Wednesday, August 13, 2014

An Overcomer!!

Many of our hearts are hurting over recent world events, suicide, depression, etc. and we need a word of encouragement from our Lord.

Revelation 2:12-17  Message to Pergamum

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:  The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:

13 ‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.

14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.

15 So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.

16 Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.

17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’

Revelation 2:12-17 is a message to the Church at Pergamum.  There were many in that Body who were faithful, who held fast His name--even unto death.  Antipas was a martyr….one who gave his life because of his faith in Christ…as many people around the world are doing right this very second.  Sobering. 

We are promised that those who are “faithful until death” will receive the Crown of Life (Revelation 2:10).  Encouraging.  Beautiful.  Picture believers who are suffering today…overcoming and being faithful casting those crowns of life before the throne!

John goes on to say that there are also those who are following ungodly teaching and going the way of the world and are stumbling blocks and to repent….and that He is coming!!  It is imminent!!

My favorite part of this passage is found in verse 17.  To those who overcome!!  What is an overcomer?  Are you an overcomer??? 

I John 4:4-5 says that Jesus has overcome the world!!  We, too, are overcomers as we, by faith, overcome the world!  Those brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering right now are overcomers!!

What is the promise to them?  To us?  That we will receive some of the hidden manna and a white stone with a name written on it that no one else knows!!

This gives me goose bumps!!  Hidden manna?  What is that??  Take some time to do a study in Exodus 16 on the manna God provided the Israelites.  Why did He provide manna?  To test them!!  NOT simply to feed and provide for them.  What does the word manna mean?  “What is it”!!  Manna was bread from above and our Bread from above is Jesus!!  Those who overcome will get Jesus!!!  Why is it hidden?  God instructed Moses to preserve approximately three quarts of the manna for future generations!!  It has been ‘hidden’ (like Jesus in heaven) waiting for the overcomers!  Christ—hidden and secret—only perceived through faith!  A mystery!

Secondly, John says that those who overcome will also get a white stone…with a new name written on it!!  Oh, how I cannot wait to know what name God will give me!!!  I am known as Dana to many, Buns to my husband, Nana to my dad, Sis to my brothers, Mimi to my grandkids Mom to my kids and I am super excited to know what secret name God calls me!!!

I was curious as to what the white stone meant….so I did some research.  Many commentaries and theologians much smarter and far more spiritual than me had several different interpretations but, to me, the one that lined up with the rest of scripture the best is this:

In Rome, the winners of athletic events were given white stones with their name on it…those who were victorious got the white stone!!  Then the stones were used as entrance 'tickets' to the winners banquet!!!

Oh my chili!!!  Did you pick up on that???  Do you see the beautiful correlation??  We are in the race of a lifetime….Hebrews 12 tells us to run it with endurance…with our eyes focused on Jesus!!  When we cross the finish line—and this life is over—we will be overcomers!!  We will be handed a white stone….with a special name on it….and we will sit at the banquet table with our King!!  Feasting on the manna from heaven!!!  Yummy!

Do not be dismayed.  Do not be discouraged.  Do not give up the race.  Keep praying.  Keep persevering.  Keep focused.  Be an Overcomer and spend the rest of your life encouraging and enabling and praying for others to be Overcomers!!

See you at the Banquet Table!!

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