“I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works” (Revelation 2:21–22, ESV).
Of all the letters to the churches found in the opening chapters of Revelation, Professor Darrell Johnson says “the one addressed to Thyatira is the most difficult to interpret. We simply do not have enough archeological information about life in Thyatira to grasp all that Jesus is saying.” There are some cryptic references to Jezebel, the deep things of Satan, receiving authority over the nations, and being given the morning star. Fascinating!
But what grabbed my attention as I read this letter were the words in verse 21: “I gave her time to repent, but she refuses.” This reminded me of some other verses in 2 Peter. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise (of coming with judgment) as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance… And count the patience of our Lord as salvation” (2 Peter 3:9, 15). I’m thankful for God’s patience with me!
Yet, as Jesus said to the church in Thyatira, sin does eventually have a price. He gave the Jezebel figure time to repent. But she refused. May those words never be said of me! “I gave him time to repent, but he refuses.” My dad once told me, “Sin will take you farther than you ever thought you’d go, keep you longer than you ever thought you’d stay, and cost you more than you ever thought you’d pay.”
I’ve learned to confess quickly and confess often in my walk with Jesus. I’m prone to wander just like everyone else. Daily confession and repentance help keep my eyes on Jesus and my feet on the path of life. But that means we have to admit that we sinned, we messed up. Given our struggle with pride, that’s not always easy! But it’s always worth it.
Here’s a simple guide to practicing daily confession and repentance:
Begin by asking the Lord to bring to mind the events of the day.
- Examine your words from the day. When did your words reflect God’s grace? Thank him for those moments. When were your words unloving or unkind? Confess.
- Examine your actions from the day. When did your actions reflect God’s love? Thank him for those moments. When were your actions selfish or unloving? Confess.
- Examine your thoughts from the day. When did your thoughts acknowledge God? Thank him for those moments. When were your thoughts self-centered or sinful? Confess.
- Examine your motives from the day. When did you act in the interest of honoring God and serving others? Thank him for those moments. When were your motives impure or manipulative? Confess.
End by thanking the Lord for his sacrifice on the cross that paid for your sins. Ask him for strength to be a reflection of his character tomorrow.