Monday, December 19, 2016

Revelation 22:17-21

Revelation 22:17-21
And the spirit and the bride say, “Come.”  And let the one who hears say, “Come.”  And let the one who thirsts come.  And let the one who wishes freely take the water of life.  I witness to all who hear the words of the prophecy of this book.  If someone should place upon them, God will place upon them the plagues that have been written in this book.  And if someone should remove from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will remove his share from the of life and out of the holy city that has been written in this book.  The one who witnesses these things says, “Yes, I come quickly.”  Amen, come Lord Jesus.  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with everyone.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

In this final passage of the New Testament, we get to hear the famous “Come” passages.  There are two ways to take these words.  The first, and most straightforward, is that the followers of Christ are speaking the message for Christ to come quickly.  This is certainly possible.  If this is the intent of the meaning, then it is our response to this message of hope found in the book of Revelation.  However, it is entirely possible that the followers of Christ are repeating the message that they have heard from God.  Instead of this being a call for Christ to come quickly, it is their acknowledgement that they have been called to come into the presence of God in the first place.  We simply don’t know which is the case, although the simpler reading is the first scenario.  In either case, we can see that the proper position for humanity to take is in response to God’s leading.

Do you desire the return of Christ to happen as soon as possible?  How have you responded to God’s call in your life?

Second Thought:

Next, we hear the warning against altering the words in this book.  We should not take this warning too literally, especially knowing the context of this book.  Remember that in the ancient world all copies were done by hand.  It was common that warnings such as this would be placed at the end of books so that those who are copying would have a final reminder to make sure that their efforts were reliable.  That being said we should take seriously the reason for such a warning.  God wants His message to go out into the world.  He wants people to hear a message of hope, especially those under persecution.  We should be a people who accurately give the message that God has called us to give.

Where does your life accurately reflect God’s desires for your life?  What are the aspects of your faith that ensure as much as possible that your life is being lived in such a manner?

Third Thought:

 I think that it is neat that the last words of this book are about grace.  In fact, the word grace in the Greek text is quite literally the word for grace.  The last thing that our Bible has to say is grace.  This is a profound message in its own right, but remember that Revelation is an apocalyptic message to a people who are in persecution.  Grace is what they need.  They have a great need for their fear to be taken away and cast out.  We all have a similar need to some degree.  Our persecution may not be as great, but we all need grace.  God’s grace is extended to all of us, if we will receive it.

How is God’s grace a part of your life?  How do you extend grace to the people around you?  Will the last word of the testimony of your life be grace?

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