December 21, 2020
"...from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen." (Revelation 1:5-6)
You may have crawled out of bed this morning after a hard day yesterday and wondered what this day holds. You may not be thinking much about yourself or God or His Son. You may be facing a difficult day ahead with multiple problems or overwhelmed by the routineness of life.
That's why the Bible was given and why we must read it every day.
For in the Bible, we come to thousands of statements like the one above that remind us of who Christ is, what He has done, and how we figure into the grand scheme of things. Just a cursory look into two introductory verses here in the Revelation that Jesus gave to the Apostle John for us changes everything.
This Revelation is a personal letter to you this morning. It comes from Jesus Christ Himself, the "faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth." The most important One in heaven and earth comes to tell you something.
HE LOVES US
"To Him who loves us."
This is the most amazing statement in the world. In light of our rebellion and sinfulness, we would think just the opposite. The great Enemy of our souls is always whispering in our ears, multiple times during the day, that Christ does not think well of us. That God is displeased and even that He hates us for who we are.
But this would not be the words of Christ. That Jesus loves us is the most liberating reality in the world. Stop and meditate on this for just a moment that Jesus—right now—loves you!
HE RELEASED US
"and released us from our sins by His blood."
Released means to "set free from restraint, confinement, or servitude; to relieve from something that confines, burdens, or oppresses." I know it doesn't feel like it this morning, but Christ has released you from the burden of your sins in multiple ways.
If you are a believer, you have forever been released from the penalty of your sin. You will never be punished or condemned for this in ways that separate you eternally from Christ. "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1)
You can be released more and more from the power of this sin as you look to Him. For the first time, there is a way of escape for you from the hold your sin has had on you. This is because the Spirit of God has come to live in you who is greater than anything you will face. "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2)
And one day soon, you will be released entirely from the presence of all sin! The whole book reveals the end of this world and our place in a new heaven and a new earth where "righteousness dwells" (2 Peter 3:13).
Jesus wants you to know this morning that all of this is your inheritance, made possible because you have been released from your sin by His blood!
HE HAS MADE US
"...and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father."
Christ didn't save us just to release us. He saved us because He came to build a new kingdom, a new race of men and women. He has taken all of His blood-bought children and placed them into a kingdom. We make up this new race of people, and we have a task to be priests forever before God.
This was the most coveted and glorious position in ancient Israel—to forever be in the presence of God, ministering to Him and for Him on behalf of others. To help those around us to Christ. And that is what you are this morning.
This is why this morning you ought to join with John the Apostle and say, "To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen."
This is why this morning, you have all you need to face the day!
Father, we are overwhelmed this morning by what You have done for us through Your Son, Jesus. Deliver us from a petty perspective. Explode in our minds the truth of Your Revelation, written for us. Help us realize who we are in Christ and live accordingly. And give us the courage to tell everyone we see of what we can have in Christ.
July 02, 2022
July 01, 2022
In each generation there are wicked rulers leading nations to do wicked things, oppressing those around them with senseless violence and evil. Hitler had his day and Stalin, and now Putin as he ravages Ukraine.
Where is God in all of this? The small, one-chapter book of Obadiah gives us the answer: God will always, ultimately judge wicked men nations. Justice wins the day. Notice God’s word through Obadiah to the wicked nation of Edom. No nation that ignores God will escape His judgment.
June 29, 2022