‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. (Revelation 2:2-3 ESV)
There are a lot of things that we can decide to follow. We can decide to follow popular trends or influential celebrities. We can follow literally millions of different ideologies, but as Christians, we need to be careful. We need to listen to what is actually being said and discern like the church in Ephesus did. They did not automatically accept everyone who said that they were apostles and run with their particular teachings. They listened to them and then evaluated whether or not it was consistent with what they knew as the truth.
This should raise a few points of action for all of us.
First, we need to make sure that we are in our Bibles and know what the truth really is. How can we possibly match up certain teachings with the truth of the Bible if we don’t know what the Bible really says?
Second, there is activity needed on our part as was mentioned above. We can’t just listen and follow blindly. It is important actually listen to what people are saying and understand what is actually going on. Spend time thinking through what you are being taught.
Finally, we need to put these two steps together. We need to match up with what we are reading from the Bible to what we are actually hearing in our lives from people around us. Once we are able to do that, we will know whether or not a certain ideology is worth following.
These three points were what the church of Ephesus was praised for in Revelation. They were doing well because they were making a decision to discern. Although they also had some problems (which will be looked at in the next devotion), I think we can certainly learn from their example and become seekers of truth rather than blind followers.
Lead Pastor @Genesee Road Church of God.