Tag Archives: Revelation

It’s Only Reasonable

I don’t have to wonder why I sometimes feel less than connected to God. It’s because I’m far too connected to the world.

A quote from the commentary of Matthew Henry zinged my heart today as I studied Revelation 4. He said “The more we abstract (disassociate) ourselves from all corporeal (worldly) things the more fit we are for communion with God.”

Distraction is likely the best tool in Satan’s shed, don’t you think? Everyone has something that is their “Ooooo something shiney!” It may be music, or technology; perhaps it’s a hobby or that next life goal. They are the little “g” gods that we put before the Creator of all the earth. The One Who has our life in His hand. How’s that for a dose of reality.

John, on the Island of Patmos, away from his iphone, television, etc. and without any way to connect to social media, has an opportunity to walk through the door of Heaven. Now, to be real, John didn’t unplug willingly; he was banished there. But rather than blaming the wickedness of others for his terrible circumstances of life, he uses the time to commune with God.  That pretty much leaves us excuseless. We were not plunged into a vat of boiling oil, beaten or banished. I’m freely sitting at my kitchen table with a cup of coffee and a banana, enjoying the freedom to serve God without persecution. I should be dancin’ a jig across the floor with the knowledge that I could have been born in a foreign land where the persecution of John is still very real.

Revelation 4:1-2

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

What would you give up (without having to die) to get a few moments of a glimpse into glory? That was the question that I ask myself. Would you walk away from technology of every shape and kind? Would you rise early and greet the Lord before you greeted the things of the world?

I don’t think that God wants us to go to an island, away from everyone and everything to commune with Him. But I do think He wants us to unplug. So this is my challenge for myself, and perhaps it’s a challenge for you as well. Commit a “reasonable” amount of time.

Romans 12:1

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is you reasonable service.

A living sacrifice

We don’t have to die, or be banished, we get to live, Glory to God! But to sacrifice means it comes at a cost and what is it going to cost us to serve? For most of us it’s only going to cost a reasonable amount of time. What’s reasonable? So many questions! Reasonable for me is the time I waste. And by waste I mean truly un-purposeful time. Everyone needs rest, time to wind down, time with family, people have jobs, etc. etc. God understands that, but how much time during the day do we just flat out waste that could be spent communing with God? Would it take us into a heavenly experience? I don’t know, but I know this, I’ve never felt that time with God was unfruitful.

Holy

I’ve been more and more conscientious of the unholy conversation that I have or expose myself to. I’m not talking about cussing, or inappropriate language. I’m talking about television shows, conversations that do not glorify God, and times that I know if Jesus were looking me in the eye, I wouldn’t join in the conversation. And yet He lives in me and I do. It makes me sad… Jesus too no doubt.

Acceptable unto God

These are our reasonable service. I know mine doesn’t measure up. I need to unplug from earthy things and connect with God more.

Saved but Silent

on my mind

For certain it’s a conversation starter! For the passionate child of God it will make a preacher out of the meekest of them when they begin to tell of their inability to understand lukewarm saints. For the lukewarm saint it begins a conversation about the “Not Everyone’s.” With statements like:

  • Not everyone’s a soul winner.
  • Not everyone’s a shouter.
  • Not everyone’s got time.
  • Not everyone’s been called….

It’s usually at this point in a conversation that people start reading my very expressive face. My eyes roll. My lip gets bitten. My fingers and hands have a passion for rhythm from the war drums going off inside my head. My right leg starts to bounce a little as if I’m getting ready to run. And I too sit silent because I know if I say what’s on my mind there’s going to be hurt feelings. Usually mine, because you can’t convince a lukewarm saint that anything’s wrong with them. They love to tell me why they’re not lukewarm, they’re passion is just concealed in their conservative ways. And they’re offended that I would suggest otherwise.

Saved but silent is sickening.

A few personal thoughts that have my heart stirred up this particular Saturday night:

  • I know not everyone’s a shouter, else the church would be chaos. But the Lord wouldn’t mind a Holy grunt once and a while.
  • If you can’t remember the last time you were at the altar, you are way overdue.
  • There’s two reasons you go to the altar, 1. Because you need to, and 2. Because you think you don’t need to.
  • Everyone may not be a soul winner, but everyone should be burdened for souls.
  • If you think Sunday School isn’t important, you’re either very well studied and you should be teaching, or you think Sunday School is not needful and a waste of time. And God knows that’s what you think.
  • If the people you share your day with haven’t heard you talk about Jesus, you sat down and shut up when Satan told you to.
  • If your idea of an active prayer life is three meals and a bedtime prayer, you’ve covered food and sleep but the other 23 hours of your day are in the hands of Satan. If you don’t pray over your food, one day you may choke.
  • If you volunteer for school and community events but not for church your priorities are not in check.
  • If a child of God has made you feel uncomfortable because they do any of the aforementioned things you are going to be real uncomfortable in Heaven.

Just a few things on my heart…

A Strange Place to Find a Gift

black gift

I was looking for a specific verse this morning on gifts, and through my word search I glanced across a gift in the book of Revelation. My first thought was “That’s a strange place to find a gift!” And so my curiosity got me and I had to follow it through. It was not the kind of Christmas message I had planned on receiving this morning, it would more than likely fit into the Halloween season. I like the gift stories with happy endings; no happy ending here.

Revelation 11

And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

11 And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

Wow! Did you catch that? Here we are in the latter days of the world, the end times, and the two prophets which God had warned them would come have been murdered. A prideful, arrogant world leaves their bodies lying in the street and celebrates around them; SENDING EACH OTHER GIFTS! Oh my goodness… how wicked does this world get that we go from celebrating life, to celebrating death?

Not so long ago, in the year of my salvation, 1996; I would read the book of Revelation and it would read like a sci-fi flick. I could barely imagine the reality of it. Now it reads like yesterday’s news. Truth? So how is this a Christmas message? Thanks to the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ our Lord, I’ll have no part of this story. This is one gift that you should make sure that you, your family or friends have no part of. Their celebration only lasts a few days until God breaths the life back in those two prophets, then I figure the arrogance and prideful attitudes were drained from their day like the color from their face when they realized “their back!”

I know that’s not a very Merry Christmas message, but it’s one I want to take to heart as I celebrate the Holidays. I want to remember not only what I’ve been given, but what’s been taken away. God is so good…I am so not. I deserve the worst, yet He has afforded me the best. Merry Christmas Child of God!!!!! Thank Him and Praise Him this wonderful, blessed season of gift giving and receiving.

No more Pew Puke… a Monday Message from the Amen

bible in the pew

Revelation 3

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

These things saith the Amen…

The Amen being the steady and unchangeable Lord Jesus Christ, the faithful and true witness who from the beginning of time has watched over His creation. I have to wonder what yesterday was like for Him, or any other recent Sunday. How excited were His people to come into His house?

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

The unchangeable, still excited to love on you Lord Jesus Christ knows that the most of His church sat in their pews without so much as an amen or glory hallelujah, they were a pew full of spue. He seen the few that were willing to raise their hand and amen the message… I was one of those, but I could have done better too. I awoke this morning with a determination in my heart to light a fire under my own feet like the one that John saw on the isle of Patmos when he looked at the Lord Jesus. We’re getting a new roof on our church this week, I want to blow the roof off in praise. I want the kids in my youth group to say “that crazy woman is our leader… and she loves us.” I have from now until Wednesday night to stir my heart so that I can stir my Wednesday night class and encourage a few adults in the other classes and churches to jump on board with me.

Enough of being pew puke.

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, th at thou mayest see.

Sunday morning our church was blessed to give the Pastor a go ahead and have the roof replaced on Victory Baptist Church. No debate, no argument over color, just get it done Pastor… we are blessed. We have need of nothing… the Lord has provided for us! Hallelujah!!! But Christ goes on to say you need to buy of me gold tried in the fire. We need an eye opener, some godly wisdom and it starts with a reality check. Yes I love you, but you need a trip to the wood shed.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Be Zealous! Get excited for crying out loud. Stop sitting in your pew with your Bible in your lap making notes for another day… today’s the day. Christ has just knocked on your door and mine.

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

This verse is so often to referred to as the verse that calls sinners to come. He’s speaking to the church, not to the lost. It’s we who have locked Christ out of the dining hall to where He has to knock to come back in. How ridiculous is that… He has the food!

21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

That’s all of us… red, yellow, black and white, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc., etc. you are precious in His sight. He said He loved us…

We can do better this week. Open the doors wide to what Christ wants to do with you this week. I’m ready! Who’s with me?

Hold on!

Revelation 2:25- But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

The Word of the Lord as John wrote to the church of Thyatira, and what great words they are! “Hold fast till I come.” John had just given them the good news/bad news report from the Lord. In verse 19-20 he wrote “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

I found it interesting that he mentions “work” twice, and in the next verse He said that His “servants” had been seduced. Obviously this was a church with a servant’s heart, but they’d got seriously off track in doctrine at some point.  But not all! Therein lies the good news.

24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

The modern day church as a whole does not have a good name. There’s so much infighting, false doctrine and Jezebel’s of the church that the Name of the Lord is tarnished like a piece of neglected silver. But in this church like all others there was remnant who had held true to the Holiness of God and to them the Lord says “Hold fast till I come.”

I repeat those words this morning to you who are reading because I know how hard it is to stay faithful in this fallen world; but if ever there is a time to hold fast it’s now. Our family and friends need to see that Jesus is the same today as He was then. There’s still a few crucial things that you can to hold onto in the church until He comes.

The Word of God – The book of Revelation for many years was seldom preached in the church because it made little sense to those who read it. The metaphors were wild to even imagine, but now… they read like yesterday’s news. For John to have seen the visions of our day in his day, what must it have looked like? To see visions of our war machines! They look like monsters to me. But hold on till the end of the book!

The Wisdom of God – As a child of God our wisdom comes from Him. It’s so easy to get frustrated with the condition of the world and want to through in the towel at the Jezebel’s and just walk away, but hold on! It only looks like they’re winning. Have you read the end of the book? No war fought on this earth is as destructive as the one we fight. When I think of Jezebel I think of the harlot whose goal is to steal the lover of another, and that is exactly what Satan desires to do. He is the happiest when he can lure someone away from the church with the filth of the world and corrupt their minds into thinking that it’s the “new normal.” Hello can I can a witness on that one?! And if you caught my reference to the show on television that’s not new, it’s as old as time. But God is faithful to give us wisdom for this battle, just ask for it!

Another thing you can hold on to is the Ways of God. Don’t buy the lie of the world that we have to accept the standards of the day and drag the world into the church. So many churches have watered down the gospel to the point Christ’s sacrifice is unrecognizable. They’ve taken the “Thou shalt not’s out” and replaced them with “That’s not for us.” Satan has lulled many into believing that God’s ways changed with the times. They didn’t. Hold on to it!  God’s way is true and faithful.

If you’re struggling to stay in service, if Satan has buffeted you with people and things to get your eyes off Christ Hold on!!! Jesus is coming soon! If ever there is a time to let our friends and family see that we have something to hold on to, it’s now.