I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. Revelation 2:19
In Revelation chapters 2-3 there are letters to seven churches that are scattered throughout what was then called Asia. God told John to write down both their strengths and their weaknesses. What strikes me as I read the letters again is this: the words, “I know your works,” are repeated again and again. They are phrased a bit differently in some of the letters, like to Smyrna in 2:9, “I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and to Pergamum in Rev. 2:13, “I know where you live.”
Not only does God know the seven churches’ works, but He knows our works. He told them things like, You have lost your first love, in Rev. 2:4 and, You have reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. Rev. 3:2-3
God didn’t just tell them words of rebuke, but also words of encouragement. For instance, He told the church at Ephesus that they worked hard and had patient endurance. Plus, they didn’t tolerate false teachers. To the church in Philadelphia, God told them that He knew that although they had little power, they had kept His word and didn’t deny His name. God spoke of rewards to those who conquer and who keeps His works until the end.
† My question: What if God were to write you a letter? What would He say? What strengths would He mention and what words of encouragement would He give? Does it help you to know that He sees your heart, that He knows the things that you have done that no one else knows about, and that He knows the path you have taken?
If God were to say to you, “I know your works,” would that be a comforting and encouraging statement? When Hagar fled from Sarai in Genesis 16 because Sarai was dealing with her bitterly, the angel of the Lord came and spoke blessings to Hagar in the wilderness. So Hagar called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You are a God of seeing,for she said, Truly here I have see Him who looks after me. vs. 13. That is where the name of God, “El Roi” is first used.
‡ El Roi, the God who sees, is a good thing. God sees our works and He looks after us. He sees our love and faith and service and patient endurance, and He will reward us for those things. On the flip side, He also sees the things that we need to repent of. As Hebrews 4:13 tells us, No creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. It is much easier to shed off the yuck knowing that God has my best interest in mind.
Forgive me for when my love grows cold and I tolerate false idols and teachers. Wake me up so that you will not find my works incomplete. And thank you that You can trace my path and see my heart for You when no one else can. You are the God who sees and who rewards.