Jesus Knows Our Deeds!
In the second and third chapters of the book of Revelation, Jesus Christ dictates seven letters, to seven churches located in Asia (present day Turkey). And He tells His apostle John to write down what He says. There’s a statement that is common to five of those letters. And that statement is.. “I know your deeds..” In the other two letters, Jesus says, “I know your tribulation..” and “I know where you dwell..”.
The point is.. Jesus knows us all. And He knows all about us. He knows our names, He knows where we live He knows where we work and play, He knows what we say. He knows what we love, and he knows what we hate. He knows what makes us happy, and He knows what makes us sad. He knows if we’ve ever cheated anyone, and He knows if we’ve ever been cheated. He knows what we fear! He knows what we ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and He knows if we ever feast on His word. He knows what we eat and drink, and He even knows what we think! Jesus knows us so well, that He said in Mathew 10:30, “Even the very hairs of your head are numbered.” Now Jesus may have been speaking figuratively, simply trying to get the point across that God knows everything, but I wouldn’t doubt for a second, that He indeed knows every hair on our heads.
When you think that you’re alone, you’re NOT! When no one else in this world can see you, God can! One time Jesus was teaching His disciples how to pray, and he said in Mathew 6:6, “And when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who SEES in secret will repay you.”
Psalm 139:9-10 assures us, “If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there, If I make my bed in sheol, behold Thou art there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there, Thy hand will lead me, and Thy right hand will lay hold of me.” And this truly is a Psalm of assurance, because we know that wherever we go, and whatever we do, and whatever happens to us, the Lord is there to “lay hold of us”.
That’s why King David could write in Psalm 23:4-6, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For Thou art with me! Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Thou dost prepare a table before me, in the presence of my enemies! Thou hast anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows! Surely, goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!”
Even though David uses figurative language there, we can easily see the meaning. No matter where we go, no matter what befalls us, we can TRUST, that God is with us, and that He will give us EVERYTHING that we need. “My cup overflows!” Even in the presence of enemies, God supplies our needs, “Thou dost prepare a table before me..” Surely goodness is going to be following us, if we trust in God and do His will! That’s why in His letters to the seven churches, Jesus told the congregation in Smyrna, “I know your tribulation..” Rev 2:9. When we’re faced with difficulties, God knows. And more importantly, God CARES! The tribulation that Smyrna was facing was bad! Here’s what Jesus said about it.. “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold the devil is about to cast some of you in prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life.” V-10
Obviously the “ten days” are figurative, and it’s even possible that being “cast in prison” is figurative also, we don’t know for sure. But the point is, the devil, which is the very spirit of evil, was going to “test” this congregation’s faith. When we face life’s most difficult challenges, whether it’s persecution or sickness, death, or whatever, it’s always a “test” of our faith. How do we act and “react” to those trials?
Jesus tells us; If you will be faithful, even to the point of death, then you have My promise; I will give you “a crown of life“. What that really means is that we will “be crowned” with eternal life. Our faithfulness in the midst of whatever this life may bring, will be “rewarded” with, or “crowned with” eternal life for our souls. Isn’t that what it’s all about? “To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” Rev 2:7
God Sees Everything
God knows how we are living our lives. He “sees” everything we do. Have you ever had the feeling that someone was watching you? That’s kind of an eerie feeling isn’t it? You’re all alone, but yet it feels like someone’s there, and their watching you. That’s what scary movies are all about sometimes. We can’t see them, but they can see us. Well, our Father “sees in secret” doesn’t He? Do you have any secrets? Is there something about you, that you’ve never told anyone? If there is, it’s not really a secret is it? Because God already knows it!
“Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee, from Thy Presence?” Psalm 139:7 Where..? Where could we go? Remember when I read Verse 8 earlier, “If I ascend to heaven, thou art there. If I make my bed in sheol, behold thou art there.” Remember what Jesus wrote to that congregation in Smyrna? About the tribulation they were about to suffer? Just because they were going to have to go through sever tribulation, that didn’t mean that God wasn’t going to be right there with them. I know, it’s hard to understand why God allows good people to suffer, right? But remember what He said? He said, “..the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be TESTED.. ” Rev 2:10
God allows our faith to be TESTED! But He’s not GONE when we’re tested. As a matter of fact, it’s just the opposite that’s true. He’s right there with us. God not only SEES what we’re going through, but He’s there, with us! Listen to the question the apostle Paul asks in Romans 8:35, “Who shall separate us from the love of God? God IS love right? 1 John 4:8. So then who shall separate us from God, or from the love of God? “Shall tribulation? Or distress? Or persecution? Or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Romans 8:35. Can any of those things separate us from God? The answer is NO! Nothing can separate us from God.. Except for ourselves. We have the choice don’t we? WE can separate ourselves from God, but nothing else can. If we choose to remain faithful to God, NOTHING can separate us. He’s with us no matter what!
If we CHOOSE to ignore God and His word, this is what we can expect.. Isaiah 59:2 says, “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God. And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He doesn’t hear.”
But if we choose to OBEY God’s word, then here’s the truth of the matter..
“For I am convinced, that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
So the congregation of Christians in the city of Smyrna, were going to face severe tribulation, BECAUSE of their faithfulness to Christ. It says in Romans 8:36, “Just as it is written; For Thy sake, we are put to death all day long! We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” Do you see why people have always wanted to “water down” Christianity? If we have to be faithful to God, even if it costs us our life, then we need to change something, right? That’s how “man” thinks. But God knows what we think doesn’t He? God KNOWS if we think our physical life is too high a price to pay.
God Knows Our Attitude
Listen to some statements by Jesus concerning our attitude, in other words. “the way we think”. Luke 14:26, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate (this is a word that means “to love less” by comparison) his own father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters, yes and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple!” Luke 14:33. “No one of you can be My disciple, who does not give up all his possessions.” Luke 9:62, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of heaven.”
These statements by Jesus Himself, indicates the type of attitude that we need to have to be pleasing to God. This is the way we need to “think” within our hearts.
God tells us in Jeremiah 17:10, “I, the Lord, search the heart, and I test the mind. Even to give each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.” Jeremiah 20:12 says, “Yet O Lord of hosts, Thou who dost test the righteous, who sees the mind and the heart..”
Proverbs 15:11, “Sheol (the nether world) and Abaddon (the place of destruction) lie open before the Lord. How much more, the hearts of men!”
Can you hide, the way you feel in your heart, and the way you think in your mind, from the Lord? Well, to borrow a saying from out west where I live, You may as well try to rope the wind!
“And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but ALL things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” Hebrews 4;13
You know how when they do “polls” and surveys, there’s always a certain number of people “for” something, and a certain number “against” something, and then there’s always those who are “undecided”. And maybe the “undecided” ones, really don’t care one way or the other. They’re kind of “lukewarm”. They’re neither “hot nor cold ” on the issue. Some people are like that with God. They can take the bible, or leave it. Maybe they feel a bit “self-sufficient” and don’t really feel a “need” for God. One of the seven “churches” from Revelation chapter 3, was like that.
Here’s what Jesus wrote to them.. Rev 3:14-17, “And to the messenger of the congregation in Laodicea write; The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the origin of the creation of God says this.. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say: I am rich and have need off nothing, and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”
God Knows Us Better Than We Know Ourselves
The Christians in Laodicea thought they were “rich”, and had “need of nothing”. Do we sometimes feel that same way? Maybe we don’t feel literally “rich”, but maybe we feel “self-sufficient” with all of the rich blessings that we’ve enjoyed for virtually ALL our lives. Unless you truly live in a “Third World” country, YOU ARE RICH! And there’s no doubt about it, “self-sufficiency” leads one AWAY from God.
You may not think that these are “kind” words, but we need to realize that sometimes, we might be.. “wretched, and miserable, and poor and blind, and naked!” Is it possible that the way we “see” ourselves, is NOT really the way we are? The bible can reveal to us a lot about ourselves, if we allow it to. Consider this scripture if you would.. “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then, face to face. Now I know in part, but then, I shall know fully, just as I have been known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12
Now that verse may need a little explanation if you’re not familiar with it. The apostle Paul had actually been speaking of the miraculous “spiritual gifts” that people in the church were given during the first century when the church was in it’s “infancy”. For instance, individual Christians were given the ability to prophesy,thus revealing God’s word to one another. Some were given miraculous knowledge of God’s word. But the point is that God’s word was being revealed little by little as time went by, so that all could learn how God wanted them to live and conduct themselves. The apostles, who were directly inspired by God to deliver His word, (It says in John 16:13, “But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth”) were writing down God’s word and then circulating the letters that they wrote, among all the various congregations of Christ. That’s how we got the bible. The bible is simply a collection of all the letters that were written by some of the apostles, and also some other faithful Christians who God inspired to deliver His word.
But here’s the point.. While the church was in it’s “infancy”, the people didn’t have the “full” word of God. They only had “a part” of what would eventually be revealed. That’s why that verse from 1 Cor 13;12 said, “For now we know “in part”, but “then” we shall know “fully”, just as I have been known”.
Now the logical question would be.. WHEN will we know “fully”? They knew in part, while the word of God was being revealed, but when would they know fully? Well, the answer is really quite obvious. If the people “knew in part”, while the word was in the process of being revealed, then when the word was fully and completely revealed, is when they would “know fully”.
And so here’s the point that I was making when I said that the bible can reveal a lot about ourselves if we let it. We want to see ourselves as God sees us, right? Well, we now HAVE the completely revealed word of God. And all we have to do is read His word, and believe it! Then, when we believe the word, we will be able to see ourselves, as God sees us. We probably see ourselves as “good” people, but yet we very often DON’T obey the word of God! When we’re are all honest enough, to read God’s word and believe exactly what it says, and believe EVERYTHING that it says, then we can see ourselves clearly. And then we can look at ourselves and ask ourselves; Am I obeying everything that I’m reading in the bible? Am I conducting my life exactly as God has instructed me to? And if we’re NOT doing all that the bible says to do, THEN we’ll realize, that we’re really not so “good” after all! THEN we’ll see ourselves as God sees us, which is as we really are.
You may think that when you go off somewhere all by yourself, that you’re “invisible” to all other eyes. But you’re not. God sees you even when you don’t want to be seen. BUT, remember the “good part” of that fact.. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans 8:35
V-37 says, “But in ALL these things, we overwhelmingly CONQUER, through Him who loved us.”
“For I am convinced, that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” V’s 38-39
“I know your deeds, and your toil and your perseverance..” Rev 2:2
“I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich).. ” Rev 2:9
“I know where you dwell, where satan’s throne is, and you hold fast My name..” Rev 2:13
“I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance..” Rev 2:19
“I know your deeds, that you have a “name” that you are alive, but you are DEAD..” Rev 3:1
“I know your deeds. Behold I have put before you an open door (opportunity) which no one can shut..” Rev 3:8
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot..” Rev 3:15
Jesus sees it all! He sees the good in us, and He sees the bad. Here’s the question.. Will God see His WORD in us? I pray that He will.
“I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God and they shall be My people,” Jeremiah 31:33
“For the one who sows to his own flesh, shall from the flesh reap corruption. But the one who sows to the spirit, shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:8
“Now may the God of hope, fill you with all joy and peace in believing; That you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy spirit.” Romans 15:13