VIDEO Gratitude and The Lord’s Word to His Church

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Revelation 3:10


Every day in courtrooms, individuals breathe a sigh of relief when a judgment or sentence is not levied upon them for some reason. The judge chooses to dismiss the charge for any number of possible reasons. Relief, joy, gratitude—the response of the defendant is overwhelming.

Perhaps that is how the church in the ancient city of Philadelphia responded when the apostle John delivered a message from Christ telling them they would be spared from the hour of judgment coming upon the whole world. Were they sinless? No—the reason was that they had persevered patiently and faithfully in the face of persecution. In the grand scheme of biblical interpretation, the church at Philadelphia is a picture of the modern Church in our current age. What applied to that church applies to us. Why? Because, in the words of the apostle Paul, “God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

Thank God today that Jesus Christ bore our judgment on the cross that we might inherit salvation through Him.

God’s wrath is his righteousness reacting against unrighteousness. J. I. Packer

The Lord’s Word to His Church: Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7–13)


Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people.  Revelation 21:3


The little boy excitedly ripped open a big box from his serviceman daddy, whom he believed wouldn’t be home to celebrate his birthday. Inside that box was yet another giftwrapped box, and inside that box was another that simply held a piece of paper saying, “Surprise!” Confused, the boy looked up—just as his dad entered the room. Tearfully the son leapt into his father’s arms, exclaiming, “Daddy, I missed you” and “I love you!”

That tearful yet joyful reunion captures the heart of Revelation 21’s description of the glorious moment when God’s children see their loving Father face to face—in the fully renewed and restored creation. There, “[God] will wipe every tear from [our] eyes.” No longer will we experience pain or sorrow, because we’ll be with our heavenly Father. As the “loud voice” in Revelation 21 declares, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them” (vv. 3–4).

There’s a tender love and joy that followers of Jesus already enjoy with God, as 1 Peter 1:8 describes: “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” Yet imagine our incredible, overflowing joy when we see the one we’ve loved and longed for welcoming us into His open arms!

By:  Alyson Kieda

Reflect & Pray

What do you most look forward to about life in God’s presence in the restored creation? How do you experience glimpses of that joy now?

Loving God, we anticipate with joy the day when we will be with You. Until then, help us to happily serve You as we wait.

The Influence of Godly Parents

Deuteronomy 6:5-9
In preparing the Israelites for the promised land, God didn’t command priests, teachers, or national leaders to train the next generation. Instead, He assigned this to parents.This remains true today. First, we’re to train children verbally, through teachings and conversations about God and His Word. Second, we’re to influence them by our actions. When parents let Scripture guide their motives and actions, children can’t help but notice—and they learn behavior by example.

Consider how the following behaviors could influence our children:

• If they see us rely on God and believe the Bible, they’ll know He is trustworthy.
• If we’re diligent to obey Him, they’ll prioritize this attitude, too.
• If we endure difficulty, they’ll learn perseverance and patience.
• If we honor those in authority over us, children will learn respect.

If you are a parent, teacher, or other person of influence in young people’s lives, take time today to consider what they may or may not be observing in your life. I pray that your relationship with God would influence how you act and overflow into the lives of the young men and women around you.

Heaven Was Opened

“And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” (John 1:51)

In Jacob’s dream (Genesis 28:12), angels were ascending and descending on a great ladder between Earth and heaven. Christ promised a future reality in which He Himself would be the ladder to the opened heaven.

But that was to be “hereafter.” Until Christ came to die and rise again, heaven was closed, for nothing unclean could enter there, and death had “passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). Even those who died in faith could only be “comforted” in “Abraham’s bosom” deep “in the heart of the earth” (Luke 16:22, 25; Matthew 12:40), because “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4).

Then Christ died and rose again “to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26). In His spirit, “he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth,” and “when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive” (Ephesians 4:8-9), leading all pre-Calvary saints with Him into heaven. Then was fulfilled the wonderful scene predicted in Psalm 24:7: “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.”

Since that wonderful day when Christ ascended back to heaven, “to be absent from the body” is “to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). Heaven someday will even receive our resurrected bodies. John prophesied it this way: “I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice…said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter” (Revelation 4:1). Heaven thenceforth will be open eternally to all the redeemed. “The gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there” (Revelation 21:25). HMM

How Much I Could Have Done, IF only

And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.

—2 Corinthians 8:5


Before the judgment seat of Christ my service will be judged not by how much I have done but by how much I could have done. In God’s sight my giving is measured not by how much I have given but by how much I could have given and how much I had left after I made my gift. The needs of the world and my total ability to minister to those needs decide the worth of my service.

Not by its size is my gift judged, but by how much of me there is in it. No man gives at all until he has given all. No man gives anything acceptable to God until he has first given himself in love and sacrifice….

In the work of the church the amount one man must do to accomplish a given task is determined by how much or how little the rest of the company is willing to do. It is a rare church whose members all put their shoulder to the wheel. The typical church is composed of the few whose shoulders are bruised by their faithful labors and the many who are unwilling to raise a blister in the service of God and their fellowmen. There may be a bit of wry humor in all this, but it is quite certain that there will be no laughter when each of us gives account to God of the deeds done in the body.   TIC105

Help me to give of myself completely today, Lord. I hold nothing back, even if at the end of the day I’m the only one with a bruised shoulder. Amen.


Feeling versus Faith

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

—Hebrews 11:1


If God wills to pour out His Spirit upon us, why do not more Christians and more churches receive an experience of power like that of the early Church? That some have so received is joyfully admitted, but why is the number so few? When the provision is so broad and the promise so sure, what doth hinder us?…

One obstacle to the reception of power is a widespread fear of our emotions wherever they touch the religious life….

This anti-emotionalism…is an unwarranted inference, not a scriptural doctrine, and is in violent opposition to psychology and common sense. Where in the Bible are feeling and faith said to be at odds?

The fact is that faith engenders feeling…. We can have feeling without faith, it is true, but we can never have faith without feeling. Faith as a cold, unemotional light is wholly unknown in the Scriptures. The faith of those Bible heroes listed in the Book of Hebrews invariably aroused emotion and led to positive action in the direction of their faith. PTP052-054

[I]f we love Him, He can make us supremely happy. JAS076


Musings in the Upper Room

Luke 24:36-41


Lord, how You frighten me,

coming through walls, suddenly appearing,

all shining, unearthly. Can it be

You’re the smiling One I remember

bouncing children on Your knee?


I remember Your hillside stories,

so terrible and wonderful,

but all their awe-inspiring glories,

their woundings and their soothings were

gentled by some calm or ease

we felt with You. We marked the real

way Your lips formed words and sighs,

the way dust clung to Your heel

when you walked the village roads, the arch

of muscle and bone when You stooped to kneel.


And when You died, Your blood was red.

It matted Your hair, fell on Your chest.

Your chest… I could see it pound. I fled

when I knew that You were innocent,

that you were dying for me instead.

They put You in a human tomb.

Women wept, as women do,

as many touched with grief and gloom.

(Once, Lord, I saw You weep

tears like rain in the silent room.)


Resurrected, now You stand

too wonderful for me to look,

too high, I cannot comprehend

our majesty, Your holiness.

But suddenly You extend a hand.

I can’t believe the marks I see,

the ugly wounds, ragged gashes,

marks of experienced humanity!

Why have you allowed these to remain

in your splendid, glorified body?


Reminders always of mankind’s son?

Marks of earth You choose to wear?

Can it be when all is said and done

these bloody badges forever prove

that You and I are inexplicably one?

Marlene Chase, The Officer