Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
MEMORIZE: “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Rev. 13:17).
READ: Revelation 2:18-29
The letter to the church in Thyatira was the longest, even though that church was the smallest. This simply tells us that what God says about an individual, family or church is not necessarily because of its size but its works, challenges and activities. Also, a smaller church can face greater challenges than a bigger church. Whatever happens, the Owner of the church knows exactly what every member of His body is going through and He has an answer for everyone.
Let’s look at the history of Thyatira. This was a great town which specialized in dyeing wool into red or purple. It had a shrine where fortune-telling was regularly practiced. There were several commercial activities which were organized by trade unions. These unions pledged allegiance to their local deities and freely engaged in immorality in the temples of their shrines. One major challenge Christian traders faced in Thyatira was how to do their business without sinning against God. If they joined these idolatrous trade unions, they would be compelled to engage in idolatry and immorality. If they refused to join, however, they could not carry out their respective businesses. They found themselves in a fix.
One lesson we can learn from this is that we need to thank God that evil has not completely overtaken our societies and nations. Thank God for the freedom of worship and expression, as well as the freedom to practise any type of trade, profession or business without any form of molestation. How would you have coped if you were in a place like Thyatira? Secondly, just as the devil dominated business and all money-making ventures in Thyatira, Revelation 13 says a time is coming when the Antichrist will dominate the business of the whole world. Business at that time will be like a global cult that only members can freely participate in. Non-members will not even have the right to live. But even worse, the Antichrist will force everybody, both old and young, to either belong to this satanic cult or be tortured and killed. If you find it difficult to cope today with the little temptations in your trade, career or profession, how can you cope at that time? Give your life to Jesus today and hold fast to your salvation until Jesus comes or until death comes. Don’t trade it for anything!
Father, thank You for the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Lord, let these rights be effectively adopted and enforced in all nations of the world.
Bible in One year: Isa. 55-57