I'm on the home-stretch of my goal to read the Bible from cover to cover! I started in Revelation yesterday! Woohoo! I thought I'd take you along on my journey through this book. It's such an interesting book. I've done a couple studies on it, and read a couple books about it, but I'll be the first to admit there is so much that I don't fully understand about Revelation.
First, let's have a little background. John, one of the twelve disciples, wrote this book while exiled to the small, rocky Greek island of Patmos. John makes it clear in 1:9 that he'd been put there because he'd been preaching about Jesus Christ. He goes on to tell us that he was "in the Spirit" on the Lord's Day, which was probably Sunday since he didn't refer to it as the Jewish Sabbath, which was Saturday. My guess is he means he was in deep, deep worship and communion with God. I don't think he was in a trance or dreamed this whole thing, as some claim.
One of my favorite parts of chapter one is the description of Jesus in verses 13-16. WOW!!! Even with my vivid imagination, I can't fully comprehend what Jesus must have looked like standing there with John.
"His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were blazing like fire." And in v. 16, "His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance."
That definitely does not describe the humble carpenter who walked the earth. That, to me, describes God! Which makes perfect sense, because Jesus IS God!
I love that Jesus' first words to his beloved John are, "Do not be afraid." Always, always, Jesus is concerned for his children. Even then, as he reveals himself in all his amazing glory, he shows his love and care for John.
Chapter 2 begins the letters John is to write to seven key churches. The first church Jesus addresses is in Ephesus, Greece. He commends them on basically doing what they were supposed to do. And yet, 2:4 tells the real story. They have lost their first love. They're more concerned with "doing" Christian-y type works than with Jesus himself. They've lost sight of the whole reason to be a Christian!
Oh my. Does that sound familiar?
Folks, Jesus is the reason...not just for the season... but for everything! He's the reason we exist! He created us for his purposes! Works are great, but without the love for Jesus Christ behind them, they are meaningless and worthless.
My prayer today is that I will never be found guilty of losing my first love!!
The letter ends with some very wise words. Words everyone needs to take to heart and meditate on.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
The ultimate goal!