Showing posts from October, 2012

The Destruction of Evil | Revelation 4-19

Welcome to  Real Life . Revelation is God’s final chapter in his story of our world. He created a perfect world... but a world where man has the power of choice. Eve and Adam chose to sin. Our perfect world was corrupted. Every generation since has carried the curse. God sent a Savior to set us free. On the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for sin so that whoever chooses may come to him and receive life. [1]  In this final chapter, Jesus returns to destroy this corrupt world and create a new kingdom of righteousness.  In Revelation four, the apostle John is summoned to the very throne room of God. I am awestruck by the images he describes. The Eternal One sparkles like gemstones in a rainbow of light which surrounds his throne. Twenty-four elders dressed in white with golden crowns encircle him. From the throne come flashes of lightning and peals of thunder. Seven lamps are ablaze and a shiny sea like crystal glass lies before it. Four winged creatures covered in eyes are continu

I Don't Need a Thing | Revelation 3

Welcome to Real Life . I'm strong and self-sufficient. I've got it covered. I don't need a thing.  Oh, really?  Laodicea was the wealthiest city in Phrygia during the time of Christ. Laodiceans were not unlike us. Americans hold the richest standard of living in the world. In the book of Revelation, Jesus sends a message to the wealthy Christians of Laodicea: You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ [1] Isn't this where I live? I have plenty of food, shelter and clothing. I don’t need a thing (though I want many things). I don’t need to trust God for my next meal. My refrigerator is full. It’s easier to trust in wealth than in God. However, Jesus sees from a different perspective. In his eyes, these self-sufficient believers are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked – spiritual beggars. His advice: … buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will n

Jesus is My Open Door | Revelation 3

Welcome to Real Life . An open door is a beautiful image of opportunity. A closed door means “forget about it.” Jesus uses this imagery in his message to the church in Philadelphia:  These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. [1] David was the most beloved king of Israel. He is described as a man after God’s own heart. As such, David foreshadows Jesus as the ultimate beloved King of Kings. Jesus holds the key to open or lock the Kingdom of Heaven. Unlike other churches he addresses in Revelation, Jesus has no rebuke for this church: I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. [2] Jesus sees me. He knows me. He knows what I do and what I fail to do. Apart from him, I can do nothing. [3] With him, everything is possible. [4] As I follow hi

You've Lost Your First Love | Revelation 2

Welcome to Real Life. “I don’t love you anymore.” They're devastating words to hear. How does it happen? How does a relationship fall from passionate love to indifference? The heart of Christianity is a relationship. Following Christ is more than keeping rules and performing good deeds. The early church in Ephesus had the rules and deeds down pat. Jesus tells them, “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance.” But relationships are more than serving one another out of duty. I am a doer. I like to accomplish things. I can get so busy “doing” that I forget my initial motivation for the doing. It’s easy to go about my Christian routine–daily devotions, attending church, volunteering, donating money–with a heart far from Jesus. That’s what was happening in Ephesus. Though Jesus commends their deeds, he desires more:  “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.” If I go through the motions of serving Jesus without being motivated by my love for him,