Tuesday, October 8, 2013

To him who overcomes...

"To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God...He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death...To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna...To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations...just as I have received authority from my Father."  Revelation 2:7,11, 17, 26-27

As I started reading the letters to each of the churches in the second chapter of Revelation, I noticed a phrase that was repeated at the end of each of the letters, "to him who overcomes" or "he who overcomes". I have written a previous post on the importance of the word overcome and this jumped out at me.

Dictionary.com defines overcome as "to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat; to prevail over."  This is an important concept throughout the pages of the bible, not just physically but mentally prevailing over the enemy.  There are many examples such as David and Goliath, or Joshua and Jericho.

But even in the current day when we are not generally physically fighting a giant, or trying to attack a walled city, there are plenty of opportunities that require that we overcome.  Overcoming an addiction, be it food, alcohol or drugs; overcoming negative self-talk that can lead to depression; overcoming what others think of you or how  you let that affect you; overcoming criticism of your actions or behaviors.  There are so many examples of ways that we, as Christians, must overcome in order to wholeheartedly follow Jesus.

It can be a daily, hourly struggle, but I found myself encouraged by what I found in Revelation, a chapter of the Bible that has always intimidated me.  Jesus lists all the ways that overcomers will be rewarded - in heaven for eternity, with hidden manna, with authority over nations and unhurt by the second death.  I confess, I don't understand completely what is meant by all of these things, but I know that it is a promise from God, and I know that God is Good.

In His Grace...

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