuse to be members of Christian churches. Say a prayer for those who want to have a relationship with God and Jesus. Pray that their relationship is formed and maintained as God intends. Pray that no human or presence can break that bond.
 Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted.
 Copyright 2009-2013 under Natasha L. Foreman, unless otherwise noted.
 Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

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