Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
All those I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent! Listen! I am standing at the door and knocking! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into his home and share a meal with him, and he with me. I will grant the one who conquers permission to sit with me on my throne, just as I too conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 3.19-22
Life can be overwhelming and can seem so urgent. Everything on our to-do list were things that should have been done yesterday! Or so we think. The seemingly urgent things clamor for our attention like a siren. They interrupt our lives and many times throw it into a chaotic mess. In our verses today, we see Jesus standing at the door and knocking. He is knocking at the door of our lives and of our hearts. Notice that he does not burst through the door and force us to eat with him. No, we have to open the door. We have to allow him entrance. Listen! Do you hear his voice? He is telling us there is a different way. He disciplines us with love. He calls us to repent. He calls us to change our ways. Do we hear him? Are we listening? In Matthew 11.28-30 Jesus issues an invitation. He invites us to take on his yoke and learn from him. I have to listen to what he has to say. I have to learn from him. I do that through the word of God. At the end of my life, will I have permission to sit with him on his throne? I want to be a conqueror! Do you? Let’s open the door.
#risingjoy #Revelation #invitation
Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
Will the Lord accept a thousand rams, or ten thousand streams of olive oil? Should I give him my firstborn child as payment for my rebellion, my offspring – my own flesh and blood – for my sin? He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord really wants from you: He wants you to promote justice, to be faithful, and to live obediently before your God. Listen! The Lord is calling to the city! It is wise to respect your authority, O Lord! Listen, O nation, and those assembled in the city! Micah 6.7-9
God does not leave us in the dark about what he wants. He is very clear in his word. However, we are not convicted of that fact nor at times do we want to listen to what he has to say. We tell ourselves that is does not matter what we do, we will be accepted since he is a loving God. We go through the rituals thinking that is enough when we could not be further from the truth. God does not want ritual worship. The good thing is that for the one who is truly interested, God has told us what he wants. He is the source of all that is good. He has told us what he wants us to do. He wants us to promote justice. I need to live making choices that are right, correct. He wants me to be faithful. I must live out my faith believing in the one who makes that possible. Finally I must live obediently before God. He has put everything within my reach. It is all there in his word. I must make the effort to learn what his will is and obey it. I must respect his authority. Micah the prophet made this appeal hundreds of years ago to God’s people. It is an appeal that we still need to make today.
#risingjoy #Micah #revelation
“And I saw the holy city – the new Jerusalem – descending out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband.”
What a blessing it must have been for John to have seen this vision! For this he has waited and prepared all his life. And he offers the vision to those who may see it before he does.
Christians know that beyond the grave lies the heavenly city of God. To be eternally with him motivates them. How much does heaven occupy my thoughts and dreams?
#votd #Revelation #heaven
“Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing is secret that will not be made known.”
Why guard against hypocrisy, such as the Pharisees demonstrated? v. 1 Because it will all come to light in the future. Fear of man causes dissimulation, v. 4, but fear of God should lead to honesty and transparency, v. 5.
Human drama derives from secrets. (Read any novel.) Divine redemption occurs from revelation and knowledge. We move from one to the other by confession.
#votd #Luke #revelation
“Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God.”
Revelation 3.2 NLT
Many in the Sardis church did not live up to God’s standards. He has requirements that must be met. If they are not, judgment draws near, v. 3.
The whole Bible makes clear that God requires certain things. These things are not hard to understand. Nor are they difficult to obey. Are you up to his requirements?
#votd #Revelation #requirements
“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.”
With these words end the book of Revelation and the New Testament. It is a note of grace, a focus on Christ, a prayer that everyone be included in the hope of salvation.
Is my life a demonstration of God’s grace? Does everything revolve around the Lord Jesus? Do my prayers and actions seek to extend his grace to all?
#votd #Revelation #conclusion
“The Lord’s spirit spoke through me;
his word was on my tongue.
The God of Israel spoke,
the protector of Israel spoke to me.”
2 Samuel 23.2-3
David’s final words reflect his consciousness of God speaking to and through him. The Holy Spirit spoke through David, Acts 1.16. Many of his writings are in Scripture.
God blessed us by recording in Scripture many of the great events of salvation history, by inspiration of those involved. They deserve our full attention.
#votd #inspiration #revelation
“I spoke to the prophets;
it was I who gave vision after vision:
I declared my mind through them.”
Hosea 12.10 REB
REB interprets the third line, which NET reads as “I spoke in parables through the prophets.” The revelation throught the prophets, like Hosea, was one of judgment and repentance.
God continues to communicate to us today through the prophets and inspired apostles, whose writings are contained in the Bible. We must give even greater heed to them, now that Jesus has come.
#votd #prophets #revelation
“The one who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon!’ Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.”
The very last words of the Bible include a promise from the Lord Jesus, a prayer and a blessing. Jesus promises to return. This is the desire of his people. In the meantime, they live in his grace and work for it to reach everyone.
In Christ suffering makes sense. His death means victory now. His coming means eternal bliss. What does it mean to live in the Lord’s grace now?
#second-coming #Revelation #VOTD
“To the one who loves us and has set us free from our sins at the cost of his own blood and has appointed us as a kingdom, as priests serving his God and Father—to him be the glory and the power for ever and ever! Amen.”
John’s greeting to the seven congregations in Asia includes praise to Christ. His three-fold description of the Lord’s work begins with love.
Write your own praise to Christ and include other biblical descriptions of what Christ has done for his people.
#love #Revelation #VOTD
“I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have so that no one can take away your crown.”
The Lord Jesus urged the Philadelphian church to remain faithful, not losing their reward soon to be awarded them.
How does Jesus’ coming serve as motivation? What is involved in holding on? To what does Jesus refer that we have?
#faithfulness #Revelation #VOTD
“I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy contained in this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.”
At the end of his prophecy, the apostle John applies a general principle to his book. Appearing as it does at the end of the canon, it also serves as a warning to the complete word of God.
How is the principle of reciprocity applied here?
#respect #revelation #VOTD
As the Book of Revelation is being finished, John falls down to worship God’s angel who had showed these things to the Apostle. “Then he said to me, ‘See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.’ And he said to me, ‘Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand'” (Revelation 22:9-10 NKJV). First, angels must not be worshiped, for their message is only what God said. Only God is to be worshiped. Secondly, Christians who obey “this book,” are as acceptable to God as angels, Apostles, and the prophets. Third, the Book of Revelation prophecied only of events soon to happen, or “at hand.” Everyone who tries to see in the Book of Revelation hundreds or thousands of years in the future must be calling the angel of God a “liar!”
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
It sure seems like he did. See this passage:
After Josiah had done all this for the temple, King Necho of Egypt marched up to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River. Josiah marched out to oppose him. Necho sent messengers to him, saying, “Why are you opposing me, O king of Judah? I am not attacking you today, but the kingdom with which I am at war. God told me to hurry. Stop opposing God, who is with me, or else he will destroy you.” But Josiah did not turn back from him; he disguised himself for battle. He did not take seriously the words of Necho which he had received from God; he went to fight him in the Plain of Megiddo. 2 Chron 35.20-22
It’s not terribly unusual for God to speak to pagans, even foreign kings. But this is a twist: a foreign king speaking the word of God to a king of Judah. One supposes that if God can make a donkey can speak to a prophet, he can make a pagan king speak to his anointed one.
It could have been through a dream. Apparently, the Chronicler has Spirit inspiration behind him to confirm that it was God who spoke to Necho. But how would Josiah have figured that out? What expectation would he have that this pagan ruler was actually bringing him a revelation from God? It’s a passage that puzzles me.
Got any perspectives on it?
Irks me to no end to hear or read the phrase “preacher for ___ church.” You’ll note that we avoid it in places like Brotherhood News and Forthright Magazine. Sure, Paul can call himself a servant of the church, but the modern phrase comes from a far inferior concept — an employer-employee mentality, exactly part of the problem today in the American church. Continue reading