Today’s reading is Revelation 1.
John sees Jesus walking among the lampstands and falls on his face as though dead. Jesus lays His hand on John and says, “Fear not.” What a great kick off to this book. Obviously, Jesus is addressing John’s fear in the presence His own divinity. However, this is also a summary of the book. Jesus is the first and the last. He is the Living One. He lived, He died, but now He is alive forevermore. And that sets the stage for everything Jesus is going to reveal to John. A lot of things were going to happen to Christians that were pretty frightening. Frightening in the same sense that being unjustly arrested, tried, and crucified is frightening. However, though Jesus died, He was still victorious and is now alive forevermore. In like manner, John has nothing to really fear from anything Rome, Jerusalem, name the enemy of your choice, would do to him because no matter what it looks like, Jesus always wins. Whatever else you get out of reading Revelation this time, get this. Sure, death may be coming. But, for us, even death is the pathway to victory. We have nothing to fear. Praise the Lord?
Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 2.
Today’s reading is Acts 20.
The gospel, at heart, is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ in accordance with the prophetic Scriptures in order to save us from the wrath of God against our sins. However, did you catch the gospel parallel in Paul’s words to the Ephesian elders? In vs. 24, he said he only wanted to be able to finish the course of testifying to the gospel of the grace of God. Then in vs. 25, he said what he had been doing was proclaiming the kingdom. The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of our King, but the gospel, that is, the good news, is also the kingdom established on the rock of our resurrected Redeemer. We sometimes talk about the gospel of the kingdom; we need to be aware that this is not talking about the gospel or good news that belongs to the kingdom, but that the kingdom is itself good news. We have a King. He established a Kingdom. Let us press into it, because citizenship in that kingdom is where true blessing is found.
Tomorrow’s reading is Acts 21.
Continue reading “The Kingdom of the Gospel”
Today’s reading is 2 Corinthians 5.
I have a choice today. Today can be about me or it can be about Jesus. I get it, making today about someone other than me can seem like a real bummer. After all, I know and want what’s best for me, right? If I make my life about someone else, He will no doubt take advantage of me, oppress me, and use me for His own good, right? That would be awful. Except, consider what Jesus did to ask me to live for Him. He left His throne at the right hand of the Father, came into the world as a poor carpenter’s son, lived faithfully to the Lord, and then died a criminal’s death. He did all this to wash my sins away and give me life. Do I honestly believe if I live my life for Him today that He is going to do anything other than lead me to what is best for me? Since He created me, He probably knows what is best for me better than I do. I think today, I’ll live for Jesus. How about you?
Tomorrow’s reading is 2 Corinthians 6.
Continue reading “Live for Jesus”
Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 15.
We spend a great deal of time talking about planting the seed of God’s Word in hearts so it will sprout forth in new life. The reason we want to do that is because one day we and everyone we know will be planting another seed–Our Bodies. They will get planted in the ground awaiting the Lord’s return and the great harvest. Our bodies will either come forth to a resurrection of life or of judgment. The difference depends on what we will be planting. If we plant a body that has been away from the Lord, it will be raised to judgment. If we plant a body that is with the Lord, it will sprout forth in new, eternal life. That is why disciple making is so important. The day of your planting is coming. What will you plant?
Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Corinthians 16.
Continue reading “What Will You Plant?”