What is the work of God that Jesus is pleased with? Many believers think it is about evangelizing, preaching, teaching and healing the sick, or being someone important in the church structure. While these are important, they are not the works that Scripture emphasises. It has also put many believers in bondage because they don’t fit into one of these categories.
Also remember that the Book of Revelation is not something that is separate from the rest of the teachings of Scripture. I believe that if we are to truly understand Revelation that we will need the rest of Scripture to interpret it.
Let’s list a few of the “works” of God that we should be doing and persevering in:
The fruit, or work, of God is produced by the divine love of the Holy Spirit within you in all its varied expressions:
Joy: Joy is an overflowing expression of love towards God and is cultivated through an attitude of thanksgiving and gratefulness. How many times have you experienced tribulation (hardships produced by difficult circumstances and persecution) and found that you have no desire to be joyful? Tribulation brings with it the temptation to blame God and to become disgruntled and dis-satisfied with your life. Persevering in joyfulness in your relationship with the Lord despite your tribulation is a “first Love” expression.
Peace: Keeping thoughts of peace between you and the Lord in tribulation is another “work” that is pleasing to Him when you persevere with it. The temptation that comes against your peace in times of tribulation is to worry about your situations. You cannot be angry and peaceful towards God at the same time. When you are facing tribulations do not allow thoughts that tell you God is against you or punishing you to dominate. Consciously and with determination replace these thoughts with thoughts of love and gratitude towards Him. Peaceful thoughts towards God that are based in God’s goodness towards you produce an expression of “first love.”
Patience: Patience is a work that shows your trust in Him. When you are patient, anger and frustration cannot dictate their will over you. Tribulations often come with the temptation to “do-it-yourself” because God’s way is taking too long! Persevering in patience in your relationship with the Lord when nothing seems to be working for you in the natural is an expression of “first love.”
Kindness: Kindness is an expression of “first love” in which your thoughts towards God are kind. Kind and loving thoughts towards God during tribulation is of immense value to Him. Kindness does not look for fault or hidden agendas. Kindness is a “first love” expression towards the Lord when you worship Him in spite of the tribulations you are facing. Kindness is giving everything up for the sake of the Lord and His kingdom because you love Him more than you do this world.
Goodness: Goodness is a thought life full of virtue or morality. Goodness, expressed as a “first love” work is when you set God’s laws, or His thoughts of what is right and holy, above your own or those of this world. Often tribulations will tempt you to agree with the morals of this world rather than those of the Lord. Rage, violence, sexual immorality, jealousy, etc., are examples that come to mind. Being persecuted for righteousness is a great tribulation but comes with wonderful rewards if you persevere and don’t give in to the temptations to quit.
Faith or faithfulness: Faithfulness is an expression of love shown in loyalty. Staying loyal or committed to the Lord and His desires when you are suffering tribulations is so precious to Him. When you refuse to put worldly desires and activities above your fellowship with the Lord you are expressing “first love” towards him.
Gentleness: Gentleness is shown in any expression that is free from harshness, sternness, or violence. It is shown in expressions of humility, which is submissive and unpretentious. You express “first love” to the Lord when you willingly submit yourself to His ways, His thoughts and His desires. In tribulation there is a temptation to become harsh, stern, and un-submissive towards the Lord.
Self-Control: Self-control is a manifestation or expression of a strong spirit or character. Self-control is a “first love” expression towards the Lord where nothing and no one is able to exert authority or opinion over you and your relationship with Him. I think it is the highest form of love that you can express because it means you have come to a point where you have the ability and strength to exercise restraint over all your own impulses, emotions, and desires. This love will die for Him.
All of the above expressions can be expressed towards others. This is where the Church in Ephesus was successful, and the Lord commended them for these works and their perseverance in them. This is love in demonstration towards others, but it is not the expression of “first love” towards Him.
To be continued …
Have a loving day! 💗
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