I often will start reading at the beginning of a chapter and read until the first point is made, whether that means one or two verses or a full chapter, and then mull over in my mind what that point was talking about and life applications and such.
Today, I got a wonderful example of how stopping and starting where the Chapter Markers are is not always the best of plans! Revelations 2:1-5 has always left me feeling a little uneasy. I would read it and due to lack of understanding think, “ok, this sounds a lot like if I mess up I could
loose my salvation! YIKES!” I have always associated ‘lampstand’ with my ‘light’ as in the light of God inside me. Seems obvious when you look at it sort of squinting while standing on your head, right?
I have even heard other people make this same assumption and had a very dear friend walk away from the Lord because she cited this as proving that even when ‘saved’ by grace there is a chance you are still not good enough so whats the point? I must admit this scripture has never helped me feel any better about my decision to walk in faith on grace – until tonight!
If you go back a little into the last verse of Chapter 1 Jesus, Himself, explains the mystery of the golden lampstands and the seven stars. I have read over it a million times (ok maybe only a couple dozen but none the less…) I have never caught it! The Seven Stars are the seven angels (messengers) of the seven churches which are represented by the seven lampstands. Right there in black in white plain as day!
Now, when you hold on to that little clue and then go on down into chapter two where the Lord starts talking to the first messenger you can clearly see that he is not talking to a heavenly being – he is describing a Pastor and by the sounds of it a good one that looks after the safety of his flock.
Ok, so the star is a pastor and the lampstand is his church….that means that when you get down to verses 4 and 5 (the scary ones!!) he is charging this pastor with forgetting his First Love – God. This pastor has gotten so wrapped up in his “job” as a pastor that he has forgotten what it is all about and the Lord is telling him that if he doesn’t come back to him he is going to remove….DUN DUN DUUUNN – his CHURCH!!! Lampstand = church = Lampstand not salvation – woo hoo!