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  • Bishop Keith Butler

Doing Things Not Pursuing God

And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. (Revelation 2:18-19)


Jesus gave John the Revelator some insight about seven specific churches in Asia minor. One, in particular, was the church of Thyatira. This was the city where Paul and Silas were imprisoned and beaten for casting demons out of a girl. Revelation tells us a bit more about the character of the church that was established from this ordeal. Jesus said, “I know your works.” The word works is ergon in Greek and means deeds or things that you have done.

The next thing Jesus noted was their charity; this is the Greek word agape. It means the love of God. They were displaying God’s kind of love to each other. As people who have received God’s love, we should also be known as people who show His love to others.


They were also known for their service. The Greek word here is diakonos or a deacon’s ministry. Deacons are called to be leaders within the church to serve the flock in which God has placed them. Such service shouldn’t be based on whether or not you are paid; it’s about fulfilling a calling and a purpose. Leaders and ministers should fulfill their role as working for the Lord and not man. Jesus went on to discuss their faith - the Greek word pistis that means full trust and assurance. Connected to this was the final explanation that they had patience connected to their faith. This sounds like a good church, but Jesus made a final statement saying their last seemed to be greater than their first. In other words, they prioritized their efforts over the fire of the Holy Ghost and His supernatural gifts. The works they did seemed to have more importance than the fire of the Holy Ghost and the supernatural gifts being in operation in the church as it began. Over time it became a church that was doing things, not one that was pursing God.


Practical Application – Don’t merely do things. Pursue God, not projects.


Revelation 1:11; James 2:20

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