Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Devotional 070410

Dear brothers and sisters,
Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father--to him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen (Revelation 1:4-6).

Our staff have been studying the book of Revelation in our Prayer meeting in the last couples of week. God revealed to Apostle John the glory and cruelty of the last days before His glorious return. Throughout the prolonged suffering of mankind during those horrible days, God hopes to give humanity the opportunity to repent but they don’t. It was similar to the ten plagues that came to Egypt before Pharaoh set the Israelites free from bondage. But at the end, Pharaoh still remained stubborn in his rebellion. Therefore, God had to destroy his entire army at the merciless Red Sea. Unfortunately, humanity in the Judgment Day will repeat the same mistake as Pharaoh did. Pray that the Book of Revelation calls people to repentance before the horrible judgment pours down from heaven one day.

The everyday data of a typical week are assembled on the pages of the Revelation: political terrors and liturgical mysteries, painful separations and unanswered prayers, glorious hymns and unfulfilled prophecies, felt glories and brutal cruelties, heartrending deaths and unquenchable hopes. All this is the experience of persons who decide to live by faith in Christ. Apostle John’s Revelation choreographs all this is in a ballet of images. The repeated use of the number seven, a number that communicated a sense of wholeness to the ancient and biblical mind, sets up rhythm of wholeness in the imagination. The “Lord’s Day” is the first day of resurrection in which the fallen creation enters a new week of redemption.

The pagan would assigned each day of the week to the care of a god or goddess. Each divinity made its own unpredictable demands and dispensed good or ill randomly. The pagan deities were at odds with each other, struggling and quarreling. The week was a mixture of scheming and intrigue. The Christian, in contrast, discovered all time under the lordship of Christ. Time is redeemed. God shapes creation; Christ redeems creation. The first day is the headwaters of the ever rolling stream of time. The Lord’s Day is the source for the succeeding days. All the events and experiences of the week flow out of the typical patterns of creation and redemption.

Each day we live by God’s grace because of the Lord’s Day that started on His resurrection. We count God’s blessing with thanksgiving simply because we are a new creation in His grace. Ever since we turned toward God through the cross, each day is a new day and wonderful day because He has special purpose installed for us to live for. We look forward to what this day may bring, regardless of how the environment may change. God is good. And He is good all the time. Amen?

Love you in Christ,

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).

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