This past week Norma Jean and I were reading from the book of Revelation about the 7 churches of Asia. Each address begins with the Lord saying, “I know your works.”
He knew the works of each, individual church. Ephesus. Smyrna. Pergamos. Thyatira. Sardis. Philadelphia. And Laodicea. Oh, and you can add one more to that list. The church where you’re a member.
Collectively, He knows your church. And its works. Or the lack thereof. However, churches are composed of individual Christians. It’s the people who determine the life and work of the church.
If you’ve ever moved to a city with several congregations to choose from, you may have learned that the church with a name is dead. Or the church that appears rich with resources is spiritually bankrupt. And the church that seems poor is actually rich spiritually. External conditions don’t always accurately reflect the internal life of the church.
The word “works” means more than just programs, policies, and procedures. It speaks to labor. Effort. Energy. The kind of toil that leaves a man tired, weary, and exhausted at the end of the day. It’s so much more than going through the motions. Or just meeting on Sunday.
The Lord knows your works. Yes, the work of Shepherds. Deacons. Preachers. Teachers. And every Christian in every church. He knows your works. Are we, as the old Fanny Crosby hymn asks, “toiling on”?
Of course, if he knows your works. He knows everything else about you and your congregation.
He knows your worship today. He knows if it’s according to spirit and truth. He knows if your heart is really attuned to praising Him. He knows if you’re just showing up, or really worshiping.
He knows your daily walk. Is it different than the world? Is it “in the spirit”? Is it worthy of His calling? Is it in love? Is it in the light of His word? Is it in wisdom?
He knows your witness to an unbelieving world. Are we speaking the truth in love? Is our behavior holy? Are we honoring the name we wear? Is our speech “with grace, seasoned with salt”? Are we “making the most of every opportunity?
When you assemble for worship today, pause, and listen closely. Can you hear the Lord saying, “I know your works”?
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman