My memory verse this week:
"But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life." -- Jude 1:20-21
NTC Day 58 Revelations 1-4
I feel so unworthy to write about Revelations. I have read this book before and always got confused by the symbolism and imagery. It is hard to imagine creatures with six heads that are covered with eyes. It is hard to imagine an angel standing before me holding seven stars and seven lampstands.
But, I am approaching this a little differently this time. I read a little bit and then stop and read the notes in my study Bible. It helps with the symbolism and with the references to other scripture verses.
Each letter to each of the seven churches in chapters two and three ends almost the same way.
*He who has an ear let him hear...
* To those who overcome...
Repetition in the Bible means something that is very important...in other words, we'd better listen! If we are reading or hearing these words, we should listen and take heart...and the overcomes part is the hope. We are not condemned if we press on through trials and tests and hold tight to our faith and to God. There was always a reward listed for those who overcome. In Rev. 2:7 - "...To him who overcomes I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is the paradise of God." This means that the relationship between God and man will be restored to what it was before Adam and Eve's fall. Wouldn't that be amazing??? to be able to walk and talk and really KNOW God!!
The letters are meant for the specific churches, and explains that God sees all. They are commended for what they are doing right, and told of what they are doing wrong. These letters are meant to help these churches, the first Christian churches in the world, to shape up and be strong. But I think that these letters are meant to be important letters to us too.
In reading each one of these letters, I can see characteristics of my life and the lives of Christian churches all over the world. There are things we are doing right. We are reaching out to the lost; we are feeding the hungry; we show love to others; we are taking care of one another in our churches; we are preaching the Word to people all over the world; we have endured hardships and kept our faith. But...there are also many things we are doing wrong as well. We are lukewarm. Many of us go to church, worship, believe, and yet don't show love to others the rest if the week; we get enticed by worldly treasures and pleasures; we judge others; we slander others; we think we are always right and hurt others who do not agree with us.
We need to hear and listen to these condemnations to the seven churches and realize that God was speaking to us as well! He sees all...he knows what is in our hearts, what we do in public and in secret. All he asks us to do is to admit that we do these things and repent...OVERCOME these things.
Chapter 4 contains a lot of that imagery that is hard for us to picture. But the thing that struck me in the picture of God's throne room was how all of those creatures were bowing and singing and praising God!
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" (Rev. 4:8)
Day and night they never stop saying this! God is worthy of their praise! If he is worthy of their praise, he is worthy of my praise as well. He is also worthy of my listening ears. I want to hear the message he has for me. Let me take it to heart and learn from it. Let it change my heart and strengthen me so I can one day see the amazing and humbling throne room of God for myself and lay my human crown at his feet and praise him with all my heart!