Praise God … Revelation 4

Revelation has been called apocalyptic writing. That means it follow a distinct style using symbolic language. It depends a lot on the reader knowing the Old Testament and was written to people facing persecution for their faith. The message had to be written in “code language” to get past the censors who would read it before being allowed to be sent on. The 24 Elders before the throne in heaven represent all of God’s people giving praise to the God of creation. 12  elders represent the 12 tribes of Israel. The other 12 represent the 12 Disciples and the New Testament era people of faith. All praise God.

Next reading Revelation 5

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Luke Warm Christians …Revelation 3:7-22

Something that is luke warm isn’t hot or cold. That could describe casual or indifferent Christians. They are not on fire for the Lord and not totally turned off. They have been called nominal Christians, people who claim the name but fail to live or practice their faith. As the letter to the church in Laodicea warns us, don’t be that guy. There is no room in God’s eternal family for them.

Next reading Revelation 4

Danger … Revelation 2:18-3:6

The next two letters to the churches warn about dangers to be avoided. The first is becoming so open minded to the thoughts of others that you embrace and welcome their sinful teachings and actions into the faith community. We can’t do that. The second danger is trying to live off a good reputation without really doing anything now. Faithfulness in the past should lead to faithfulness in the present and onto the future. We always need to rely on God’s help, Spirit and forgiveness to strive to live faithful lives.

Next reading Revelation 3:7-22

Three Letters … Revelation 2:1-17

Today’s reading is the first three of seven letters written to seven different churches, letters that still speak to us today. Christians need to make sure that we don’t become indifferent, that we don’t let our love for the Lord and for each other fade. We need to rely upon the Lord in tough times to help us. And we need to remain faithful and true to God’s Word.

Next reading Revelation 2:18-3:6

Revealed … Revelation 1

Revelation can be a very confusing part of the New Testament, especially when read out of context or used to prove some preconceived notion about the future. The purpose of Revelation is to reveal Jesus Christ as God, victorious over sin and death. To Christians facing persecution from secular authorities, the message is Jesus has already won. We can trust and follow Him.

Next reading Revelation 2:1-17

Not An Option … Jude

Defending the Christian Faith in an immoral time is a necessity. Justifying an immoral life is not an option. Just because something is legal doesn’t make it morally right. Christians rely on God’s grace and forgiveness while trying to live in a way that gives glory to God. We know that God loves us despite our imperfections.

Next reading Revelations 1

2 John … 2 Things

In this second small letter John makes two key points. First is to live in God’s Love and to love one another. The second is to reject those who distort the truth about Jesus and have nothing to do with them. John was addressing the Gnostic heresy that claim that Jesus was not fully human, that the spirit of God left him before he was crucified. The Gnostics made Jesus a knowledge giver and teacher, not the Savior over sin and death. While we must reach out with the Gospel message to all we can, we must reject the teachers and teachings that deny that Jesus is both true God and true man, the one and only Savior from sin and sin’s consequences.

Next reading 3 John

No Replacing … 1 John 5

There is only One God. Nothing and no one can ever replace Him in our hearts and lives. Anything that tries to replace God is an idol, a false God. God loves us, forgives us, gives us purpose and life. People may let other things or false gods into their lives, but these things can never replace the Lord God. Because God loves us, we can love Him in response. There is no replacement for God.

Next reading 2 John 1

The Love Test … 1 John 4

The Christian faith is a gift from the Holy Spirit. The test for faith is love: love for God and love for others. We can love others because God first loved us. Christ like love in action in our lives is the test to see if our faith is genuine, if it has really taken hold in our lives. We have a serious faith crisis if we don’t love God, our fellow Christians or other people.

Next reading 1 John 5