Revelation!  Last lap – and another year of reading God’s word through.  (I can’t wait to start back in Genesis next week…:-)

So some quick thoughts that hit me today…

Rev 1:5b-6 starts right off with a great reminder:  “…to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father to him be glory and dominion forever and ever.”

Rev 2:2 “…have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.”

  • I love the reference to testing…I feel in some ways that God is testing my heart lately – to see what is in it.  In some ways I’m excited that he is testing me as a preparation for future service? But in others…my flesh says “enough already!” 🙂  Some other verses I found on testing:
    • 1 Thes 5:21 (test everything…)
    • 1 John 4:1 (test the spirits…)
    • Lam 3:40 (let us examine our ways…)
    • Gal 6:4 (each of us should test our own work…)
    • 2 Cor 13:5 (examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith)
  • This seems like a pretty good church? They are engaging in church discipline, testing of false teaching, they are persevering…but…
  • v4 says they have “abandoned the love they had at first.” – the first thought that came to mind was why do churches start out proclaiming Christ and reaching the community for Christ in their context and culture and then freeze themselves?  And are stuck in a time period with music and dress and then want the community to conform to them? And look with mild contempt at those who don’t conform to the world they have created? OK forgive me, but I just finished reading “Who Stole My Church.”
    • What this really says to me is why do churches abandon the gospel as of “first importance” (2 Cor 15:3) and focus on secondary or peripheral issues? We are to love the Lord our God with all our mind, soul, and strength – He is to be our first love and He showed his love to us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him…to be the propitiation for our sins!  (1 John 4:9-10).  Keep Jesus first!  As Driscoll says “It’s about Jesus, it’s always been about Jesus!  and if you aren’t about Jesus, you should quit!”

Some other things I noticed here is that the letters to the churches seem to follow a bit of a pattern:

  • I (God) know everything – I know the good you are doing for me, I know your thoughts, your works…but I also know what is in your hearts when you are doing your “church”…that’s not so good
  • Repent! (2:5; 2:16; 2:22; 3:3;3:19)

Rev 4-5 offer an amazing view inside the throne room of heaven.  We worship leaders would do well to read this often as we lead the body in worship of THIS GOD, not the one we invent in our heads, or the God that the Top 40 CCLI worship charts tell us about  (Man, I’m fired up today?!) , but this God who sits on that throne and is flat out feared and worshiped in awe and reverence.

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