Archive for Devotional with Hymn

Satan Bound

Reflection on Revelation 20:1-10

Not everyone will agree with
this interpretation of the millennial reign.
I offer it for your consideration.

Has Satan been bound?
Is the millennial reign being fulfilled now,
in our day?
Don’t look at the broad, largely-unbelieving world.
As with all the other fruits of the Kingdom of God,
we see Satan’s binding best
in the Church and
in the lives of individual believers.

Wherever Jesus Christ is
trusted and
followed,
see the Kingdom come with power (Mark 9:1).
See how Elijah has restored all things (Matthew 17:11).
See Messiah received as a conquering hero (Luke 19:28-40).
See His temple
now cleansed,
now a house of prayer for all nations (Matthew 21:12-13).
See resurrection life in full bloom (Matthew 28:1-8).

See Satan bound (Revelation 20:1-3).
See his house being plundered (Matthew 12:29).
See him falling like lightning (Luke 10:18).
See him disarmed and cast out (Colossians 2:15; John 12:31).

See Christ living and moving among His obedient people.
The Kingdom of God has come in Jesus!

Listen and sing:
Hymn: We Have Come, God’s Living Temple
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Our Childish Perspective

A prayer response to Revelation 20:1-10,
the millennium 

Father, You think and act in eternity.
We live second-by-second in our little
time and
place.
Exactly when and
exactly how
will Your eternal actions
touch us?
That’s what we ask.
It’s all we want to know, and
we don’t always understand Your answer.
Our perspective is too
small and
self-centered.

But Your timing is always perfect.
Your ways are always right.
Your gifts are always flawless.

You never take short-cuts.
You never rush.
You patiently work our redemption till it is
full and complete,
perfect in every detail,
no matter how long it takes.

Father, we joyfully and gratefully
wait on You.
We relax in Your care,
trusting and
worshiping all the while.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Wait on the Lord
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You Are in Full Control

A prayer response to Revelation 20:1-10,
Satan bound, freed, and cast into the lake of fire

Father, You bind and You loose the forces of evil
as suits Your purpose.
You give them just enough rope to
hang themselves.

When Jesus was being tortured and killed,
it seemed that evil had a free hand to do
anything it wished to the Son of God.
But even then, You were sending signals
reminding us that You were in full control:
Prophecies given long ago
were being fulfilled.
Pilate unwittingly testified to Christ
by his sign on the cross,
“Jesus the Nazarene,
the King of the Jews,”
The repentant thief acknowledged
who Jesus was.
As Your Son died,
You shrouded the world in darkness.
You tore the veil of the temple.
Even in those dark hours, You were still sovereign, loving God,
faithfully working Your loving will and
fulfilling Your timeless plan.

In the tumultuous last days,
when it seems that evil has a free hand to do
anything it wishes to Your dear children,
You will still be in full control.
You will still be sovereign God.
All will happen according to
Your loving plan.
You use even those who rebel against You
to bless Your people
perfectly and
completely.

Praise to You, sovereign Father!
We are always secure in Your care!

Listen and sing:
Hymn: God Blesses His People
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In the End

A reflection on Revelation 19:17-21,
the doom of the beast

In the end,
the rage of hatred will be swept aside by
joyful, self-giving love.

All that is false will vanish completely in the
beautiful, blazing light of the truth.

Evil will be crushed under the full weight of
all that God is.

In this wicked world,
the slaughter of all wickedness will be
vast,
profound, and
sobering.
Its end will be
total,
final, and
forever.

Those who have separated themselves from
the Source of all good
will be left as
empty shells,
fit only for consuming flames.
All that is not of God will be
burned away.
All that remains will glow with
the radiant reality of
His immediate, glorious presence. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: God Will Be Exalted
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Mysterious Wonders

There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:8-12, NIV)

Imagine the mysterious wonders of that first Christmas night.

A world-changing event, foretold for centuries, was actually happening, and only a handful of the commonest people knew it.

God Himself was becoming flesh and blood, arriving as the most helpless of creatures: a human infant.

This child had been conceived by an infinite spirit being and a young virgin, probably a teenage girl.

Imagine what the shepherds saw and heard and felt. In the blackness of a silent night in the open fields, suddenly a blazing light, a stunning message, and a sky full of angels.

But how would the shepherds recognize this “Savior…Christ the Lord”? What would make Him unique? It would be His shocking lowliness and poverty. They would find an infant, wrapped up like a newborn, lying in a feeding trough.

Imagine yourself a shepherd, on the ground, gazing out into the blackness, hearing only the night sounds. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: The Shepherd’s Carol
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This Is Our Champion

A reflection on Revelation 19:11-16,
the vision of the warrior Christ

See Jesus Christ for all He is.
He is more than a baby in a manger.
He is more than a gentle healer and teacher.

He is a Mighty Warrior who leads
all the forces of Sovereign God
against the armies of evil.
His enemies are
many,
vicious, and
determined.

He not only teaches and heals.
He judges and wages war.
He is no longer clothed like a peasant.
He is a great conqueror
who wears a robe dipped in the blood of His enemies.
His name is still Prince of Peace,
but it is also King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
He carries not only a shepherd’s staff
but a rod of iron to shatter any who oppose Him.

He rides a white horse.
His eyes are a flame of fire.
On His head are many crowns, and
He treads the wine press of
the fierce wrath of Almighty God.
He is Yahweh Sabaoth,
Lord of all the armies of heaven.
From His mouth comes a sharp, double-edged sword:
the eternal truth and
sovereign authority of the One High God.
With it He will make a slaughter of the enemies of
truth,
love, and
justice.

Satan and all His followers are arrayed against us.
But this is our Savior!
This is our Deliverer!
This is our Champion,
Jesus Christ! 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Psalm 2
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Our King

David had been the most powerful,
most commanding,
most “successful” king Israel had ever had.
And the Messiah was promised to be
a greater heir to
David’s glorious throne.

But Jesus arrived as the seemingly-illegitimate son of peasants,
with a filthy stable for a nursery and
a feeding trough His only cradle.
He entered this world sharing
the misery,
the poverty,
the shame, and
the oppression of His people.

Maybe that’s how a king should come.

His riches would be the Spirit of Almighty God.
His power would be the unrestrainable love of our Father Creator.
His most sweeping victory would be His death, and
His greatest gift to His people would be
Himself.

He has come!
Receive Him now,
the King of all Kings and
the Lord of all Lords! 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: All Praise to You, Eternal Lord
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Our Wedding Day Is Near

A reflection on Revelation 19:7-10,
the marriage supper of the Lamb

No matter what our current situation,
our future is bright in Jesus Christ.

We are engaged to the sovereign Lord of all that is.
He loves us and
always will.
He has given Himself to us completely, with
all He is and
all He has.

In Him, our future is love,
rich and all-encompassing.
Our future is deep and total fulfillment.
Our future is joy and
belonging.
Our future is unbroken union with the Source of all
wisdom and
goodness.

We are destined to become creatures
more radiant,
more marvelous
than anyone could ever imagine.
Together, we will be the Bride of the Creator,
lovely,
pure,
highly honored, and
magnificent in all His glory.
All the universe will celebrate our eternal joining.

The Father, Son, and Spirit are preparing us
even now.
As our wedding day approaches,
let us keep ourselves pure.
Let us give ourselves to our Bridegroom alone. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: See Christ, Your Bridegroom
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Hear the Voice of Love

Submit yourselves, then, to God…
Come near to God and he will come near to you.
(James 4:7-8, NIV)

I passed the television and reached out my hand to turn it on. But I felt You prompt me to turn to You and pray instead. I obeyed, and I was glad I did.

I was even gladder when I realized that it was a request from You, my Savior, my Brother, and my Friend.

Lord, help me hear all Your promptings not as demands from a higher authority but as personal invitations from You. May each request remind me of the intimate moments we have enjoyed and the many times You have come and met my need.

Each word from You is an invitation to draw closer. Help me to always hear Your voice as the voice of love. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Constant Love
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You Are Good

A prayer response to Revelation 19:1-6,
the four-fold hallelujah

Father, we join the song of
all the saints of
all the ages:
You are right and good, and
everything You do is right and good.

You are good when You bless and
good when You punish.
You are good when You give and
good when You take away.
You are good when life is bathed in light and
good when all is darkness.

You are good when we understand You and
good when our minds and hearts are too small.
You are good in our abundance and
good in our need.
You are good when we laugh and
good when grief overwhelms us.

Father, through every season
in every situation,
You are good.
You are good, and
Your love endures forever. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: You Are Good
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