The letter to the church in Thyatira continues with praise and recommendation. We read in verse 19, “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.”
“I know thy works.” The members of the congregation in Thyatira apparently show good works in their lives. The fruits of the Spirit are evident among them. The first fruit is that of love. Is there a higher gift? Paul writes, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1 Corinthians 13:13) We read in Galatians 5:22 that the fruit of the Spirit is first of all love. Let us not forget that the summary of the ten commandments can be found in one word, love. So, there appears to be true, self-sacrificial love toward God and the neighbor in this church. What a mirror for us! But we read also about service. Where there is love, there is service. The cup of love overflows into service. Love serves the other. There is also faith. Faith and love always go together. Paul speaks in Galatians 5:6 about, “faith which worketh by love.” Love is so intertwined with faith that we can rightly call it a characteristic of faith. The Lord also speaks of patience. As in Smyrna, the Christians in Thyatira have patience in tribulation. They stand firm in difficult circumstances, in the midst of temptation. They cling to Christ, their Savior. Their hope is in Him. They look forward to the coming glorious day when Christ will appear on the clouds of heaven and they will be justified. It is remarkable what we read at the end of this sentence. We read, “I know …. thy works; and the last to be more than the first.” In other words, there is continual growth in good works, in the fruit of the Spirit. What an example are the believers in Thyatira for us. Peter writes, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18) Let us follow this example and hold fast to Christ and His merits. And by the work of His Spirit, through His word, grow in good works. So that we show the image of Christ in our lives to a world in darkness. So that others may become jealous and ask us, "Why are you so different?" And we can point them to Christ.