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In Revelation, He is King of kings and Lord of lords
A few words...
There is so much fear and confusion wrapped around the study of the book of Revelation. Take heart, though, under the proper guidance of Holy Spirit, and prayer & study, Revelation can be understood. When prayerfully considering a study in Revelation, one would do wise to remember that Revelation, as with any book in the Bible, is not unapproachable. One will find that the prophecies found in the book of Revelation correlate with prophecies found in the Old Testament, which is a good place to start when starting a study of the book of Revelation.
I, however, am not going to go through the prophecies in the book of Revelation. I want to, instead, point out some hindrances (intentional and/or unintentional) that will have an effect on our eternity, whether Heaven or Hell. I judge not the heart; but, the words written here may stab at the heart. I always say, though, that if I feel like my toes are being "spiritually" stepped on, then I need to sit up and take notice of what's going on. There are times in our lives when a "spiritual spanking" must become the order of the day. And, yes, I have had my fair share of "spiritual spankings".
Do you feel like there is something missing in your life? Not something as in more money, a good husband or wife, children, a better job, a bigger house, a more reliable car, et cetera. I'm talking about that something that makes your heart, the core of your being, seem thirsty and dry. You constantly seek that which will quench the thirsting of your heart and soul; be it drugs, alcohol, sex, or the like. Something that will make you whole. Something bigger than all the drugs, alcohol, sex, or the like that you have wallowed around in for so long. Something much bigger than anything you could ever fathom.
I was eighteen, just days before my High School graduation, and I knew what I was supposed to do. Then I got caught up in a great escape...escape from the ongoing betrayal of my father, and an escape from the fear of the unknown.
For years, no matter which way I turned or where I found myself in life, something was missing. Oh, I knew what was missing, I knew it without a doubt. I knew it as sure as I know the words that I type in this article. Yet, my flesh, my natural man, my human mind, wanted nothing but what I wanted.
For nearly five years now, I've been on sort of a Bouncy Castle ride...soaring high, then sinking low, only to bounce high again, even if only for a split second. I've had many prayers answered and some prayers not answered (at least not the way I'd like them answered). I've known victory just as sure as I've known defeat. And, lately, I've been wondering what kinds of words would I read if Jesus were to write me a letter.
Most people who know me can testify to the fact that I very much enjoy getting "snail" mail in my mail box. Oh, I like E-Mail, and I enjoy texting; but, there's just something to opening up a mail box after the mail deliverer has just delivered a handful of envelopes. She can keep the bills, though! (LOL)
So, what would a letter from the Lord look like, what words would I read, what kinds of emotions would I feel myself running through as I read His words on a simple sheet of paper?
Revelation 2:2-5--" 'I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for My Name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your First Love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place.' "
In my time, I have "loved" many a thing, and always these "loves" have won my affection, to the loss of my love for my Lord. I started to think back to when I was a young teenager (thirteen years old), having just met God face to face for the first time, even though I grew up in a Christian home. Oh, how the thrill of newness refreshed me in those first years. The world was yet to be an invading menace or temptation for me, and my soul, and sole, desire was to please God.
When I took the path of escape by way of the world, I lost sight of my First Love; it was not until I returned again to Him that I realized what had been truly missing in my life during all my years of running...my First Love. And, really, I knew that that was what was missing; but, I didn't care, I just really didn't care.
When Mark and I have a busy week up here at the Johnson Ranch, things can get quite hectic. Chaotic. Mark will go here to do this, and I will go there to do that, and I find that there is something missing when Mark and I are separated from each, even for just short blocks of time. Then, I anxiously await when the two of us return to our home, and are together again, reunited with a hug and a kiss. It's that closeness that Mark and I have one for another. In our union of marriage, the two of us have become one, and when he's away from me or I'm away from him, I feel the loss of that part of me that Mark has become.
Going AWOL in life meant I missed having Jesus with me. His letter in Revelation [2:2-5] is an invitation to return again to Him...He is my First Love. His letter to me gives me reason to REMEMBER what it was like when I knew Him in those first years (Revelation 2:5a). I then REPENT of my sin and rebellion (Revelation 2:5b), and I RETURN again to His loving embrace (Revelation 2:5b).
Do you often feel like your faith is coming under fire? Do you find yourself in a state of persecution that seems to have no end? Jesus has written a letter to us, a letter of encouragement and victory. He wants us to prepare ourselves for the day of suffering, for as it was in Smryna, so will be for us today...things will get worse.
Our suffering in this time, though, will only be for a short time; our glorious victory will be everlasting life with our Lord.
Maybe you are teetering on the edge of tolerance? You want to see shades of gray instead of clear-cut black and white. Shades of gray. You say that all religions are equal and, therefore, all religions should be tolerated, when, in fact, Jesus said the He is the Way.
John 14:6--"Jesus answered, 'I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.' "
Shades of gray. There are no shades of gray; there is only black and white.
Deuteronomy 30:19--"This day I call Heaven and Earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live."
Shades of gray. There are no shades of gray; there is only black and white.
Perhaps you just overlook sin in general. Perhaps you feel like a person who is generally "good" (work hard for family, give to charity, volunteer in community, go to church, et cetera) deserves to have their sins overlooked. Sin is not to be accepted because God condemns sin, and we are to live holy lives as God Himself is holy.
Leviticus 11:44-45--"I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground. I am the Lord who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy."
Leviticus 19:2--"Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: 'Be holy because I, the Lord your God, is holy.'"
Leviticus 20:7-8--"Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord you your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the Lord, who makes you holy."
May you feel alive; but, are really dead. Maybe you live like you're a Christian, but your walk doesn't match your talk. It's time for you to wake up before you reach a Point of No Return. This Point of No Return is a point beyond which, if you go any further, it will be impossible for you to turn back.
Jesus is very clear about His call for our commitment. We are called to a relationship with the Lord. A love for the Lord. An engaging with the Lord. A participation with the Lord.
Don't offer the Lord your "leftovers"; rather, give you all to God.
Deuteronomy 6:5--"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."
Are you perhaps a "lock junkie" or a "password junkie"? Do you obsess about security to the point of no other thoughts. From home alarm systems to computer virus protection, we all want to feel secure in life; but, to what extent? We fail to see, however, that our ultimate security is in Christ. He holds the keys to the Kingdom. Doors He chooses to open are opened, and doors He chooses to close are closed.
In fact, He is the Door.
John 10:7-9--"Therefore Jesus said again, 'I tell you the truth, I am the Gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the Gate; whoever enters through h Me will be saved. He will come in an go out, and find pasture.' "
In the Crucible: From Hurting to Healing
- In the Crucible: From Hurting to Healing - Kindle edition by Shirley Johnson. Religion & Spiritu
In the Crucible: From Hurting to Healing - Kindle edition by Shirley Johnson. Buy it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, Android (phone + tablet) or iOS (iphone + ipad). Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading
How many of you have seen the movie, War Room? If you have yet to see it, I highly recommend that you do. It's very gripping. Very powerful. Moe at the beginning of the movie, two women are having coffee together. The older woman asks the younger woman about her (the younger woman's) prayer life, while she (the older woman) is pouring the coffee. The younger woman explains that her prayer life is neither hot nor cold. The older woman then proceeds to place a mug of lukewarm coffee in front of the younger woman. The point was made. Lukewarm.
Lukewarm. Not cold. Not hot. Lukewarm.
Coffee is pretty much useless in a lukewarm state, much the same as we are. We are neither hot nor cold. We go to church; but, we don't give our hearts to God. We are lukewarm Christians.
What we need to do is let the Refiner put us through His fire to heat us into the perfect image of Himself.
That's a wrap!
From Genesis to Revelation...
Genesis 1:1--"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
Revelation 22:20-21--"He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen.