Hosea 1-4 Revelation 1
“This is the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show his servants what must soon happen. And Jesus sent his angel to show it to his servant John, who has told everything he has seen. It is the word of God; it is the message from Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 1:1-2 NCV)
And so the end begins. It’s the end of the year. It’s the last book of the Bible. And we’re another year closer to the end of times. The book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ to John, to give it proper attribution, brings out many emotions. Many love this book and read it eagerly, poring over every word seeking to gain new insight into how the end will happen. Others don’t like it all, Martin Luther had issues with this book, for instance. As apocalyptic literature, there are many mysteries to unlock and they still haven’t been completely unlocked after almost 2000 years. Whether the prophecies of this book have been fulfilled or are yet to come whether this book is unique in the fact that it deals with visions and unclear language as opposed to the clear and plain words of most of what the apostles taught, we can gain insights to grow in our faith every day as we read. This is a message from Jesus Christ and thus we should read this book with the intention of hearing from Him.
We read the Bible because we believe it is God’s word. We seek to gain insight into His leadership for our lives. I comment on one or two verses here, but I include the passages that I read as part of a plan to read through the Bible in a year. While all my devotionals this year have been from the New Testament passages, on purpose, God’s word has amazing insight for living in the Old and New Testament. The Old Testament, of course, was the Bible that Jesus and the apostles used. As we read God’s word, He teaches us new things every day. How many times have you read a passage in the Bible and asked yourself how God was able to sneak in that new verse overnight? The ultimate source of the Bible is God. He used men to write it, but He is the source. As we pray and seek His guidance, He helps us to understand what He means in the various parts of the Bible. In some areas of the New Testament we see that apocalyptic stories are told to bring comfort to those listening. The simple message of Revelation, when you boil away everything else, is that Christians who are being persecuted can take comfort in the fact that God’s in control and that He’ll make everything right in the end. I don’t take comfort in the horrific ending those who reject Christ will have, according to this book, but I take comfort that God’s in control. I also see that as a compelling reason to share my faith with others. We serve a God who loves each and every person on this earth and wants them to turn to Him. Remember that as we go through this book.
Lord, we live in difficult times. Like many of those who’ve gone before me in the faith, I expect Jesus to return at any minute. Help me to share Your love and grace with others who need to experience that before He comes. Continue to teach and inspire me through Your word.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.