Category Archives: Revelation

Job 18-20; Psalm 141; Revelation 15

Growing up in a dysfunctional home does not make me an expert as to what love looks like. Through trial and error, and many more errors, I began my journey to being relatively healthy except when it comes to conflict with those I would call my superiors in the workplace. They have not modelled love very well and to this day I still struggle with what that looks like. For those I lead, I try to be the one who loves through conflict. From the testimonies I have collected, I would say I am doing a fairly good job. In marriage I have not had that much success when it comes to speaking the truth in love. In my relationship with God, I have excelled. We have loved each other with a major intensity. He has called me out on many issues and has demanded a more closer walk with Him.

Let the righteous one strike me—
it is an act of faithful love;
let him rebuke me—
it is oil for my head;
let me[a] not refuse it.
Even now my prayer is against
the evil acts of the wicked. – Psalm 141:5 HCSB

King David learned to love rebuke too. Somehow, when God rebukes, He does not shame, He causes me to sing.

They sang the song of God’s servant Moses and the song of the Lamb:

Great and awe-inspiring are Your works,
Lord God, the Almighty;
righteous and true are Your ways,
King of the Nations. – Revelation 15:2-3 HCSB

The principle I learn is this – there is a perfect harmony in the retributive acts of God in dealing with this world and the highest conception of His love and mercy which the gospel brings. God’s dealings with me are meant to manifest His character that I may know and love Him. The motive is His own love, the end is the glory of His Name, in the love and knowledge of those like me whose life and blessedness depend on my knowing and loving Him.

God’s demand for my supreme love – is it just? That would depend on two things:

  • Whether I have the power of loving any one supremely
  • Whether God has attributes adapted to awaken this love within me

I think it is found in everyone to love some object supremely. My choice is quite easily understood then – I make a choice to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

Father, thank you for calling my name in the darkest moments of my life. I am so thankful that You allowed me to hear Your voice. Every time You spoke You imparted Your love in an incredibly meaningful way. Your love mattered more than life itself. Thank You.

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Filed under 5 day reading plan, Bible in a year reading plan, Job, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, reading plan, Revelation, Uncategorized

 Nehemiah 1-3; Revelation 5

Nehemiah is one of those leadership books that I never tire of. As a person in fund development, I particularly like chapters 1 and 2. However, through the lens of love and unity, I see Nehemiah also about promises and protection as well as prayer. I see God’s faithfulness and that includes His faithful love towards those who are called by His Name.

What makes faithful love so dynamic is that this love is true despite what I have done in my past, what I am doing right now in the present and what I will be doing in the future to disobey Him. Oh to tell of the stories of His faithful love in our lives.

Then again, it might be a song…

And they sang a new song:

You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because You were slaughtered,
and You redeemed[e] people[f]
for God by Your blood
from every tribe and language
and people and nation.
You made them a kingdom[g]
and priests to our God,
and they will reign on the earth. – Revelation 5:9-10 HCSB

God is love and He can love me because He made me in His image. Sometimes I wonder how he reconciles His justice and love. I heard a story once, of course it involves humans and so I in no way want to ascribe the story to Jesus’ love but it is a resemblance of possibilities.

There is a story of a king who was righteous, loving and generous. One day he found that someone had devastated his kingdom’s economy. For his people’s good, he issued a decree that whoever had done this must have his eyes plucked out. Sometime later, the culprit was discovered. It was an unintentional act of the beloved crown prince. The king was in a dilemma. If he did not keep his own decree, his kingdom would be corrupted by injustice. But keeping the decree meant blinding the crown prince. After much agonizing, he found a way. He offered one of his own eyes to be plucked out in place of one of the prince’s. Then both would still have one eye.

I will never understand the depth of God’s holiness, nor can I understand justice and love with human reason. But this one thing I do know – God loved me, even when I was a sinner, and Jesus died for me. By His death, Jesus reconciled God’s justice and love perfectly and brought honour and glory to His Father.

Father, Your faithful love amazes me everyday. Every day I am grateful for it sustains me in my walk with You. While I cannot explain everything, it matters that Your love is present for there I find myself safe. Thank You!

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Filed under 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Nehemiah, New Testament, Old Testament, reading plan, Revelation

Esther 7-10; Revelation 3

. . . on the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the reverse occurred: the Jews gained mastery over those who hated them. The Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could stand against them, for the fear of them had fallen on all peoples. All the officials of the provinces and the satraps and the governors and the royal agents also helped the Jews, for the fear of Mordecai had fallen on them.

Esther 9:1b-3 ESV

Throughout the whole story of Esther, God whispers His presence to Esther, Mordecai, and His people Israel. Even without his name being directly mentioned in the entire book, it is quite clear that He dominates the plot of this much-celebrated historical story. When the Jews’ enemies thought victory was moments away, the Jews triumphed and even had the support of King Ahasuerus himself as they defended themselves and justly fought as fear paralyzed their opponents.

The feast of Purim was established and continues to be celebrated today, thousands of years later. As we read this chronicling of events and marvel at their boldness, we can take an introspective look at our own stance. Do I stand up boldly to those that oppose God? Do I step into those painful confrontations in defense of others? Do I have confidence in God’s protection and direction in my life and future?

‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.

Revelation 3:1b-2 ESV

Jumping to the very last book of the bible, John brings a harsh message to a church that should have been following hard after God’s way also. Instead, they floated on a previous reputation of vitality. God knew their hearts, just as He knows ours. Are we truly alive, or just enjoying an extended time of ease on a previously earned reputation? What do my works indicate to those around me? Revelation does not mince words and these churches that keep getting gut-punched always challenge me to honestly evaluate my own current heart condition.

For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

Revelation 3:17 ESV

Sometimes as I look at where I am at spiritually, I focus too heavily on the good moments without full dissection. What I might judge as wealth and ease, might really be masking my poor, blind, naked self. God knows my heart, and I need to continually be still before Him and let Him open my eyes to what I truly shelter there.

Dear God, thank you for your powerful presence in my life. Thank you for the stories throughout Scripture and history, and even my own life, when you showed up in a tangible way. Expose my sin, my hesitancy to surrender, and make me fully alive, not lukewarm, not distracted by false treasure, but following you with that perfect blend of humility and boldness. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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2 Chronicles 35; Revelation 21; Malachi 3; John 20

But Josiah was determined to fight. He refused to listen to what God was saying through King Neco, so he disguised himself and went into battle on the plain of Megiddo. – 2 Chronciles 35:22 GNT

I am not sure where is the line that I have stepped over when it comes to not listening to God. I am amazed at the things I do when I could simply rest and listen. If I am not listening, I am definitely not praying.

“It was not of faith, else why ‘disguise’ himself? There is no record of any prayer before the battle, as in the case of so many of his godly ancestors; and this rash act of Josiah seems unaccountable.” – Knapp

There are so many promises of safety from God, why do I choose to ignore Him when He is talking to me.

He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. The old things have disappeared.” – Revelation 21: 4 GNT

I am reminded that if I had turned my back on God somewhere along my journey, He is still there waiting for me and willing to walk with me.

The Lord Almighty answers, “I will send my messenger to prepare the way for me. Then the Lord you are looking for will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger you long to see will come and proclaim my covenant.” – Malachi 3:1 GNT

I am thankful for God’s goodness and His grace. His promises are there for me because of His goodness and His faithfulness. His patience and His mercy see me through to the end.

Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!” – John 20:28-29 GNT

I make progress as I grow in maturity by confessing Jesus – the one I cannot not see from time to time and yet who I believe in all the time.

Father, I am not too sure why I fight battles that are not mine to fight. I am not too sure why I do not listen to advice that is given to me. I am even more unsure of myself when I think that You are not looking at me, watching me, knowing what I am thinking and doing – bascially thinking that I am fooling You. How do I come to such a place? Your promises are clear and simple and generous and yet I find a way to walk off the path. Thank you for making my journey of faith Your business. You come and find me and walk with me until I am firmly growing in my faith, coming to a place where I do not have to see to believe, but am able to believe without having to see. Thank You.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 2 Chronicles, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, John, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Malachi, New Testament, Old Testament, Revelation

2 Chron. 26; Rev. 13; Zech. 9; John 12

“Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Amaziah, had done. Uzziah sought God during the days of Zechariah, who taught him to fear God. And as long as the king sought guidance from the Lord, God gave him success…But when he became powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall…”Get out of the sanctuary, for you have sinned. The Lord God will not honor you for this!” Uzziah, who was holding an incense burner, became furious. But as he was standing there raging at the priests before the incense altar in the Lord’s Temple, leprosy suddenly broke out on his forehead.” 2 Chronicles 26: 3-23

King Uzziah let pride be his downfall. God can turn any heart around, but Uzziah let anger control him. Small acts of faithfulness don’t always seem significant at the time. But, God honors them. I think on legacy. It’s not easy to have an eternal perspective in this world. What will I be remembered for?

“Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.” John 12:25&26

Am I serving God with a humble heart?

“Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the Synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.” John 12:42&43 NLT

Dear Father, I pray for a deeper trust in you. That I wouldn’t easily be swayed by the opinions and praise of others. That I would desire you more than anything else. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Filed under 2 Chronicles, John, Revelation, Uncategorized, Zechariah