Category Archives: 27 – Revelation

Worship God


Daily Bible Reading – Ezekiel 42-44; Revelation 22

Today’s Key Passage – Revelation 22:8-9

 

In 2011, my wife and I started watching a new television show called Buried Treasure.   In it, two brothers travel across the country helping people find unknown treasures and antiques that they have in their homes.  We enjoyed watching it because many of the people on the show have a legitimate need for the money they will get from selling their possessions.  Whether it is a family that needs to pay medical bills or a father wanting to provide for his adult children, people’s financial circumstances can be changed in an instant when something of value is found in their homes.  Unfortunately, there was a downside to this show.  We saw several occasions where treasures were found that could really help a family pay their bills, but the owners refused to sell because of an emotional attachment to the items.  In some cases, the attachment people had to their possessions seemed dangerously close to idolatry.

I thought about this show today as I read our key passage.  Near the end of his book of Revelation, the apostle John is reflecting on all of the things he has been shown by the angel of the Lord.  He had witnessed miraculous things firsthand, and must have felt overwhelmed when he fell down at the feet of the angel to worship him. (22:8)  Immediately, the angel corrected him and told him that he was simply a fellow servant and that John should only worship God. (22:9)

So often in this life, we can be tempted to worship something or someone other than God.  Sometimes it is a possession that we really like.  Other times it is a person that we place on a pedestal, such as a public figure, a pastor, or even a spouse.  While most of us are aware that worshiping money or possessions is a sin, we can sometimes forget this when it comes to people.  There is a fine line between respect or admiration and idolatry.  It is important that we keep in mind that every person on this earth, regardless of position, is simply a fellow servant of God (whether the person recognizes it or not).  I pray that today we will all ask ourselves what or whom we are worshiping, and I hope we will all resign to only worship God.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

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Measuring Up


Daily Bible Reading – Ezekiel 40, 41; Psalm 128; Revelation 21

Today’s Key Passage – Exekiel 40:28-37; Revelation 21:15-17

 

In today’s Bible reading, we are bombarded with measurements.  First, we see extensive measurements for God’s blueprint for the new temple given to the prophet Ezekiel.  Then, we see the measurements for the New Jerusalem in the book of Revelation.  What struck me as I read these words was the shear perfection of it all.  In the blueprints for the new temple, the measurements for all of the gates, alcoves, walls, and porticos were exactly the same. (Ezekiel 40:28-37)  In the New Jerusalem, the measurements are all multiples of 12, corresponding to the twelve tribes in Israel and the twelve disciples of Christ. (Revelation 21:15-17)  In both cases, God is going to dwell in these places, and they will both be absolutely perfect.

As I was thinking about the perfection of God’s dwelling places today, I was reminded of how badly each of us measure up to His Holy standard.  We are all far from perfect.  Fortunately, we do not need to find perfection on our own.  When we put our faith and trust in Christ and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, God’s Holy Spirit comes and lives in our hearts.  When our perfect God comes to live in us, He makes His new home absolutely perfect.  He forgives us of all of our past, present, and future sins, and washes us clean of all unrighteousness.  In His eyes, we become as perfect as the measurements in our reading today.  Let us all praise Him today for the perfection He has given us, and for allowing us to measure up to His standards not by our own deeds, but through the perfect sacrifice of His Son.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Satan’s Defeat


Daily Bible Reading – Ezekiel 38, 39; Psalm 145; Revelation 20

Today’s Key Passage – Revelation 20:1-10

 

In September 2011, some friends and I went to the theater to see the movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  We walked into the movie with great anticipation, but I must admit that all of us left a little disappointed.  We were hoping to watch a dramatic, drawn-out battle in the movie, but what we found instead was about an hour and forty minutes of building followed by about 15 minutes of actual battle, which left us unsatisfied.

Those looking for a long, drawn-out battle will not find it in Revelation 20 either.  Though the entire book of Revelation (and really the entire Bible) builds toward a battle between the forces of good and evil, the actual event is quite short.  In fact, Satan’s ultimate defeat – the event we have waited for since his first appearance in Genesis – is dealt with in a single sentence.  When I thought about this today, I concluded that I believe God did this on purpose.  I believe God wanted John to only spend one sentence on Satan’s final destruction as a way of demonstrating His power.  There is no doubt that Satan is powerful.  There is no doubt that he attacks us and that his attacks can be quite strong sometimes.  The wonderful truth, though, is that as powerful as Satan may be, he is no match for God.  Our Lord Jesus is so powerful, in fact, that He can dispense with Satan in a single blow, and can throw him into the lake of burning sulfur to be “tormented day and night for ever and ever”. (20:10)  While this battle will be short, it will not leave any one of us unsatisfied, because Satan’s defeat will mark the end of all evil and sin.  What a glorious day that will be indeed.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Our Protective Father


Daily Bible Reading – 2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 36; Jeremiah 40, 41; Revelation 12

Today’s Key Passage – Revelation 12

When I was a child, I always felt safe when I was with my Dad.  No matter what happened, I knew he would protect me and would never let anything bad happen to me.  Our key passage today provides us with the same picture of our Heavenly Father.  The apostle John describes a woman who is getting ready to give birth to a child, the Messiah (Vs. 2), and a dragon, Satan, waiting to devour the child as soon as He is born (Vs. 4).  Fortunately, God intervenes and saves the child (Vs. 5), to Satan’s dismay.  The enemy tries to attack the woman, but God prepared a place for her in the desert (Vs. 6), gave her wings (Vs. 14), and saved her from a flood (Vs. 16).

As followers of Christ, we are all going to face attacks from the enemy.  The good news is that just as God protected the woman, He will protect us.  Our loving Father provides us with everything we need to thwart Satan’s attacks.  He prepares a place for us in His heart and His home, He gives us wings and allows us to escape the enemy through His Word, and He saves us from eternal destruction.  God is our protective Father, and He will never allow Satan to harm our secure salvation.  Praise Him today for His protection, and rest in His loving embrace.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Eating the Little Scroll


Daily Bible Reading – Ezekiel 25-28; Revelation 10

Today’s Key Passage – Revelation 10:1-11

 

In today’s key passage, the prophecy of God’s final judgment continues through the apostle John.  A mighty angel comes down from Heaven carrying a little scroll. (Vss. 1-2)  While we are not told exactly what the scroll contained because John was told not to provide details (Vs. 4), we do know that it had to do with God’s judgment on unbelievers. (Vss. 6-7)  John was told to take the scroll from the angel (Vs. 8), and when he did, the angel told John to eat it. (Vs. 9)  When he did, just as the angel predicted, the scroll tasted as sweet as honey in John’s mouth, but quickly soured his stomach. (Vs. 10)

When we first read passages like these in the book of Revelation, we might feel a little confused.  We may not immediately understand what the passage means to us today or how we can apply it to our lives.  Fortunately, the more we study God’s Word and prayerfully consider His passages, God tends to provide us with understanding and show us an application.  When we read about God’s final judgments against this world, as followers of Christ the words are as sweet as honey.  We long for Christ’s victorious return and we long for the new earth.  Unfortunately, there is another side to that coin.  While we rejoice in what the end times will mean for us as believers, our stomachs quickly sour as we think about the fate of unbelievers.  There are so many people in this world that will be lost, and that simple fact hurts our hearts and makes us feel ill.  This sickening feeling is what drives us to continue to spread the Gospel each day, and to keep trying to reach the lost.  As God changes our hearts, we begin to grieve for the things that grieve Him, and nothing grieves Him more than the thought of a lost soul.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

A Hardened Heart


Daily Bible Reading – Ezekiel 22-24; Revelation 9

Today’s Key Passage – Revelation 9:20-21

 

For the last few days, we have been reading about God’s judgments during the end times in the book of Revelation.  At this point in our reading, the people of earth have already experienced the seven seal judgments and most of the seven trumpet judgments.  So far, they have seen many things including a great earthquake, hail and fire mixed with blood, a mountain thrown into the sea, and the darkening of a third of the sun and the moon.  In today’s reading, they faced a plague of locusts and the release of the four fallen angels.  Up to this point in the prophecy, over one-half of the world’s population will have been killed by God’s judgments.  Amazingly, even after seeing all of these things, there will still be people who will refuse to repent of their sins and turn to God. (Vss. 20-21)

When we read today’s key passage, most of us will probably think that the people who refuse to repent must be some sort of super-villains.  The truth is that each of these people will start their lives as innocent babies just like the rest of us.  The reason they will be unable to repent is that their hearts will be so hardened toward God following years of sin.  This is the way sin works.  These people will not wake up one day and just decide to be evil.  Their hearts will become hardened over time until eventually they will be unable to recognize God at all.  This is why sin is so dangerous, and why we must be careful not to rationalize sin in our lives.  One sin leads to two, which leads to dozens, which ultimately leads to a hardened heart.  Fortunately, when we confess our sins as soon as we recognize them, and completely turn away from them, we can save our hearts from becoming hardened toward God.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

A Glimpse of Heaven


Daily Bible Reading – Ezekiel 8-11; Revelation 4

Today’s Key Passage – Revelation 4:2-11

 

Recently I was browsing through an airport bookstore while waiting for a flight, when I noticed a large number of books about Heaven.  The spirituality section was littered with books on this topic, including several books from authors claiming to have seen Heaven during a near death experience.  Typically, books like these do really well, often ending up on the New York Times’ bestseller list, because most people are interested in finding out more about the afterlife.  Christians and non-Christians alike buy these books hoping to get a small glimpse into what Heaven might be like.  Fortunately, we do not have to go to these lengths to find out about Heaven, and we do not have to worry about the legitimacy or motives behind the author’s account.  If we truly want a glimpse of Heaven, we need to look no further than today’s key passage.

The apostle John was shown a vision of Heaven, which he relays to us in our reading today.  In his vision, he is taken to the throne room of God where he describes God (Vs. 3), elders (Vs. 4), and living creatures covered with eyes and wings. (Vs. 6)  The living creatures spend day and night continually praising God (Vs.  8), and when they do, the twenty-four elders fall down before the throne of God in worship to Him. (Vss. 9-11)  If you are looking for a glimpse of what Heaven is like, this is it!  It is a place where everyone and everything spends all of their time praising God.  Most of the promises of our new home, like our new bodies that never feel pain or sorrow, are things we will have to wait to receive, but we can begin living today as if we were already there.  We can live every day in the presence of God, and we can continually give, “glory, honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever”. (Vs. 9)

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

New Beginnings


Daily Bible Reading – Revelation 19-22

Today’s Key Passage – Revelation 21:1-27

 

Just as God created the heavens and the earth in Genesis, in the end God will create a new heaven and a new earth.  This new place will be the eternal home of His children.  They will live with Him every day, and there will be no evil, no sin, no pain, and no tears.  The New Jerusalem will be a new beginning for all of His people.

Today, we look back over the past year and give thanks to God for everything He has given us and for all He has done in our lives.  We also look forward into the new year for all that it will hold.  If you have not yet begun a personal relationship with Jesus Christ – if you have been holding back or waiting, or if you have any doubts in your mind that your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life – let today be the day of your new beginning with Him.  If you have found yourself growing further and further away from God in the past year, let today be your new beginning as you draw closer to Him.  No matter what part of the journey you are on, today can be a new beginning for you.

“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” (Revelation 22:17)

I pray that all of you have a happy and blessed new year.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Fall of Babylon


Daily Bible Reading – Revelation 15-18

Today’s Key Passage – Revelation 18:11-17

 

In Revelation, John refers to the evil world and all of God’s enemies as Babylon.  The people of Babylon lived in luxury.  Material possessions, money, and power were the norm, and the people of Babylon refused to repent of their greed before God.  In Revelation 18:7, the city of Babylon boasted, “I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn”.  Chapter 18 of Revelation shows us the fall of Babylon.  It depicts the collapse of the world’s economic system, and the effect this has on the people living in the world.  For the inhabitants of Babylon who spent their entire lives building up wealth, power, and possessions, the end of it all will be severe.  These people will lose everything when Babylon collapses.  God will destroy everything they have worked for their entire lives in less than an hour.

The fall of Babylon illustrates the temporary nature of earthly treasures.  A large savings account or 401K may seem important to some people right now, but in less than an hour, it will all be destroyed in the end.  In today’s key passage, the voice from heaven was prophesying against the greedy merchants of Babylon.  The voice lists merchandise that illustrates the materialism of the society – luxury items that were not essential that the people of Babylon attempted to store up for themselves.  The list includes “cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages”. If we take a careful look at this list, many of us will see some similarities to items we have in our own homes.  As followers of Christ, we must all be on guard against greed and the power of money.  God wants us to work and provide for our families, but He does not want us to become so enslaved to wealth that money and material possessions become more important than people, or even worse, more important than God.  Use your riches to advance God’s kingdom.  Everything we possess belongs to God anyway, so why not use our time, money, and talents for His purposes?  The things we can buy and store up – the luxury items that we do not truly need – will all be destroyed in the end.  When we help others with our treasures, we do not have to fear the fall of Babylon, because treasures in Heaven can never be destroyed.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Singing a New Song Before the Throne


Daily Bible Reading – Revelation 10-14

Today’s Key Passage – Revelation 14:1-5

 

In chapters 12 and 13 of Revelation, we are told a lot about the battle between good and evil.  In chapter 12 we find out about Satan being cast down to earth, and in chapter 13 we are introduced to the unholy trinity – Satan, the beast of the sea, and the beast of the earth.  Both chapters are very dark and tell about Satan’s time in power on the earth.  Fortunately, even though Satan has been given some authority over the earth in these two chapters, it is clear that God is still ultimately in control.  At the beginning of chapter 14, we finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  We see the lamb (Jesus) standing with 144,000 people.  The 144,000 represent the believers who have persevered the reign of Satan on the earth.  They have Jesus name as well as God’s name written on their foreheads – they have been marked as God’s people.  These 144,000 follow the Lamb wherever he goes.  Scripture also says that these 144,000 were purchased by the blood of Christ, and they are blameless in the sight of God.

Then 144,000 endured great hardship and persecution on the earth during Satan’s reign, but they are now ready to enjoy the fruits of their labor.  Though they faced terrible things, they remained faithful to God and are now receiving their ultimate reward – eternity with the Father.  Like the 144,000, each of us has been purchased at a price.  Our eternal freedom was bought and paid for by Christ’s defeat over death at the cross.  We still face hardships.  We still face strife.  We may be ridiculed or even persecuted for our faith, but just like the 144,000, each of us has a choice.  We can succumb to the pressures of the world and go along with Satan and his evil plans, or we can remain faithful to God.  We can follow Jesus wherever He goes.  Each time temptation strikes, we can remember the price God paid for us.  We can remember the cross of Christ.  If we remain faithful to God, even during the darkest of hours, we know that our reward will be waiting for us.  We know there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.  We know that Jesus will welcome us into heaven, where we too can learn a new song of praise for God.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

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