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May 23 – To the angel of the Church in Philadelphia (2)

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens. I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie – behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” – Rev. 3:7-13

Scripture reading: Philippians 1:1-11

The Bible’s teaching concerning perseverance is a great comfort to all true believers. Jesus has assessed the church at Philadelphia and commends her with the promise of preservation.

The Bible’s teaching concerning the Perseverance of the Saints is soul strengthening. The struggle against sin is great, also in our corporate life as the church. We must be thankful that believers may confess:

“Because of these remnants of sin dwelling in them and also because of the temptations of the world and satan, those who have been converted could not remain standing in this grace if left to their own resources. But God is faithful, mercifully strengthening them in the grace once conferred on them and powerfully preserving them in it to the end.” – Canons of Dort 5:3

God enables this perseverance by means of the grace of preservation. We can be confident in His promise that when He begins a good work in His people, He will bring it to completion (Phil. 1:6). Jesus said,

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me (John 6:37). And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand” – John 10:28-29

Suggestions for prayer

Praise God for His tender mercies. He will hold us fast. Pray that we would persist in living out His persevering care, all the while rejoicing in the perseverance of the saints.

Pastor Peter Vellenga serves as an itinerant preacher in the churches of Southern Ontario. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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