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devotion I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My names sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place unless you repent. Revelation 2:2 5 Brothers, this passage from the Revelation of John begins as a training manual for the godly man in troubled times. Rather than give up we are to toil and persevere. The word toil has negative meaning for many people today, but the way it is used here shines a different light on what it should mean to those of us who believe and desire to follow Christ Jesus the Lord. Yes. It does mean to work hard and continuously. This is probably not what you were hoping to hear. It is the next part I hope resonates with you. To toil in this sense is to work hard and continuously toward a certain or sure outcome. For the Christian, that outcome is to ultimately be in the presence of our Creator and to glorify His name with our lives. It is toward this outcome that we work. It is toward this outcome that we overcome all obstacles. It is toward this outcome that we should be pouring our lives. The second part of the godly mans training manual speaks of what our attitude toward evil should be and our attention to discerning Truth from falsehood. We have heard much since the early nineties about tolerance. Sadly, the true meaning of tolerance has been forgotten. The original meaning is actually to endure. What it has come to mean in our modern age is to accept without question anything another person believes even if we dont agree. NOT TRUE!!! The original Latin meaning of the word is to build up endurance to an outside influence. As I look at this definition I draw the conclusion in regard to evil that I am not to allow it to have any effect upon me. I will not tolerate its presence in my life and I will turn my back on it when and where it raises its ugly, rebellious head. I am to be so discerning toward evil and falsehood that I recognize it immediately for what it is. In response to it I throw up a road block, a defensive barrier that will not allow it to penetrate into my life or the lives of those I love. Remember always, brothers, that we do not just do this for our own sake. First and foremost, we endure, persevere, and toil for His sake. Every thought, action, response, and activity should be weighed, sifted, and examined for how it will glorify my God and King. We are to do all of this WITHOUT GROWING WEARY. Weariness causes a man to lose his will. Weariness causes apathy to grow within a mans spirit. Weariness comes very easily if we trust in our own strength. You will always weary of serving the Lord if you rely on yourself. Brothers, we must daily seek the assistance of the Holy Spirit to empower us to engage all thought, action, response, and activity in the service of the Risen King. Dont allow weariness to prevent you from being an effective doer of Gods Word. Weariness leads to giving up. This is not a time to be giving up. Gentlemen, we are living in historic times. God has allowed us the privilege to live in a time of great prophetic fulfillment. This is not a time to be self-absorbed. It is a time to engage ourselves completely in Gods work. Lastly, Jesus warns us against forgetfulness. We should not forget the passion and excitement we experienced when we first entered into the Family of God. We should not forget the depths of depravity from which we were rescued. There is not a day that goes by that I do not marvel at Gods amazing mercy. I am the least worthy to write these words to you on a weekly basis and yet by the grace of God I have been given a great and awesome gift. Dont short change yourselves, my brothers. Grasp hold of the mighty hand of God. You have been chosen to be one of Gods men in this, the last of the Last Days. It is not something to be taken lightly. Dont forget that it is the Lord, the Great I Am that has placed you in this time, in the place where you are, FOR A PURPOSE. It is as we toil and persevere that the purpose takes on shape and definition. I havent always understood why I am where I am when I am. As I turned my eyes upon Him and committed myself to His cause, it has been revealed with crystal clarity that He has placed where I am for such a time as this. Embrace your role as a man of God, brothers. Engage your entire being in His cause. Rise up, o men of God. The time has come for us to shine! To Stand and Not Fall, Ric