November 4, 2020
On his deathbed a Philadelphia pastor was asked. “Do you have a message for your flock?” He reportedly responded, “Yes. Tell them to stand up for Jesus.” Pastor George Duffield wrote a song to honor his friend. It was first sung at Pastor Dudley Tyng’s funeral in 1858. My heart cries out to my flock with very similar sentiment today!
1. Stand up, stand up for Jesus! ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss:
From vict’ry unto vict’ry, His army shall He lead,
Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.
2. Stand up, stand up for Jesus! The trumpet call obey:
Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day;
Ye that are men now serve Him against unnumbered foes;
Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose.
3. Stand up, stand up for Jesus! Stand in His strength alone,
The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own;
Put on the gospel armor, and watching unto prayer,
Where calls the voice of duty, be never wanting there.
4. Stand up, stand up for Jesus! the strife will not be long;
This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song;
To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be;
He with the King of glory shall reign eternally
As we continue our journey in Revelation, we encounter more words of Jesus revealing His true identity. In chapters 2-3, John delivers messages to seven churches in Asia minor. There is a unique message to each church. Each church was facing persecution because of their faith in Jesus. They lived in a very idolatrous society. They were accused of being atheists because they held to their conviction that there is only one true God. Jesus is the Author of each letter.
These are Jesus words to the church in Ephesus. Paul had planted the church. The Apostle John and Timothy had both served as lead pastors in this church.
NIVO Revelation 2:1 "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands:
Each letter is addressed to the angel or messenger over the church. I interpret the angels as the leaders of each church. He describes Himself as the One who holds the stars. This is a reference back to 1:19-20. The stars are the pastors and the lampstands are the churches themselves. The major message here is that Jesus is Present in His churches. He is Immanuel – God with us. He comes into our lives the moment we trust in Him. He resides in us by His Spirit. He comes to stay in us forever!
As we face our future, let us cling to the one who resides in us. He is in us individually and corporately! We are His Temple. Therefore, we will remain loyal to Him always! We are not ashamed of Him and He is not ashamed of us! We are blessed to stand up for Him!
Keep standing firm in Jesus!