Archive for Devotional Companion to Revelation

We Follow Jesus

A reflection on Revelation 11:7-13,
the triumph of the two witnesses

We are the followers of Jesus Christ,
His disciples,
His friends,
His brothers and sisters,
His body,
His bride.
As we are true to Him,
we will be treated like Him
by the world and
by You, Father.

In this world we will share His rejection,
His scorn,
His humiliation.
We will be disbelieved,
misunderstood,
mocked,
falsely accused, and
unfairly treated.
We will walk with Him
through suffering
to the cross,
to the tomb.

But as You raised Him,
You will raise us to eternal life.
Death can never touch us again.
In Him we will share
His triumph,
His glory,
His authority,
His constant and complete oneness with You, our Father.

Looking to Him,
seeing Him,
we leave everything else behind,
eagerly and completely.
We only want to
know Christ,
gain Christ, and
be found forever in Christ.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: We Are in Christ Jesus
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Who We Are in You

A prayer response to Revelation 11:1-6,
the two witnesses

Father, we seem so small in this large and hostile world.

But You are Almighty God, and
we are Your presence here.
Make us Your light
in this dark place.
Make us Your truth
amid all this deception.
May we be Your healing touch
where so many are suffering.
May we glow with Your joy
in this world of shadow and sorrow.
Let us shine with the beauty of Your holiness
where all is twisted by evil.
O Lord, help us be
Your generous hand to those in need,
the breath of Your peace to those who fear, and
the good news of grace to all who are crushed by guilt.

As we live in Your Spirit,
we are Your people,
Your witnesses,
Your body,
Your temple,
Your holy bride.

O Father, keep us faithful to
who You are and
who we are in You.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Reconciled in Christ
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Soul Food

A prayer response to Revelation 10:8-11,
eating the little book

Father, Your Word is
truth.
Your Word is
reality.
Your Word is Your heart, Father,
Your will,
Your wisdom,
Your light in our darkness.
Your Word is
the blessing You long to pour out on everyone You love.

Your Word is not just
facts to be filed or
knowledge to fill the mind.
Your Word is food,
not just for our bodies,
but for our complete selves.
Your Word is nourishment
to be thoroughly digested
so that Your Spirit can turn it into
action,
service,
beauty,
holiness, and
love.

Your Word is life.
Speak, Father!
Your children are hungry.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Is There Any Word from the Lord?
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When God Speaks

A reflection on Revelation 10:1-7,
the vision of the mighty angel

In God, reality is
bigger than we can imagine and
more glorious than we can picture.

His Word is the source of all existence.
All that is
only exists
because He commanded it.
Thus His promises are
more sure than our fiercest convictions,
more solid than anything we perceive with our senses,
more certain than tomorrow’s sunrise.

God Himself is power.
He Himself is wisdom.
He is light and truth and
faithfulness itself.
He is love
complete,
perfect, and
O so beautiful!

So when He speaks,
when the Creator and Lord of all speaks, be
quick to hear and
slow to speak (James 1:19).
His speaking is a great mercy.
His words are life.
Listen…
Listen!
Then throw aside your petty desires and plans and
grab His will with both hands.
Seek it wholeheartedly!
Obey Him
eagerly and
joyfully!

Follow Him
simply,
humbly,
one childlike step at a time.
That is all He ever asks.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: God Is Speaking
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Unshakable Confidence

A reflection on Revelation 6:1 – 11:14

As He faced crucifixion, Jesus shared with His disciples His joyful, unshakable confidence in the Father (John 13 – 16). Here in Revelation 6:1 – 11:14, He portrays the same confidence through a panoramic tapestry of judgment and salvation.

In Revelation 6 He rolls out the judgments of the first six seals. He climaxes the account with the sobering question, The great day of the wrath of God and the Lamb has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:17, para.).

He answers that question in chapter 7 by giving us two visions of the Church during those dark days. Both the Church on earth (7:1-8) and the Church in heaven (7:9-17) are absolutely secure under the care and protection of Almighty God.

Revelation 8 – 9 resumes God’s awesome judgments, which are growing ever more intense.  He is calling unbelievers to repentance through afflictions that are increasingly severe. But where is the Church in that disintegrating world? Revelation 10:1 – 11:14 gives the answer: the Church is faithfully witnessing to God’s unchanging truth. We are joyfully glorifying Him, even in the darkest times and places.

Thus the broad canvas of Revelation lays out the same truth that Jesus spoke to His disciples as He faced death:

  • Even in the most severe persecution, we are absolutely secure in the Father.
  • Even the deepest sorrow cannot take away our joy and peace in Christ.
  • Eternal gain continues through all earthly loss.
  • “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NASB).

 

Child of God, in life and death, sickness and sorrow, pain and persecution, you have nothing to fear. Not today. Not ever! Thanks be to God!

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Father, in This Suffering
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The Foolishness of Unbelief

A prayer response to Revelation 9:13-21,
the sixth trumpet

Father, uproot from my heart and life
all the foolishness of unbelief.

You created me.
You shared Yourself
with me and
through me.
You redeemed me.
When I didn’t know You and had
no inclination toward You whatsoever,
You poured out Your life for me.
Yet I still struggle to trust You completely with needs that are
right now,
in the real world.
When the pain is pressing and I feel no relief,
I still doubt.
When the answer doesn’t come when and how I expect,
I waver.
You know it’s true, Father.

You are the only Source and complete reservoir of all
love,
power, and
wisdom.
All that I see, touch, and know
came from You alone.
Yet it’s still not automatic to trust that
You and all Your promises are
absolutely real and
absolutely certain.

I trust material things and not You?
Money and not You?
Myself and not You?

Father, continue to uproot all this nonsense from my
thinking and
doing.
How many times do You have to prove Yourself to me?
I do believe in You.
I do know, from reason and experience, that You are
completely true,
always responsive, and
unfailingly faithful.
Infuse all I am with that simple faith.

You are the most real thing in all my world.
Help me to live like it.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Lord, Why Am I Anxious?
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You Call Me Back

A prayer response to Revelation 8:13 – 9:12 (see also 9:20-21),
the fifth trumpet

Father, everything calls me to You.
You are All-in-all.
All things flow
from You,
through You, and
to You, and
I am drawn always back to You as well.

My joys,
my concerns,
my restlessness
call me to You.
My blessings,
my frustrations,
my deepest desires
cause me to flow back to You,
as surely as the river to the sea.

My strengths are Your gifts, and
they draw me to You
in grateful service.

But more often, Father,
my neediness pulls me back to You,
the Source of so much that I lack.
My failures,
my ignorance,
my weakness,
my inconsistency,
my sickness, blindness,
laziness, and self-centeredness
all call me to You,
on my knees,
face down.

O Father, keep me right here by Your side,
looking to You,
clinging to You,
depending completely on You.
Why should I ever leave?
Keep me here.
The more separation I allow to grow between us,
the more I suffer unnecessarily before getting
back here again.

But Father, above all,
thank You for continuing to
patiently, persistently call me back.
I praise You and worship You
with all my heart,
even through the pain.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Back to You
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God Is Moved by Prayer

A reflection on Revelation 8:3-12,
the first four trumpets 

Sovereign God is moved by the prayers of His people.

He seeks our prayers.
He welcomes our prayers.
He listens to our prayers.
He is pleased with our prayers.
He answers our prayers.

The God of fire acts mightily in response to our prayers.
The Holy God brings justice because we pray.
The God of the Exodus delivers oppressed people because we pray.

Our humble, stumbling prayers rise as fragrant incense
in the throne room of the universe,
in the presence of the Lord of all reality.

Our prayers matter because they align us
with His purposes,
with all He has and all He is.
Our prayers matter because the Sovereign God
says that they matter.

Father, may our prayers rise to You
as constantly as breath,
from hearts of love, warmed by Your love,
in simple, childlike faith.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: As I Pray
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Through Silence and Trumpets

A prayer response to Revelation 8:1-2,
the opening of the seventh seal 

The Lord is in His holy temple.
Let all the earth be silent before Him. (Habakkuk 2:20, NASB)

In the silence,
You are Lord.
In the waiting,
You are Lord.
As we scramble through crises or
trudge through the endless ordinary,
You are Lord.

When events start to trumpet that Your Day is near,
when justice begins to thunder through all creation,
and then,
when that last trumpet sounds,
You will be holy, high and lifted up.
You will be glorious, right, and good.
You will be peace and light and love.
We will see You and worship You for
all You are and
all You have always been:
Sovereign Lord.

Through the noise and
through the silence, O God,
we look to You alone.
Come, Lord Jesus.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: The Trumpet Will Sound
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The People of the Living God

A reflection on Revelation 7:9-17,
the vision of the heavenly multitude

We are the people of the Living God.

Embattled,
rejected, and
sharing the suffering of our crucified Lord,
we are the people of the Living God.

Human but holy,
flawed but forgiven,
immature but growing daily in Christ,
we are the people of the Living God.

Chosen,
adopted,
redeemed,
sanctified, and
sealed as His very own,
we are the people of the Living God.

We are His Body,
His temple,
His treasured possession,
His precious children.

And soon, we will be His
holy,
glorious,
stunningly beautiful Bride,
aglow with the perfection of our Beloved.

We are the people of the Living God.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Chosen in Jesus
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