Toward the beginning of the Book of Revelation, the Lord asks John to write letters to seven churches. Each of the letters contains a pattern: a list of things the church is doing well, problems the Lord has with that particular church and the action the church needs to take.
Most of time when people read the letters to the churches in Revelation, they focus on the negative things, the things each church was doing badly. I want to focus on the things one church in particular was doing well.
Thyatira was located in what is now Turkey, between the cities of Pergamum and Laodicea. Lydia, the seller of purple, whom Paul met in Philippi, was from Thyatira (Acts 16:14).
When the Lord dictated to John the letter written to the church in Thyatira, He commended them on five things: deeds, love, faith, service and perseverance (Revelation 2:19). The Thyatirans were following what they had been taught originally and were doing those things very well.
- Deeds and service: The church in Thyatira was doing great works and serving others in their church and in their community. Revelation 2:19 says, “I know your deeds…and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.” The Lord knew every work and act of service the Thyatirans were doing and He was pleased.
- Love and faith: The Thyatiran church’s deeds were not motivated by a desire to be seen for their works. They were motivated by their love for God and for those around them. They weren’t placing their faith in the things they did; rather, they kept their faith firmly rooted in God.
- Perseverance: In the Book of Revelation, when we see words like “perseverance,” “endurance” and “suffering,” it’s usually because that church was under persecution from unbelievers. The Lord is pleased with their perseverance because despite outside pressure and persecution, the church continued to love and serve God and their community.
Sometimes we can get so focused on the things these churches were doing wrong that we forget about the things they were doing right. The seven letters to the churches were written so that God’s church would be able to learn from both the good examples and the bad.
I encourage you, if you haven’t already, to read the letters to the seven churches starting in Revelation chapter 2. Pay attention to all three sections of each letter, because each portion of the letters can teach us something about what the Lord wants to see and doesn’t want to see in His churches.
“Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deed until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations.” —Revelation 2:25-26
Girls, I think that focusing on and following the good examples set by the church in Thyatira can help us be more effective in our communities. What do you think?
More Stories Like This on Project Inspired: