Category Archives: Revelation

Worship Him

“And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me.  But he said to me, ‘Don’t do that!  I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll.  Worship God!’” Revelation 22:8-9.

Who is to be worshiped and who is to be admired?

John tried to worship an angel.  That angel, like Paul, was quick to address the mistake.

Hero worship is still in play today.  Someone does something special and the accolades are directed in their direction.

The Godly, will quickly defer that praise to where it belongs, to God.  The confused will absorb the praise for themselves.

Tim Keller wrote a terrific book called, “Counterfeit Gods.”  We are so willing to sidetrack our affections to that which is not God.  Those counterfeits will never give us what we want, which is something lasting.  Counterfeits are terminal.

Recognizing a counterfeit?  You say to yourself, “If I had that, I would really be happy.”  If it turns out that you get “that,” you find out in time that it did not give you everlasting happiness.

That everlasting happiness can only be found in a relationship to the eternal Father.  He is not terminal.  There’s this life with Him and then there’s the after-life with Him.  That after-life is eternal.

My trust must be in Him.  That doesn’t mean that I can’t desire things, but it does mean that those things in and of themselves will not bring eternal happiness.  Temporary?  Yes, but not the forever happiness.

Conclusion: I must limit my worship to the eternal God.  None other is deserving.

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Things are sure going to be different!

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look!  God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’”  Revelation 21:3-4.

The other day I was wrestling with the word, “eternal.”  Can’t fathom it.

Today is more of similar wonderment.

God is going to live with believers.  I know for sure that God isn’t going to change to accommodate that arrangement.  We’ll have to change.

All things that make us ungodly will have to go.  Talk about remodeling!

What I wrestle with is the end verse where it says that there will be no more mourning.  I mourn over things that make me sad.  One of those constant sad things is that I have relatives who have rejected God.  They will not be part of the group that God will be setting His kingdom on earth for.

If I have a memory in the after-life, I would realize that they weren’t with me in the next life and I would mourn.  Today’s verse, however, says that I will not be mourning.  Solution?  My memory of them will be erased.  If God could erase the memory of my sins and consider me worthy of an after-life with Him, He could do that sort of erasing.

God runs my present and my future.  He knows what He’s doing.  My concerns are not His concerns.  My task is to be a light for Him where I am.  To be mindful of Him.  To pray without ceasing.

I need to add, today, that I got an insight on what “praying without ceasing” is all about: It means that whenever we think of someone/something we need to IMMEDIATELY pray about it.

Conclusion: The details of the after-life are hard to fathom, However, since God is in charge of them, I need not worry.

 

 

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Wake up!

“I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.  Wake up!  Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.”  Revelation 3:1-2.

Wow!

Imagine hearing that personally or, in this case, regarding a church.

The Message uses the word, “busywork,” to describe what is being done instead of “God’s” work.

What a fine line.  I do things, but which category are they truthfully in?  It is really something that I have never clearly focused on.

When I do things routinely, am I losing sight of why I do them?  Are they “busywork?”  Maybe that is why I get upset occasionally doing those things?  If I saw the “mundane” as God’s Work, I would do it as unto Him.

Being older, I pick up personally the line, “strengthen what remains and is about to die.”  I do not have forever by any standard. Getting my motivation right is crucial.  No time to waste.

I need to always be doing God’s work.  Everything I do must fit that category.  If it is busywork, then God is not part of it.  Therefore, the same activity can be either God’s Work or busywork.  It all depends on my motivation.

I also like the approach to the church in Sardis: “Wake up!”  There is no, “Why not consider” or “If you get a chance.”  It’s yelling in the ear!  There certainly is an urgency.

Conclusion: Wake up!  Too much busywork and not enough God’s Work in my life.  I must know the difference and live accordingly.

 

 

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The worst day some folks will ever know!

“Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all people on earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.”  Revelation 1:7.

I cannot fathom what His arrival will be like.

It seems as if all of us will be able to see Him at once and we will know who He is.  There is plenty that is hard to fathom in that, don’t you think?

I rejoice, for my own sake, at His return.

The scary part is truly for those who have rejected Jesus.  They are going to see Him, know who He is, and realize the consequence they face.  For them it will be something like the folks OUTSIDE the ark as the water was rising.  However, for the rejecters things are even worse because they have chosen an after-life separated from the Jesus who has returned.

I, like many of you, have relatives and friends who will indeed “mourn” in their current state if Jesus returns.  They are headed for eternal separation from God.  They’ll be in Hell!  To read/believe such a verse is to be driven to intercede for the lives of those I love who will lose if He comes back.

The story of Sodom comes to mind.  Abraham tried to get that place spared of destruction.  I need to intercede similarly for the eternal lives of loved ones.

I was thinking about how so many folks were mournful the night in November when Donald Trump was elected President.  There were tears.  The world would come to an end.  These people took the revelation of the lost election seriously.

I think of that anguish and imagine how much greater the anguish will be of those apart from Jesus when He returns.  The election losers were able to regroup and plan for the future.  There will be no “regrouping” when Jesus comes.

Conclusion: Jesus is coming back.  How many of my friends and family would “mourn” if it happened now?  What am I doing about it?

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What’s not to like?

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  Revelation 21:4.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Revelation 19-22.

Life after death; won’t it be grand!

You start to run through the things that will no longer be, and it is overwhelming.

So much of our lives are impacted by death, mourning, crying, and pain.  They will be no more in heaven.

Our lives are terminal.  We will wear out and die.  We cannot stop the process.  It is going to happen.

Paul had moments, later in life, where the glory of heaven became tremendously attractive to him.  Dying was going to be okay.

So many in our midst have no interest in death.  They would rather ignore the thought.  Why?  Because they are uncertain about death and therefore fearful of it.

There are also many in our midst who are fearful of this life.  It’s lousy for them.  Some will get so overwhelmed by this life that they eject themselves from this life into an uncertain next life.

I want to be able to share the Gospel.  I must remember that there will not be any after-life conversions.  There are no after-life second chances.  The “deal” must be done in this life.  How dare I dodge my responsibility to share the ingredients of a relationship with God that can assure listeners of an amazing after-life with Him.

“Eternal life with You.  Wow!  I am certain that I have little idea of what that life with You will be like, but I know that I will praise You for it eternally.  What a morning that will be.  O Father, I love You.”

Heaven is so glorious.  Why wouldn’t we want everyone we know to be there with us?

 

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God’s got this

“In one hour she has been brought to ruin.”  Revelation 18:19.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Revelation 10-18.

I have already admitted my confusion with Revelation, but I can catch something obvious.

Throughout Revelation I have been reading about what is going to happen in the future.

Is it important that I have a clear picture of when/where the happenings will occur?  I think not.

My takeaway this afternoon is that God knows.  That’s enough for me.

I wasn’t put on this earth to understand what God does.  My task is to trust Him.  To be comfortable knowing that He has plans in place that will work together for my good.

I need to live in that confidence.  When things are bleak, I must see the bigger picture.  God is in charge.  He won’t get it wrong.  There will be an after-life for me with Him.  I have no idea what the circumstances will be that will bring me to Him in the after-life, but I do know that He knows.  Hallelujah!

“Lord, forgive me for usurping Your management role.  I am clueless.  I need Your directions.  I want to be where You would have me to be.  I want my path to be set by You.  Help me, Father.  Thank You for being in charge.  I love You, Lord.”

Are you still trying to run the show?  He is the potter, we’re supposed to be the clay.  Trust the potter!

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Unfinished business

“I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.  Wake up!  Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.”  Revelation 3:1-2.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Revelation 1-4.

What an indictment!

People think that you have your spiritual life together but it ain’t so!  You talk, you start, but you don’t finish.

Talk is cheap, and the start is always exciting and stimulating.  But then reality kicks in.  All the worries and uncertainties become large. Continuing on defers to backing off.

If you have been reading this blog during the last few months you know that I have written often about witnessing.  When I write today about “unfinished business” it regards witnessing. (I have no doubt that there are plenty of other areas in my life that are “unfinished!)

I want witnessing to be a regular/normal part of my life and it isn’t.  I continue to read “How To” books but it seems that the more I read the more hesitant I get.  I understand that there is something to be said for being prepared, but all this preparation should not become an excuse to avoid doing it.

Look at the directness in today’s verses: “Wake up.  Strengthen what remains and is about to die.”  I am going to lose the momentum I have left to witness, if I don’t take action.

I sat in a diner this morning and as I ate and conversed, I glanced around the place.  I saw people sitting alone and thought that they would be folks to witness to.  I had a gospel tract with me, but I couldn’t bring myself to briefly interact with any of them and give them a tract.  Another missed opportunity.

That I am becoming mindful of these missed chances is a good thing. I long to get past the “looking” level.

I certainly need to proceed carefully and selectively.  I must rightly represent Him.

My goals are to get witnessing willingness and witnessing preparation to where He wants them to be.

“Lord, forgive me for being so fearful.  Enable me to be mindful of You.  I am inadequate apart from You.  I ask You to give me divine appointments.  Those are the ones in which I can rightly represent You.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

Wake up!

 

 

 

 

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A tearless after-life

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”  Revelation 7:17.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Ezekiel 17-19, and Revelation 7.

There is so much sadness.

We are all terminal and we live in a fallen world.  Plenty of things resulting from those conditions to lead to sadness.

When I am finally with God, ALL of my sadness will be gone.

I must be rejoicing in Him at the thought of the future He has planned for me.

The godless think that their future ends at death.  Little do they know that they will indeed have a future beyond death, eternally separated from God.  The conditions for those separated will be tearful as they get what they wanted and then realize what a mistake that choice was.

I must remember how awesome God’s love is.  He loved me when I was unlovable.  He provided a way for me to get rid of my sin problem and become acceptable to Him.  How thankful I must be!

“Lord, I thank You for making me acceptable to You.  What a glorious future You have planned.  Forgive my waywardness.  Forgive me for forgetting all that You have done for me and all that You have planned for me in the days/years ahead.  What a future I have in You.”

No tears in the after-life of believers.

St. Lucia

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Weak but strong

“I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” Revelation 3:8.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible study: Ezekiel 4-7, and Revelation 3.

God knows us.

When we pretend to be something we aren’t, we are deceiving ourselves not God.

God sees our weaknesses and when we see them as well we are in a good place.

God is always ready to help the needy.  Let that roll around in your head a while.  Each of us should be desperate to have God’s help.  What causes His help to be unavailable?  Lack of neediness.

The folks referenced in this verse were known weaklings yet they were loved by God.  Why?  Because even in their neediness, they did what He wanted to the best of their ability.

I must be intent on using whatever God has given me to His fullest potential.  God can do the math.  Recall the story of the widow and her mite.  Jesus commented on the percentage of her gift not the amount.

I have a part to play in God’s Kingdom.  Whether my “role” is significant (by the world’s standards) or not, I must be all-in when executing it.

“Lord, I need You every second.  I am unworthy.  I have so often cheated You by doing less than my best.  Forgive me.  I surrender everything to You.  Guide me with what I have so that I please You with it, I beg.”

Our weakness does not excuse us from contributing to His Word.

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He is alive and in control

“’I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever!  And I hold the keys of death and Hades.’”  Revelation 1:18.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Jeremiah 52, Revelation 1, and Psalm 143-144.

What a sight John saw!

There is so much in this one verse.  Much to confirm our history of Jesus.  Much to confirm the Day of Judgment.

Jesus died and is back to life forever.  How important His death was for all of us!  Why?  In His death Jesus took our sins, past/present/future, with Him and put an end to them forever.  We do not carry the sin burden any longer.  We do not fear sin’s final consequence any longer.  Jesus took care of it!  Hallelujah.

What a future we look forward to.  To be part of this optimism all we need do is believe that Jesus took care of our sin problem and act accordingly.  He did the heavy lifting regarding our sins.  We now do the heavy lifting in living as He wants us to live.  He’s alive and has promised to return to us.  What a day that will be.

But there is a concern in this verse.  What is it?  The mention of Hades.  It is a real place and a place where people can end up in their after-life.  God will not be finding a heavenly place for everyone.  He has the keys to the other place with intent to open the way for people to enter.  It is a place apart from God and those who enter Hades have chosen to live where God isn’t.  At the end, they will get their choice.  I don’t think that people will be dragged into Hades.  They’ll go willingly.   However, once there they will realize that what they deemed more important than God will disappoint them eternally.

Meanwhile, those of us with God will be having an eternal “rejoice-fest.”

“Lord, I pray that I am interpreting this Scripture right.  Forgive if I’m not.  You are alive and You are in control.  There is a future with You.  I am thankful that You have taken care of my sin problem.  You have ended sin’s consequence being involved on Judgment Day.  I am completely in the clear.  Praise be to You!  Thank You, Lord.”

Jesus is alive and Hades exists.  Redeem the time.

 

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