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Date: November 5

Category: Follow God

Revelation 2:23b
"I am He Who searches minds (the thoughts, feelings, and purposes) and the [inmost] hearts, and I will give to each of you [the reward for what you have done] as your work deserves."

Slobodan & Ljiljana KrstevskiThese are words from the Lord Jesus Christ given to the church in Thyatira – one of the seven churches to which God reveals Himself. To each one of those seven churches, Jesus reveals Himself in a certain way and discusses their strengths and their weakness and implores them to change. In this case, Jesus is referring to the church in Thyatira. In verse 19 we read, "I know your record and what you are doing, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your recent works are more numerous and greater than your first ones." In other words, there are many good qualities in this church, such as good works of love, faith, service, patience, and endurance. So Jesus does not forget the good things that people do.

Then in verse 20 we read, "But I have this against you: that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess [claiming to be inspired], and who is teaching and leading astray my servants and beguiling them into practicing sexual vice and eating food sacrificed to idols." So even though the church in Thyatira has many good works, there is something that they are tolerating that shouldn't be tolerated. They are allowing Jezebel to deceive God's servants into sexual vice and idol worship.

So Jesus says here that He is not going to allow this to perpetuate. He is going to punish this woman and all those who follow her. In verse 23a we read, "And I will strike her children (her proper followers) dead [thoroughly exterminating them]." In other words, judgment is coming and these people are going to be punished for their sins. Then the verse says, "And all the assemblies (churches) shall recognize and understand that I am He Who searches minds (the thoughts, feelings, and purposes) and the [inmost] hearts." So God examines what we do in our lives and He examines what we think about. He examines our innermost thoughts and motives.

Then it says, "and I will give to each of you [the reward for what you have done] as your work deserves." This is very similar to Psalm 62:12b where it says, "For You render to every man according to his work." So if your actions are sinful like the people who followed Jezebel into sexual vice and idol worship, then those actions call for punishment and destruction. Sin is a seed that will produce death in your life. So God says here in this verse that He will punish us for our sins if we are unwilling to repent. In Revelation 3:21 we read that Jezebel had time to repent but she refused to and as a result God promised to punish her. So God will allow us to reap exactly what we have been sowing.

We can see through this passage in Revelation 2:23b that God is the One who searches the minds and hearts of people. This is very similar to Jeremiah 17:10 where God says, "I the Lord search the mind, I try the heart, even to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings." So maybe I can ask you today, what are the fruit of your doings? Are the fruit of your doings something you are proud of and something that pleases God? Or will God be displeased with the fruit of your doings? Can you come before God with the fruit of your doings and know in your heart that you will be accepted? Ask yourself these questions ahead of time before you create any fruit in your life. Plant your seeds according to the type of fruit you would like to reap.

This teaching about the church in Thyatira shows us that it's possible to do many good works but still have something in our lives that displeases the Lord. While God will praise us for the good things we do, He's going to punish us for the evil things as well. So here Jesus is urging us to change our ways and correct the wrong in our lives. Today, let us allow God to search our minds and our hearts and reveal to us anything that is dishonorable to Him, and let us line our ways up to His Word to do what is pleasing to Him.

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