As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Jesus laid out in some detail His commendations of the seven churches and also the things He had against them. He pointed out the ways they were doing what they were supposed to do and where they had some work to do—attitudes, practices, and behaviors to change. And He sends John with these letters to deliver the messages they needed to hear. They may not have liked everything He had to say, but it was for their own good that they listen and respond.
Rebuke borne out of love becomes a blessing. It’s just that we have to respond properly to it. The essence of what Jesus is saying to the seven churches, and to us, is to not be satisfied with a life that is less than God’s best. He doesn’t want us to be content in that lukewarm state or a prideful state or a disobedient state, but to get those things right and to move forward serving the Lord and living for Him.
The time to respond to Jesus is now. If it was important enough for Jesus to bring these rebukes to His people, then we should heed His warnings. May we just be willing to be changed by the Word of God. May we allow ourselves to be corrected by Jesus while there is still time. Let us be willing to make the necessary changes when He points things out in our lives that are displeasing to Him. Because that way there is no sin separating us and nothing hindering Him from working in and through us.
We may not enjoy the sting of rebuke or chastisement from Jesus, but He only does it out of love. He truly wants what is best for us, and sometimes that is what we need in order to grow. And when we love Jesus, our hearts should be tender toward Him. We should be quick to respond, pained that we have displeased Him and eager to get things right. When God reveals something to us through His Word and His Spirit, it is we who have to change our minds to align with His. So may we be receptive to the things He is trying to teach us and take whatever action is necessary.