VIDEO On Earth as It Is In Heaven – Study of Revelation

Immediately I [the apostle John] was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. Revelation 4:2

The apostle John was exiled on the island of Patmos off the coast of Asia Minor. On the Lord’s Day (Revelation 1:10) he saw a vision of Jesus and wrote down letters from Christ to the seven churches. After he finished transcribing the letters, he found himself “in the Spirit” (Revelation 4:2)—a state in which he began seeing the worshipful glory of heaven.

Whenever we are fully committed to worshiping God in the power of the Spirit, it becomes the perfect time for God to speak to our hearts. In worship He can reveal more of Himself to us through songs and Scriptures that praise Him in a biblical fashion. It was in such a state of worship that John began seeing heaven as described in Revelation 4: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (verse 8) Granted, our worship on earth can’t compare to the worship in heaven, but it is the best place to begin.

As you worship the Lord—individually or corporately—imagine what worship in heaven will be like one day.

When we see even a small glimpse of God’s holiness, we will bow in worship.  R. C. Sproul


McGee – Study of Revelation – Revelation 4:2-7 – Part 38

A Royal Role

To all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12

 

The closer someone in a royal family is to the throne, the more the public hears about him or her. Others are almost forgotten. The British royal family has a line of succession that includes nearly sixty people. One of them is Lord Frederick Windsor, who’s forty-ninth in line for the throne. Instead of being in the limelight, he quietly goes about his life. Though he works as a financial analyst, he’s not considered a “working royal”—one of the important family members who are paid for representing the family.

David’s son Nathan (2 Samuel 5:14) is another royal who lived outside the limelight. Very little is known about him. But while the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew mentions his son Solomon (tracing Joseph’s line, Matthew 1:6), Luke’s genealogy, which many scholars believe is Mary’s family line, mentions Nathan (Luke 3:31). Though Nathan didn’t hold a scepter, he still had a role in God’s forever kingdom.

As believers in Christ, we’re also royalty. The apostle John wrote that God gave us “the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). Though we may not be in the spotlight, we’re children of the King! God considers each of us important enough to represent Him here on earth and to one day reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:11–13). Like Nathan, we may not wear an earthly crown, but we still have a part to play in God’s kingdom.

By:  Linda Washington

 

Reflect & Pray

How does knowing you’re royalty—God’s child—make you feel? As a child of the King, what do you see as your responsibilities to the people around you?

Heavenly Father, I’m grateful that You adopted me into Your forever family.

High Thirst for God

Psalm 63:1-8

In Psalm 63, David wrote, “You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You.” God wants us to seek Him and have a loving bond with Him, as David did. So, how are we to do this?

Knowing Him is the first step, which takes priority above all other matters. David used the word thirst to describe his passion to know the Lord (Psalm 63:1); the apostle Paul likened his dedicated pursuit of God to a race (1 Corinthians 9:24). When we seek after Him with our heart and mind, we will find our soul becoming satisfied.

Our next step is to spend time in God’s Word. Making time to read and meditate on Scripture is essential for every believer. That’s how we learn who God is, how He works, and what He desires for us and the body of Christ. When we strive to know and understand the Word of God, the Holy Spirit will make the meaning spring to life.

Dedicating time to knowing and experiencing God is a critical step toward a satisfying walk with Him. Begin today by making a pledge to pursue Him more diligently and making time in your schedule for regular study and prayer. Your heavenly Father is waiting to meet with you.

Be His Head, His Hands, His Feet

“Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side….And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My LORD and my God.” (John 20:27-28)

Perhaps no other means of execution ever inflicted more physical pain than Roman crucifixion. Today as we ponder verse three of the precious hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” we reflect on the facts that when Christ was crucified, a cruel crown of thorns was mashed down upon His head and His body was held suspended in place by painful Roman spikes nailed through His hands and feet. He knew what awaited Him, for a description of the dying process had been written long beforehand (Psalm 22). Yet, He endured it all out of love for us.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

We get some perspective of His love from these verses: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10).

He has done it all for us. We cannot earn salvation, but we have an obligation to conform our lives to His example, even His death. Scripture informs us that we can “know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Philippians 3:10). His death on the cross and His resurrection pave the way for us to follow. JDM

Have Higher Expectations

Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

—Colossians 1:28-29

 

The treacherous enemy facing the church of Jesus Christ today is the dictatorship of the routine, when the routine becomes “lord” in the life of the church. Programs are organized and the prevailing conditions are accepted as normal. Anyone can predict next Sunday’s service and what will happen. This seems to be the most deadly threat in the church today. When we come to the place where everything can be predicted and nobody expects anything unusual from God, we are in a rut. The routine dictates, and we can tell not only what will happen next Sunday, but what will occur next month and, if things do not improve, what will take place next year. Then we have reached the place where what has been determines what is, and what is determines what will be.

That would be perfectly all right and proper for a cemetery. Nobody expects a cemetery to do anything but conform…. But the church is not a cemetery and we should expect much from it, because what has been should not be lord to tell us what is, and what is should not be ruler to tell us what will be. God’s people are supposed to grow.   RRR005-006

Lord, use me today to help some people to really grow in You. Amen.

 

Holy Wounds

Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: neverthe less not my will, but thine, be done.

—Luke 22:42

 

There are people within the ranks of Christianity who have been taught and who believe that Christ will shield His followers from wounds of every kind.

If the truth were known, the saints of God in every age were only effective after they had been wounded. They experienced the humbling wounds that brought contrition, compassion and a yearning for the knowledge of God. I could only wish that more among the followers of Christ knew what some of the early saints meant when they spoke of being wounded by the Holy Spirit.

Think for a moment about the apostle Paul. I suppose there is no theologian living or dead who quite knows what Paul meant when he said, “From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” (Galatians 6:17). Every commentary has a different idea. I think Paul referred to the wounds he suffered because of his faith and godly life. MMG059

If you are to sit with Christ upon His throne, you must go with Him through His Gethsemane. CTBC, Vol. 2/065

 

The Bright Morning Star

Revelation 22:16

Immanuel Kant wrote: “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing wonder and awe—the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.” My favorite sight in nature is the spectacle of a star-bejeweled sky on a dark night. It fills the soul with reverence to contemplate not only their beauty but their fathomless distance and titanic size.

Enshrined in our archives of family memories is one evening when camping in northern Canada, after our evening campfire had died away we took our children down by the lakeside where we could view the open sky. It was one of those dark clear nights, and free of artificial lights the star-spangled sky sparkled in breathtaking majesty. Our son, then about seven years of age, looked up, and in a tone of awe and reverence said, “I never knew there were so many stars.” It was a moment of prized discovery.

Every person of Christ’s day had a picture in mind when Christ said, “I am the Bright Morning Star” (Rev. 22:16). The stars figured prominently in their lives.

The morning star heralds the dawn of a new day. Christ ushered in a new age. His life gave promise of a new and bright future.

At dawn, the stars gradually give way to the light until finally there is only one star shining. All other stars fade from view except for the morning star. Christ, as the Bright Morning Star, shines brightly when all other stars of our life fade away. Those things which now shine so brightly on the horizon of our lives will someday fade and vanish away. The stars of prestige, position, possessions and persons dear to us will one by one grow dim and fade away. But after everything else has vanished, Christ will still shine brightly and will radiantly beam over the horizon of life when the dawn breaks and the shadows flee away.

As the morning star is the brightest star in the sky, so is Christ the most radiant light ever to shine in our world. All other luminaries pale compared to the brilliance of His life. He is the peerless one of all history.

For many centuries man charted his journeys by the stars. Sailors navigated the seas with their eyes on the stars. The stars were the road maps, the directional signs for their times.

From Christ alone can we take bearings for our journey on the sea of life. Our compass needle will cease its oscillations when its directional point is turned toward the One who is the Bright Morning Star. Like a mariner, we may reckon all our decisions and directions from that Star.

Henry Gariepy, Portraits of Christ