The Worthy Lamb!

Scripture reading for December 8th: Revelation 5

Key Scriptures: Revelation 5:6-9 “And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And He went and took the scroll from the right hand of Him Who was seated on the throne. And when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the scroll and to open its seals, for You were slain, and by Your blood You ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and You have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.””

John had been caught up into heaven’s open door by the Spirit and beheld the things which were to come. In this vision, John saw in the right hand of the One on the throne, a scroll that was sealed with seven seals. An angel asked who was worthy to open the scroll, and no one was found in heaven or on earth or under the earth to open the scroll. John began to weep loudly when one of the twenty-four elders spoke to him, telling him not to weep, because the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” had conquered and was worthy and able. Then John beheld a Lamb standing with the marks of crucifixion, Who went and took the scroll from the One seated on the throne. At this all around the throne and in heaven and on earth began to sing a new song to the Worthy Lamb!

Revelation 5:11-12 “Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for sending Your Son as the Lamb of God Who was slain for my sins and the sins of the whole world! He alone is Worthy to inherit all things, taking the title deed to the universe and its wealth! I freely choose to worship Him with the hosts around the throne in heaven, on earth and under the earth! Glory to the Lamb!

Revelation 5:13-14 “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To Him Who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

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Heaven’s open door!

Scripture reading for December 7th: Revelation 4

Key Scriptures: Revelation 4:1-4 “After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first Voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with One seated on the throne. And He Who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments with golden crowns on their heads.”

After writing down the seven messages of the things that are, John saw an open door leading to heaven. Jesus Christ spoke to him again, with an invitation to “come up here” and see the things to come. John was instantaneously translated through the open door by the Spirit of God and was shown the throne room of heaven and the beauty of the One seated there. All John could do was describe the color and glory as like that of precious stones and gems. He also described the four living creatures who worshiped there, saying “Holy, Holy, Holy!” Around the throne were also other thrones–twenty-four seated with that many elders. These elders would leave their thrones to fall prostrate and worship the One on the glorious throne, casting their crowns before Him! Oh the glory of His Presence! Worthy! Worthy! Worthy!

Revelation 4:8 “And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for opening the door of heaven for me and all who believe in Your Son Jesus Christ. What an awesome privilege to worship You here on earth and to anticipate joining the hosts of heaven in worship and adoration one day in a glorified body like Yours! Use me here on earth to share this Good News of Your love for mankind through Your Son, the Worthy One!

Revelation 4:9-10 “And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him Who is seated on the throne, Who lives forever and ever, the twenty four elders fall down before Him Who is seated on the throne and worship Him Who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You have created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created.””

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The ‘last-day’ church?

Scripture reading for December 6th: Revelation 3

Key Scriptures: Revelation 3:14-17 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The Words of the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of God’s creation. “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked.”

The final church Jesus addressed was found in Laodicea, a town known for its riches and mineral springs and its water supply–made lukewarm by routing through the aqueducts on the way to the city. . The church there had been affected by its culture and now reflected the culture more than the Savior. Jesus, in love, plainly called this church to address this problem through repentance and rededication. He even told them that He stood outside of their church at their door–knocking to gain an entrance! Those who would respond would be restored to table fellowship with their Lord and also obtain rulership in the age to come!

Revelation 3:19-20 “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for a life-giving rebuke and for loving us enough to warn us about compromising with the culture of this world. Forgive me for complacency and a lukewarm attitude concerning my own life and Your mission. I need Your grace and zeal to finish well in this lukewarm culture of the last days.

Revelation 3:21-22 “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also conquered and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

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Jesus speaks to His Church

Scripture reading for December 3rd: Revelation 2

Key Scriptures: Revelation 2:1-3 “”To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of Him Who holds the seven stars in His right hand, Who walks among the golden lampstands. “I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for My Name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.””

Jesus personally dictated to John the seven messages to the churches John was an overseer at. These are the things that are now in the general outline given to John. This first message, to Ephesus, has a pattern repeated for each church. There is a greeting to the ‘angel’ of the church, probably the pastor or overseer along with a title or description of Jesus Christ in His present ministry. Then there was a commendation of the church with encouragement for what they were doing right. This was followed by a rebuke or warning concerning needed repentance and growth. The last element was a promise of reward for those who would listen, learn and overcome. Some teach that these seven letters apply to dispensations of time leading up to the return of Jesus for His church. I believe that they all speak to various churches during the church age.

Revelation 2:4-6 “But I have this against you that you have abandoned the love that you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for clearly addressing the Church You love. Give me ears to hear and a heart to apply what You reveal. Forgive me for a lack of love for You and for Your church and restore my love and zeal to do Your will. Let the lampstand and light of Your love and Gospel radiated from Your church reach into the world in darkness. We want to be among those that conquer!

Revelation 2:7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”

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Blessed are those who read aloud!

Scripture reading for December 2nd: Revelation 1

Key Scriptures: Revelation 1:1-3 “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the Word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophesy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.”

John was imprisoned on the Isle of Patmos for preaching the Word of God. Tradition says he was boiled in oil but it had no effect on him so the Roman government sent him away. By this time, John was likely over ninety years old. As John was worshiping the Lord, he was visited by Jesus Christ and given the task of writing down for the church “what was, what is and what must soon take place.” John pronounced a blessing on all who would read the words of this prophesy out loud. We remember that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17) The title, “Revelation” of Jesus Christ is “Apocalupsis” in Greek and means “lifting of the curtain” on the unseen realities associated with Jesus Christ. This amazing book is a gift to the Church and promises blessing to readers, hearers and doers of the words written. The time is at hand!

Revelation 1:10 “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, I receive this revelation of Jesus Christ and ask that you lift the curtain on my heart and mind and show me afresh the glory of my Lord. Help me to read aloud, to hear with my ears, and to heed with all my heart the Word of God. Use me to proclaim this Word to Your people and to the lost that they may find Jesus Christ as Lord.

Revelation 1:17-19 “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.”

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Contend earnestly for the faith!

Scripture reading for December 1st: Jude

Key Scriptures: Jude 1-4 “Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Jude and James were half-brothers of Jesus Christ. Neither of them mention this in their letters, but rather Jude refers to himself as a servant of Jesus Christ. Jude was originally going to write the letter to further explain the wonderful salvation that the church enjoyed through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. But certain false teachers had crept unnoticed into the church and began to pervert the pure Gospel of God’s grace and drew people away from Jesus Christ into sensuality and denial of the Master. This letter was now a call to the church to war–contending earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. It’s a good fight and Jude reminded them that others had contended for the faith before them. They could build themselves up in their most holy faith through praying in the Holy Spirit and continuing to do God’s work of mercy.

Jude 17-21 “But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.”

Faith confession and prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me the gift of the Holy Spirit and calling me to Your family and church. Help me to be strong in my faith by praying in the Holy Spirit and showing mercy by preaching Your powerful Gospel. Snatch the lost from the fire and bring glory to Your Name!

Jude 24-25 “Now to Him Who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

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Fellow workers through giving

Scripture reading for November 30th: 3rd John

Key Scriptures: 3rd John 5-8 “Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.”

John, the apostle of Jesus Christ, had lived a long life and faithfully preached the Gospel in Asia. He was appointed as an elder over seven churches and Jesus personally gave him messages for each of them as he was imprisoned for preaching the Gospel on the Island of Patmos. Now, as John writes this last letter, he commends Gaius, a faithful member of one of the churches, for the love shown by the church to traveling ministers who visited them. Even though these ministers were not known personally by the church, they were encouraged to help them financially and prayerfully to further the work that they had been called to do. John told them that when they support them, they become fellow-workers and share in the ministry and the reward. John also warned Gaius about another man, Diotrephes, who was speaking evil of John and other church elders and refused to welcome these ministers.

3rd John 9-10 “I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, I thank You that You speak plainly with those in leadership in Your Church about loving others and giving help to brothers and sisters sharing the work of ministry, even if we don’t know them personally. Give me discernment concerning those like Diotrephes, who John knew by name, who seek to cause division and sow discord. Help me to share in Your great work of winning the lost for Your eternal kingdom.

3rd John 11 “Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.” Vs. 15 “Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, each by name.”

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Walk it out!

Scripture reading for November 29th: 2nd John

Key Scriptures: 2nd John 4-8 “I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father. And now I ask you, dear lady–not as though I were writing you a new commandment but the one we have had from the beginning–that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.”

In this short letter, John writes to ‘the elect lady and her children.’ Most commentators believe that John was writing to a female church leader and the church members. His greatest joy came from finding some of the church members walking in the truth and loving each other. Jesus taught that the simple command to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves was the greatest commandment. He emphasized to His disciples that they were to walk out their love for one another and by this all men would know that they were His disciples. We are to love those made in God’s image. Jesus Christ came to earth in a fleshly body and demonstrated God’s love through healing, relationships, and teaching. Deceivers tried to deny Jesus was a man in a human body. This is the spirit of antichrist. Don’t even welcome them into your homes.

2nd John 9-11 “Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for perfectly walking out a life of obedience to all God’s commandments and summarizing them in the simple command to love one another and love God. May I bring joy to Your heart and church leadership by my walk of truth and love. Help me today to discern those with the antichrist spirit in the church and world and avoid their false doctrines.

2nd John 3 “Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love.”

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Blessed assurance!

Scripture reading for November 26th: 1st John 5

Key Scriptures: 1st John 5:10-13 “Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning His Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the Name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”

John wanted the believers to understand that they could absolutely know that they had eternal life. The fear of punishment or fear of failure to do enough causes people to shrink back from God and not enjoy a life of faith and the joy coming from no condemnation and justification by faith. John said it was simple. When we believe in the Son of God, we have that testimony in us in the confession “Jesus is Lord.” Because of the gift of the Holy Spirit, we know God as our Father and also cry “Abba, Father” from a heart that has experienced new creation. When we have the Son of God as Lord, we have eternal life and cease from a life of sin. If we do not have the testimony about Jesus the Son of God and continue in a life of sin, we do not have eternal life. Check your heart today and receive blessed assurance by the Holy Spirit!

1st John 5:18 “We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for the blessed assurance that Jesus is my Lord and Savior and that I have eternal life in Him. Thank you for delivering me from a life of sin and selfishness and calling me to Your eternal kingdom and preaching the Gospel. Guide my steps today in Your pathways and give me opportunity to share Your love and help the lost to gain this blessed assurance of eternal life through faith in God’s Son.

1st John 5:20 “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him Who is true; and we are in Him who is True; in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”

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Confidence on Judgment Day!

Scripture reading for November 25th: 1st John 4

Key Scriptures: 1st John 4:13-17 “By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in Him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgement, because as He is so also are we in this world.”

Fear of judgment and punishment is found in every human being. This fear is there because of God placing eternity in our hearts and a basic knowledge of God’s law and conviction of sin through conscience. When we repent and humble ourselves before God, asking Him for mercy through His Son, Jesus Christ, God the Father gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit to live in us and abide with us. We can confess ‘Jesus is Lord’ because we have the Holy Spirit. We can love others because of the Spirit of God, who is Love, abiding in us. His love is perfected in us and casts out all fear of judgment and punishment, because we are now justified and made righteous. We have confidence on Judgment Day through the love of God in us by the Holy Spirit.

1st John 5:18-19 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit and a river of Your perfect love that enables me to confess Jesus as Lord and to know and believe in Your Son. Thank You for confidence that comes from the Holy Spirit and the casting out of fear from my life. Open doors today to share this great and perfect love with those who are cowering in the fear of punishment on Judgment Day.

1st John 4:20-21 “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar, for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

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