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

To Those Who Conquer . . .

Revelation 2    Nehemiah 3    Psalm 97

“The Lord is king!” (Psalm 97:1). . . “righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne” (v.2) . . . And he “walks among” his churches (Revelation 2:1), offering the gift of himself (Revelation 2:28) to those who are faithful to him to the end! Today’s readings speak clearly and unequivocably of the authority of God “over all the earth” (Psalm 97:9). Yet, far from depicting the Lord of all as distant and detached, God is shown to be one who knows, loves, guards, rescues, exhorts, and encourages us to faithfulness (Psalm 97:10 and Revelation 2).

“To everyone who conquers . . .” (Revelation 2:7,11,17,26,28). The letters to the churches should lead the reader to a deep conviction: God wants us to succeed. The purpose in all of the “words of  the Son of God,”  be they words of commendation, correction, admonition, or promise, is to encourage those who receive them to “conquer.” And what is meant by conquering? Faithfulness to the end. Faithfulness in the face of opposition, temptation, affliction, fear, and fatigue. Faithfulness in mind, heart, and work (v.23). . .

“And continues to do my work to the end” (Revelation 2:26).  And it is Nehemiah who reveals the best way to approach and succeed in any such work: Side-by-side and together. Notice, as the work of rebuilding Jerusalem’s wall progresses, the repetition of the words: “Next to them . . . Next to them . . . Next to them . . .” and “After him . . . After him . . . After him . . .” (Nehemiah 3). Notice further that the words of Christ are given to the churches . . .  The work to which we are called and commissioned is a work best engaged together. This, also, is by divine design.

“To everyone who conquers, I will give . . .” (Revelation 2:7,17). Life! Victory! Joy! Authority! The Morning Star! Promise. May we have ears to listen to this word. May we be encouraged and inspired by it. And may we remain faithful in mind, heart, and work through it all and to the end. Amen.

“Light dawns for the righteous,
and joy for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
and give thanks to his holy name!”

— Psalm 97:11,12

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