Fbcsreadthruthebible's Blog

Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

Reading the Revelation . . .

Revelation 1    Nehemiah 1-2    Psalm 96

“The revelation of Jesus Christ . . .” (Revelation 1:1). Today we begin reading the revelation of Jesus Christ to John as part of our daily read through the Bible project.  Many people identify this book as one of the most baffling and least helpful in the scriptures. Others approach it as a puzzle to be solved . . . I have a suggestion to offer as you read the revelation this time: Read it as a word of encouragement and hope given to Christ-followers in crisis. Encouragement. To Christians undergoing persecution. Hope. To those for whom it would be tempting to believe that all hope is gone. Consider it:

“I, John, . . . share with you in Jesus the persecution . . .” (Revelation 1:9).  John is an exile, imprisoned on Patmos because of his faith in — and faithfulness to — Jesus Christ. And the revelation he shares with his fellow believers under threat? They not only share in the persecution; they also share “the kingdom and the patient endurance.” That is to say, writer and reader are in this together. And, most importantly, they are not alone:

“I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands I saw one like the Son of Man” (Revelation 1:12,13). And “the seven lampstands are the seven churches” (v.20). Do you see it? The living Jesus, who is “alive forever and ever” (18) is in the midst of the churches! Even in the time of trouble. Then. Now. Forever and ever.  . . Encouragement and hope. The One who is the beginning of the story and the end of the story stands squarely in the middle of the story; God with us. Thanks be to God! Therefore:

“Do not be afraid” (Revelation 1:17).  The word of the Living One, who was dead and now lives forever and ever. It is a word we need to hear and receive. Today and every day of our lives. So may you read the Revelation with this word echoing in your soul. And may you be encouraged in hope. Amen.

“O sing to the Lord a new song . . .
he is coming to judge the earth.”

— Psalm 96:1,13


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