Posts Tagged ‘desire for approval’

Three Promises

May 14, 2009 3 comments

To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” Revelation 2:17 (NKJV)

After rebuking the Church of Pergamos for their spiritual compromise, Jesus ends on an encouraging note by promising them three things. He promises to sustain them with “the hidden manna,” He promises to give them a white stone, and He promises the stone will have a new name written on it. What’s the significance here?

Keep in mind that the Church of Pergamos was struggling with compromise. When you examine compromise closely, you often find that it’s based on three desires: the desire for security, the desire for approval, and the desire for an identity. We’ll lower our standards to unthinkable levels for these three things, and it’s likely that this was what was going on in the Church of Pergamos.

Jesus promises to provide all three of these things for them. He promised to be their security by providing them with hidden manna. As long as they remained true to Him, they would not lack for their basic needs. He also promised to provide them with the approval they were looking for by giving them a white stone. In biblical times, a black stone was used in legal proceedings to represents a person’s guilt and condemnation, while a white stone represented innocence and approval. Lastly, He promised to give them a sense of identity by giving them a new name, chosen by Him, that would now represent who they were in Christ.

Once we understand that our security, approval, and identity are found in Jesus, the temptation to sell out and compromise our spiritual standards loses its power. When He’s the only one we need, He becomes the only one we need to please.

Discuss with your group those things that convince you to compromise. How has the desire for security, identity, and approval motivated you to lower your standards? What lessons did you learn?

Dig into Revelation 2:17. What is the significance of “hidden manna”? How can the promise of this provision take away the temptation to compromise? How do you feel knowing that the Lord has a special name reserved in heaven for you? What would you say is the basis for your identity right now?

Decide as a group to get honest about what makes you who you are. Ask each member to identify those things that are shaping his or her identity. Spend some time looking at Ephesians Chapter 1 and other Scriptures to find “who you are” in Christ.