ODJ: hold on

July 6, 2015 

READ: Revelation 2:18-29 

Hold tightly to what you have until I come (v.25).

After reaching the top of Dog Tooth Peak in the Sierra Nevada National Forest in America, Larry Bishop began his descent. On his way down he took a tumble off the trail and landed on a slim ledge of granite. Staying on that perch required him to cling to the side of the mountain for 52 hours—the alternative was a 10,000-foot drop! Eventually Larry was airlifted to safety when a member of a rescue team risked his own life to reach him.

Jesus encouraged a group of believers in Thyatira to “hold tightly to what [they had]” (Revelation 2:25). He wanted them to cling to the teaching they had received. They needed this reminder because an evil woman had misled some of the church members (v.20). She was teaching them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols (Acts 15:20).

Jesus said that if the false teacher and her followers stubbornly chose sin, it would result in agonising consequences for them. But for those who would hold on to the truth, Jesus promised rewards. He said, “To all who . . . obey me to the very end, to them I will give authority” (Revelation 2:26). To the believers who remained faithful at the church in Philadelphia, Jesus promised citizenship in the city of God and the privilege of being identified as His own people (3:12).

Some of us feel a lot like Larry Bishop—alone on a ledge. There’s a temptation to let go and give in to teaching that sounds good (2 Timothy 4:3-4). However, as we cling to Jesus and His power, we’ll be able to say with Paul, “I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return” (vv.7-8).

—Jennifer Benson Schuldt

365-day-plan: Matthew 11:1-30

Read Romans 8:35-39 to learn more about God’s faithfulness. 
What practices help you hold on to the wisdom found in the Bible? How easy is it for you to describe the basics of what you believe about God and His story?