Friday, October 7, 2016

Revelation 1:4-8

Revelation 1:4-8
John.  To the seven assemblies, the ones in Asia. Grace to you and peace from the one who is and who was and who will come and from the seven spirits who are in the presence of his throne, and from Jesus Christ – the witness, the faithful one, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.  To the one who loves us and who loosened us out of our sins in His blood and he made us a kingdom, priests for God and our father.  To him be the glory and the might into the era of the eras, Amen.  Look!  He is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him – even whoever pierced him – and all the tribes of the earth will lament upon him.  Absolutely, amen.  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the one who is and who was, and who comes – the Almighty.”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

I absolutely love the Trinitarian emphasis that John puts forth as he talks about God in this passage.  John gives greetings from the one who is, who was, and who will come.  That is clearly a nod towards the Father.  Then we have a mention of the seven spirits.  The question is, what are these seven spirits?  Is it a literal reference to the spiritual dynamic of the seven churches among whom John is ministering?  If so, is that not really the Spirit of God dwelling among them?  Or, perhaps this is a symbolic representation of the Spirit of God – seven being the number of completion.  In other words, is John reminding us that the Spirit of God is complete?  In any case, John’s description here should bring us back to think about the Spirit of God.  Finally, we hear about a greeting from Jesus Christ: the faithful witness, the proof of the resurrection, and true ruler of this world.  As John begins to relate this vision to his audience, he starts by making sure that we are focused upon God.

Where is your focus?  Do you see the triune God interacting with the world around you?  Do you see the triune God interacting within you?

Second Thought:

 Then, John reminds us about what God has done for us.  God loves us.  God loosened our bondage and freed us from the curse of sin.  God bought us with His own blood and brought us into His kingdom.  He makes us priests within that kingdom.  He truly does deserve to be glorified.  He truly does deserve to be glorified now and forever.  His grace has shown no end, and He is worthy of receiving glory that has no end, either.

Do you find it easy to glorify God?  Do you find it easy to glorify God in all circumstances, now and forever?

Third Thought:

Finally, John’s vision brings us a promise of the future.  He is coming again.  Every tribe will see Him.  Those who pierced Him will see Him.  But John gives us an interesting expression.  The world will lament.  So often we think that we will burst forth with joy upon the coming of the Son of Man.  But if you think about it, how often does Jesus Himself speak about His return in tones of happiness?  Usually, Jesus speaks of that day with a strong sense of warning and foreboding.  It will be a difficult time.  Those who are against God will know that they chose the wrong side.  They will know that judgment is coming.  Those who are in God will still know that judgment is coming.  We will ultimately live with God forever, but we also know that we will give an accounting for our actions.  Only by His grace – not by our accounting – will we receive eternal glory with Him.  The coming of Christ is ultimately a good thing, because it is the gate to eternal life with the Father.  But that does not mean that such an event will not be filled with lament.

When you think about the coming of the Lord again, what emotions fill you?  Why do you think this is true?

Passage for Tomorrow: Revelation 1:9-11
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