Sunday, November 13, 2016

Revelation 12:10-12

Revelation 12:10-12
And I heard a great voice in heaven while saying, “Now the salvation, the power, the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ became because the accuser of our brothers – the one who accuses them day and night in the presence of our God – was thrown down.  And they conquered him for the sake of the blood of the little lamb and for the sake of the word of his testimony.  And they did not love their life as far as death.  Rejoice for this sake, heavens and the ones who are in them!  Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil came down to you while having great anger and having known that he has little time.”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

At its most basic level, this hymn represents the cleansing of heaven.  Satan has been cast out.  Those who seek to be God’s adversary have no place with God.  This is true even for His angels!  There is no eternal dwelling place for those who desire to live in a state of rebellion against God in an adversarial position.  Satan was cast out.  The heavens were cleansed.

Why is it important to you to think about heaven being cleansed and freed from adversarial corruption?  If God can cleanse His own dwelling place from the corruption of sin, in what way is this also a symbolic story about what God can do within you?

Second Thought:

More deeply, this hymn of praise in the middle of this chapter is about giving tribute to martyrdom.  Victory over temptation is only found in death.  Jesus died for our sins so we could have ultimate victory over sin.  But on a simpler scale, in order for us to truly have victory over temptation, we have to kill the temptation within us!  I don’t gain victory over lust by lusting less; I gain victory over lust by giving no quarter to lust in the first place!  I don’t gain victory over lying by only telling little white lies; I gain victory over lying by refusing to lie and refusing to give it a place in my life in the first place.  The same can be said about anger, greed, gluttony, selfishness, violence, and all the other sins.  What we learn from this song is that the true path to victory – on both a spiritual eternal sense as well as a personal fight against sin sense – is through death.

Do you try to control your sinfulness or do you try to put it to death?  Why do many of us actually try to control it rather than casting it out completely?

Third Thought:

As I mentioned in the last thought, of course this passage is a message about Christ and His victory.  This is the big crucial point from our perspective.  Without Christ, there is no ultimate victory over sin.  We can’t save ourselves.  We are tempted and rightfully accused by Satan every day.  Jesus had to come and do it for us.  Jesus had to gain the victory.  It is to His praise and glory – and grace to us – that He invites us to partake in that victory.  He gets the praise.  He gets the honor.  It is for His sake that we are won.  It is to His testimony that we are won.

How do you live out your salvation?  How do you witness to what Christ has done for you?

Passage for Tomorrow: Revelation 12:13-17
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