The nature and form of Jesus’ words to the churches in Revelation also teach us how we can care for those entrusted to us.
First, we see Jesus reveals himself. And before anybody is going to listen to Christ’s words we must make it our aim to reveal him.
Secondly, he encourages them. He notices the good that they are doing and affirms them. If we cannot first see the good and affirm those we are ministering to, we have no platform to rebuke. It takes a keener eye to see good than to see evil.
Thirdly, he rebukes them. His correction is firmly entrenched in love and because it is, it can be heard. If we love we also need to rebuke, and our rebukes must be motivated by love rather than self-righteousness and pride.
Lastly, he gives them a promise. There is room to repent, even for Jezebel. Now that is mercy! We must always end in hope, since God’s final Word is hope: “behold I am making all things new” (Rev. 21:5).
Prayer: Father, help me to care for those entrusted to me in the same way you do, in Jesus’ name.