Church at Ephesus
Same Things Done Differently
As we read through these letters, we will find a repeated pattern:
Church – Christ – Commendation – Critique –Correction – Consequences – Challenge.
message today is entitled “Same Things Done Differently”
Read REVELATION 2:1-7
Christ’s message to the church at Ephesus: I’m not asking you to do different things. I’m
asking you to do them differently.
How do we do the first works that Christ commands? How can we return to love? (1) Do them with thought Engage your mind
(2) Do them with emotion Reveal your heart
Conclusion: Arthur Gordon’s essay, The Turn of the Tide
Arthur Gordon tells of a time in his life when he began to feel that everything was stale and flat. His enthusiasm had all but disappeared; his writing efforts were fruitless, and the situation was getting worse day by day.
Finally, he decided to get help from a medical doctor. Observing nothing physically wrong, the doctor asked him if he would be able to follow his instructions for one day.
When Gordon replied that he could, the doctor told him to spend the following day in a place where he was the happiest as a child. He could take food, but he was not to talk to anyone or to read or write or listen to the radio. He then wrote out four prescriptionsand told him to open one at nine, twelve, three, and six o’clock.
“Are you serious?” Gordon asked him.
“You won’t think I’m joking when you get my bill!” was the reply.
So the next morning, Gordon went to the beach. As he opened the first prescription, heread, “Listen carefully.” He thought the doctor was insane! How could he listen for three hours? Nevertheless, he had agreed to follow the doctor’s order, so he listened. Heheard the usual sounds of the sea and the birds. After a while, he could hear the othersounds that weren’t so apparent at first. As he listened, he began to think of lessons thesea had taught him as a child—patience, respect, and an awareness of the interdependence of things. He began to listen to the sounds—and the silence—and to feel a growing peace deep within.
At noon, he opened the second slip of paper and read, “Try reaching back.” “Reaching back to what?” he wondered. Perhaps to childhood, perhaps to memories of joy. Hetried to remember them with exactness, and in remembering, he found a growing warmth inside.
At three o’clock, he opened the third piece of paper. Until now, the prescriptions had been easy to take, but this one was different; it said, “Examine your motives.” At first hewas defensive. He thought about what he wanted—success, security, recognition—andhe justified them all. Yet then the thought occurred to him that those motives weren’tgood enough. That perhaps therein was the answer to his stagnant situation.
He considered his motives deeply and thought about past happiness, and at last, theanswer came to him. In a flash of certainty, he wrote, “I saw that if one’s motives arewrong, nothing can be right. It makes no difference whether you are a mail carrier, a hairdresser, an insurance salesperson, a home-maker—whatever. As long as you feel
you are serving others, you do the job well. When you are concerned only with helping yourself, you do it less well—a law as unrelenting as gravity.”
When six o’clock came, the fourth prescription didn’t take long to fill. “Write your worries on the sand,” it said. He knelt and wrote several words with a piece of broken shell; then he turned and walked away. He didn’t look back: he knew the tide wouldcome in!