Archive for Devotional Companion to Revelation

Evil’s False Power

A reflection on Revelation 17:7-18,
the Lamb’s victory over the beast

Just as the appeal of evil is a lie,
so its power is a lie.
All reality has only
one Master,
one Creator,
one King.

Evil is built on
a truth,
a world,
a good,
a reality
outside of God, and
no such reality exists.
No such good exists.

Evil is self-deceived, and
in the end,
it will self-destruct.
It will unwittingly serve the purposes of
the one Master,
the one Creator.

Outside of Him, everything is only
a lie,
a shadow,
a false hope,
without substance,
emptiness,
nothingness.

All truth,
all good,
all power
is in God alone. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Great Lord of All Reality
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Evil’s False Face

A prayer response to Revelation 17:1-6,
the doom of Babylon

Temptation comes
appearing to be alluring beauty,
pretending to provide something good,
offering pleasant and harmless stimulation.

But Father, help me to see evil for what it
really is and
always is:
destructive,
ugly,
cruel,
corrupt, and
deadly.
Its appeal is a pretense,
always shallow and
always a lie.
It is unable to give anything
good or
lasting.
It is impotent,
unwise,
unbeautiful, and
unloving.
The tempter is a sworn enemy of all that is good.
His purpose is always to
steal,
kill, and
destroy (John 10:10).
Following him always leads to
disappointment and
failure.

But Father, I cannot handle temptation on my own.
When it comes, help me to immediately
turn to You and
trust You to deliver me.
And when I fail,
help me to repent immediately,
knowing that You are always eager to
forgive and
restore completely.

You are good, Father, and
Your love endures forever! 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Soldiers of Christ, Arise
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Stay Ready

A reflection on Revelation 16,
the pouring out of the bowls of wrath

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9, NASB)

Our loving God is so patient.
He seems to
delay and
delay and
delay His return,
anxious for all to repent and come to Him.

But our patient God will not delay forever.
He warns us that after delays that seem endless,
the end will come suddenly.
The God who has waited for so long will move
quickly and decisively.
That is His way.
He will come unexpectedly,
like a thief in the night.

Turn to Him
now.
Give yourself completely to Him
now.
Whatever good you know to do,
do it now.

The only way to be ready for
that unknown day and hour is to
stay ready.
Stay busy at your assigned task.
Stay faithful.
Keep your hopes and desires focused on
Him alone. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Christ Is Coming! Lift Your Eyes!
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Now Is the Time

A reflection on Revelation 16,
the pouring out of the bowls of wrath

As the Lord delighted over you to prosper you, and multiply you, so the Lord will delight over you to make you perish and destroy you…You shall find no rest…the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and despair of soul. (Deuteronomy 28:63-65, NASB)

We live in a day of grace.
The Father is patient,
tirelessly reaching out,
eager to draw everyone back to Himself.
Believers and unbelievers alike live in a world where,
even in its corrupt state,
we are bathed in God’s
power,
wisdom, and
ever-present goodness.

But this day of grace will not last forever.
Soon all these gifts and graces that we
ungratefully, arrogantly take for granted
will be gone.
When that day arrives,
the unrepentant will be stubbornly blocking God’s path to the
the pure and beautiful world He has promised.
They will be standing between
the God of fierce love and
the eternal welfare of His children.
They will have sealed their own fate.
By ignoring God, they will have sided with His enemy,
the one who hates God and
all who are His,
the one God has sworn to destroy.

The day of mercy will have passed.
The day of judgment will have come.
God will do what He must do:
He will show Himself holy.
He will show Himself just.
He will keep His promise to purify His world.
Those who have clung to their sin,
who have distanced themselves from Him,
will be given what they have freely chosen.
They will be left outside,
away from the only Source of all
light and
love and
goodness.
All that will be left for them is
pain,
darkness,
gnawing hatred, and
deep, complete, unrelenting need.

Now is the time for repentance.
Now is the day of salvation.
Now is the time to
choose Him. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Mighty Day
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Your Wrath Against Sin

A prayer response to Revelation 15:5-8,
a prelude to God pouring out His wrath

Father, Your wrath against sin is
deep,
total, and
irreconcilable.
You are eternally, unalterably opposed to
anything that
harms Your dearly-loved children or
separates them from You.

Your wrath against sin is not
a temper tantrum or
a passing mood.
It is a fierce,
holy,
burning,
almighty love
that refuses to accept anything but
our very best in You, our
fullness and
completeness and
unbounded joy.

Our freedom from sin is precious to You.
You bought it
with Your Son
and paid for it
with His life.

Thank You, loving Father,
for Your uncompromising wrath against sin.
You deliver us completely from its awful curse.
Praise to You! 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Your Ceaseless, Unexhausted Love
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Tell Your Story

A reflection on Revelation 15:1-4,
a vision of victorious believers in heaven

Like all of God’s children,
we each have our own stories to tell,
amazing stories about
God’s deliverance,
God’s grace,
God’s faithfulness.
Though all our stories express the same truth,
each is unique.
Our backgrounds,
our life situations,
our sins and struggles
are highly varied.
Yet together,
they form a vast and stunning mosaic of the one
glorious,
gracious,
unchanging God.

Only together,
as we each tell our own story,
can we truly and fully proclaim the God who is
always Almighty,
always loving,
always wise,
always faithful,
always merciful,
always forgiving,
always sufficient for every need,
always true,
always just, and
always,
always,
always good.

Join the symphony!
We are incomplete without you!
Praise our God as only you can!
Tell your story! 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: We Look Behind at All You’ve Done
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Energetic Waiting

A prayer response to Revelation 14:6-20,
visions of the last days

Father, You call us to
wait on You.
But the waiting You want is not
passive.
Waiting on You is
active and
energetic.
You call us to wait
focused on You,
trusting You,
obeying You,
glorifying You,
serving You wholeheartedly,
eagerly anticipating
our full joining with You.

Father, we believe that You are
all You say You are.
We believe You will do
all You say You will do.
You say You will judge the world
in perfect righteousness.
You say Your judgment
could come at any moment.
You say Your judgment
will determine our eternal destiny:
deep and endless life or
deep and endless death,
unending joy in You or
unspeakable separation from You.

So, today and every day
we will await Your coming
actively and
energetically.
Our hearts will be standing at the door,
waiting,
listening, and
longing for You. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Come, Our Lord!
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We Wait on You

A prayer response to Revelation 14:6-20,
a series of visions

Father, a voice within me is screaming:
“We are tired of waiting!
God, it’s time for You to act!
You see what Your world is going through!
How can You just sit by and do nothing?”

“Lord, I am tired of waiting!
I am ready to act myself!
I have ideas!
I have big plans!
But when I ask You to guide and provide,
the only response I hear is
silence.”

Father, I know what Your silence means.
Your silence tells me to wait on You.
Your Word tells me to wait on You.
My history of failure tells me to wait on You.
The saints of all the ages implore me to
wait
on
You.

So today I will simply be Your humble servant.
Today I will joyfully perform the little services
You give me to perform.
Today I will be loving and kind.
Today I will be faithful.
Today I will be prayerful.
Today I will listen for Your whispers
and obey.
Today I will remain fully available to You
moment by moment.

Father, Your ways are always wise, and
Your timing is always perfect.
I will wait on You.
We will wait on You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Waiting for Our Lord
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Wholeheartedly Yours

A prayer response to Revelation 14:1-5,
the 144,000 on Mt. Zion

Father Creator,
Savior Son,
Life-giving Spirit,
I am Yours –
completely,
joyfully,
eternally,
wholeheartedly Yours!

My love is Yours.
As Your bride,
my heart’s desire is
You alone.

My life is Yours.
As Your creation,
each daily thought,
action, and
breath is Yours.
Pour out my life in any manner You choose.

My worship is Yours.
I want nothing else,
seek nothing else, and
serve no one else
but You, Sovereign Lord.
My heart, my mind,
my mouth, my hands
exist only to
fellowship with You and
glorify You.
My joy is Your presence.
My ambition is Your approval.
My destiny is to stand before You
among Your people,
lifting Your eternal praise with all creation.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Give God What Is God’s
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Stay Focused on the Truth

A reflection on Revelation 13:11-18,
the beast from the earth

When [Satan] lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44, NIV)

Sovereign God is
all power,
all wisdom, and
all love.
He Himself is life and
all goodness.
He is the truth,
the one eternal, universal reality.
He is All-in-all.

Thus Satan’s only weapon is deception.
When he lies, he speaks his native language.
When he speaks,
his purpose is always to deceive.
He will even use half-truths as
weapons of deceit,
just as he did with Jesus in the wilderness.

In his last desperate days on earth, he will
re-enforce his lies with false wonders that
promise a power he does not possess.
He will increase persecution of God’s children with
social pressure,
economic suffering, and
physical force.
Most people will accept his lies, and
believers will pay for the truth
with their lives.

Jesus Christ is always the truth.
He alone is
universal,
eternal,
glorious reality.
Keep your mind,
your heart, and
your daily life
focused on Him.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: I Have the Truth
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