These letters to the seven churches have a common theme: good works. After looking at each church’s weakness and considering their works, God calls them to do something. From one church, he asks for repentance and to return to their first love. From another He tells them that who keep His works until the end, will receive power over the nations.
In a world so focused on the concept of grace, works are often shoved on the same shelf where we keep our disdain for legalistic religion – out of date and better left in the Old Testament. We know our good works won’t save us, and so we discount their worth. But its a lot like saying that eating healthy won’t stop you from dying – although its true, if you eat healthy, you improve the quality of your life. Because what we eat determines our energy levels and our physical appearance.
Similarly, our works determine how God and the world perceive us. Jesus said that by our love, the world will know that we are His children. Love is not a verb though – it’s an action. Love is works. And it pleases our God to look down on this earth and see His children doing His good works. Because although grace covers a multitude of sins, He still gives each of according to our works (v.23). Not because we earn blessings, but because like any parent who is pleased by their children’s good behavior, He wants to bless us for our obedience.
As John wrote to the church at Ephesus: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil…and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary” (v.2).
God sees your works – they either please Him or they don’t. So, out of our great love for Him, let us do our best to make sure that the good works outweigh the bad works.