Revelation 15

Thanks, Jesus, for the victory YOU bring!
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“Great and marvelous are Your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are Your ways, King of the ages. Who will not fear You, O Lord, and bring glory to Your name?
For You alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.” (v 3-4 NIV)

YOU ALONE, Lord God Almighty, are HOLY.
Your deeds are GREAT and MARVELOUS.
Your ways are marked by JUSTICE and TRUTH.
You create awe in those who behold You.
Your name is above ALL other names.

When I sit alone with You, Father, it’s easy to pour out that kind of praise and admiration to You. The challenge comes when I have to get up and live like I mean it and believe it and know it. Keep on shaping me to be just like Jesus, so there’s less of me and more of Him showing through. (John 3:30) Amen.

Revelation 14

Thanks, Jesus, for the victory YOU bring!

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“…had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads… who did not defile themselves… kept themselves pure… followed the Lamb wherever He goes … purchased from among men … offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.” (Exodus 23:19; James 1:18)

“No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.” (v 1, 4-5 NIV)

“This calls for PATIENT ENDURANCE on the part of the saints who OBEY God’s commandments and REMAIN FAITHFUL to Jesus.” (v 12 NIV)

Sovereign God, THANK YOU that I can call You “Father,” that I am Yours.  Thank You for giving me Your name — not because of any act I’d done, but because of what Jesus did on the cross for me.  Help me to remain pure in my mind, heart, and body.  Help me to keep my eyes on You, following Your lead always.  Thank You for redeeming my life from being a slave to sin!  May I ever remain surrendered to You, just like a sacrificial offering.  Keep me in Your Truth and blameless.  Above all, may I obey and trust You so that patient endurance may be second-nature to me.

Thank You for the promise and assurance of seeing You one day and then being with You forever.  Until that Day, here’s my heart, my life — keep on making me just like Jesus.  Amen.

Revelation 13

Thanks, Jesus, for the victory YOU bring!

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“…a beast coming out of the sea… He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them.  And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.” (v 1, 7 NIV)

(Authority from whom? See v 2 “…The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.”)

“All the inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast–all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.” (v 8 NIV)

Father, this war against the saints has been going on since just after You created this world, beginning when mankind first disobeyed You.  The one who hated Your dream of creation set out to destroy it all.  For many centuries, this enemy ran rampant.  Yet, in YOUR perfect timing, You “crushed his head” (Genesis 3:15) with the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Now, we know the final score of the game will leave the enemy the loser and YOU, the triumphant victor!

“This calls for PATIENT ENDURANCE and FAITHFULNESS on the part of the saints… This calls for WISDOM…” (v 10, 18 NIV)

Until that Day You take me Home, Father, I realize that this life will have tremendous challenges in the midst of joys.  Following You means walking the path Your Son walked … which was not always a playful skip through the park.  You call me to patiently endure AND You supply me with abundant grace and strength.  You tell me I’ll need wisdom and You promise to give it when I ask for it (James 1:5; Proverbs 2:3-11).  You have made provision for me to live this life for You, as You keep on shaping me to be just like Jesus.  Amen.

Revelation 12

Thanks, Jesus, for the victory YOU bring!
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THE ENEMY IS:

DEFEATED

“And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down — that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” (v 7-9 NIV)

ACCUSING

“…the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.” (v 10 NIV)

FURIOUS

“…He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” (v 12 NIV)

RELENTLESS

“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring — those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” (v 17 NIV)

Father God, You are Almighty and sovereign. You have defeated this enemy of Yours and mine. You have made known to me the nature and ways of this enemy through Your Word, so that I might recognize his attempts to turn my gaze and devotion from You. Though he is accusing, furious, and relentless in his efforts to attack me and destroy me, Your child, he is still DEFEATED! His mighty weapons have no sting. (Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 10:18)

THE VICTORY IS MINE!

“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ.” (v 10 NIV)

  • Through Jesus’ death, I am saved from my sin.
  • Through Jesus’ resurrection, I have power for living faithfully.
  • Through my Father’s will, I am part of His kingdom of light, under His sovereign rule.
  • Through Jesus’ empowering, I have authority over the enemy (though that is nothing to glory in, only to be assured of — Luke 10:18-20)

“They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the Word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death … those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” (v 11, 17 NIV)

Father, You have made me Your child by the blood Jesus shed for me on the cross. You have brought victory over sin in my life and have empowered me to resist the Accuser (“Satan” means “accuser”). You have freed me of my old self, crucifying that old self to the cross with Your Son (Galatians 2:20). You have made me completely new and have empowered me through Your Word to be able to say “no” to the enemy.

When I am faced with accusing thoughts, with others being used by Satan to accuse me, (such as, “YOU were the cause of this…” or “You’ll never change…” or “YOU’ve done it again…” etc.), remind me of my position in You and cause my mouth to say and heart to believe with boldness:
“I AM A CHILD OF GOD. THE EVIL ONE CANNOT TOUCH ME.”

In that moment, strengthen me to stand my ground, knowing I am Yours and resting in Your power that has defeated the enemy (Romans 8:31-39).

When I am faced with temptations, sent to draw me away from You and Your will, remind my mouth and heart to say with boldness, “NO!” and my feet to flee, run, and resist the enemy. Because I am in Christ, I wear Your armor continually (Ephesians 6:10-18 — EACH piece is Christ at its root!). You are the One who does the fighting, while You’ve told me to resist, flee and stand firm (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-10; 1 Corinthians 15:57-58; Ephesians 6:10-18; Exodus 14:14)

Thank You, Father!

Revelation 11

Thanks, Jesus, for the victory YOU bring!

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“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever… We give thanks to You, Lord God Almighty, the One who IS and who WAS, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.” (v 15, 17 NIV)

Praise You, Mighty Father!  YOU are above ALL things!  All creation is subject to You.  There is no one above You or out of Your control.  Thank You for the peace and security this truth supplies.  No enemy can overpower You.  You are God and I am Your child.  You are my Father.  You are at work in my life to shape me to be just like Jesus, so that this world may come to know Him better.  Amen.

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Father, I feel like I’m truly beginning to learn that without You everything is nothing; and with You, nothing is everything.” — Kathy Troccoli, My Life Is in Your Hands, p. 183.

Revelation 10

Thanks, Jesus, for the victory YOU bring!

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“…Him who lives forever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it…” (v 6 NIV)

That’s You, Father!  Thanks for letting me know You!  How fascinating that the Creator of all things chooses to be my Father, chooses to know me personally, chooses to take care of me.

“…the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as He announced to His servants the prophets.” (v 7 NIV)

“And He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment–to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” (Ephesians 1:9-10 NIV)

This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open … The mystery in a nutshell is just this: CHRIST IS IN YOU, therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory.” (Colossians 1:26-27 MSG)

Because You are trustworthy, Lord, I can trust this mystery.  I can know that what You have to reveal on that day when we are face to face will be THE most splendid thing ever.  Thank You for the gift of Christ in me, of Your Holy Spirit with me as a guarantee of all that You have in store for me (AND Your entire Body!).  In the meantime, as I wait for Your return, keep on making me just like Jesus, so that I reflect Him here wherever I go.  Amen.

Revelation 9

Thanks, Jesus, for the victory YOU bring!

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“but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:15 NIV)

“The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons and idols … Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.” (Revelation 9:20-21 NIV)

In this depiction of Your judgment, Lord, there are people who are so hardhearted that not even terrible plagues drive them to You.  This kind of hardness isn’t an overnight or sudden development.  It’s a slipping and falling a little at a time, as they hardly realize what’s happening.  Here and there a person turns over control in his life to sin and soon he finds himself trapped in its clutches.  “Temptation entertained today becomes sin tomorrow, then a habit the next day, then death and separation from God forever.” (from NIV Life Application Bible, p. 2315)

Father, in my humanness I am susceptible to sin.  Only by Your grace can I flee temptation and remain holy before You.  Keep me ever alert to the deceit of the enemy which calls me to turn from Your ways.  Guard my heart with the Truth, Your Word.  Keep me strong, firm and steadfast as You keep making me just like Jesus.  Amen.

Revelation 8

Thanks, Jesus, for the victory YOU bring!

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“When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour … Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar.  He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne.  The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand.” (v 1, 3-4 NIV)

Thank You, Father, for such a vivid assurance that You hear the prayers of those who belong to You.  In this imagery, all the praising in heaven ceases for a time, so that the prayers can be heard and lifted up.

These particular prayers seem to tie in with the earlier chapters of the saints who were persecuted and crying out for vindication.  Here in this passage, You let them know that their cries were heard and You have a plan to handle the matter, as You release Your judgment on part of the earth, not yet unleashing Your final judgment.

Father, thank You for hearing my prayers.  Thank You for, some time ago, moving my heart to repentance and an acceptance of Your salvation through Jesus.  While there is still time left before Your judgment comes upon all the earth, keep on making me just like Jesus.  Use my life to lead others into an understanding of Your will, Your ways and Your gift of life in Him.  Amen.

Revelation 7

Thanks, Jesus, for the victory YOU bring!

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“Therefore go and MAKE DISCIPLES of ALL NATIONS, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV)

Before You left this earth in Your physical form, Jesus, You left this command quoted above.  Your desire was for us, as we go, to be focused on making disciples (followers of You) among all ethnic groups.  In today’s culture, the task of reaching another ethnic group can be as attainable as starting with one’s neighbor, since people from almost all over the world live almost all over the world.  Then, again, reaching “all nations” can be as challenging as seeking out a lost tribe in the depths of the jungles of West Africa.  Wherever I encounter people, THAT’s where You want me active in making disciples.

The end result of my obedience, together with the efforts of every other believer: “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb…” (7:9 NIV)

Father, remind me continually that You have me on this earth for the purpose of making disciples as I go.  Every resource, gift, skill, path You supply so that I can be Your instrument in connecting people to Jesus.  You have nurtured my faith so that it can encourage the faith of my family members, my friends, my coworkers, my church family members, my neighbors and the strangers on the street or across the globe.

Make me more like Jesus, Father, so that this world sees HIM when they look at me.  When people encounter me and go their own way, may they love Jesus more because of our time together.  Amen.

Revelation 6

Thanks, Jesus, for the victory YOU bring!

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“They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!  For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?’ “ (v 16-17 NIV)

The very One who strikes fear into those described here as about to face judgment is You, Father.  You have supreme authority over all things in Your creation–and that means me too.  You choose when You will act.  You choose what You’ll supply.  You set the limits for all creatures, for instance, the rider on the fourth horse was given power only over one-fourth of the earth to kill, not the whole earth, not his own discretion.  YOU are the Sovereign Lord.

Father, here is my heart, my life, my things, my relationships, my future… Would You govern them completely?  Help me to submit to Your sovereign will and to trust Your unrelenting love for me to bring forth only what YOU know is BEST for me as You make me just like Jesus.  Amen.

Revelation 5

Thanks, Jesus, for the victory YOU bring!
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“…’See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed’ …Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne…” (v 5-6 NIV)

Jesus, my Prince of Peace, the great I Am,
You are both the Lion and the Lamb.
In Your might You reign;
In Your meekness, You were slain.
You are strong and King over all who are and have been.
You were silent and became the price for all who sin.
With Your own strength You empower me.
With Your own blood You purchased me.
Let Your power flow through me to serve You.
Let Your mercy shine from me to mirror You.

art by Sally Brestin - click on image for ordering info

art by Sally Brestin – click on image for ordering info

Father God, thank You for Jesus. Keep on making me just like Him. Amen.

Revelation 4

Thanks, Jesus, for the victory YOU bring!

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“…there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it…” (v 2 NIV)

It was YOU, Father!  YOU are the One “who sits on the throne” in heaven and “who lives forever and ever” (v 9-10 NIV).  You are the Lord God Almighty.  To You alone belong glory, honor, praise, and thanks.

Though there is no question that YOU are on the throne over all Your creation, perhaps there’s a place where You’re not allowed sovereign rule.  So often, the throne of my own heart is more occupied by me than when I let You reign.  I sit down there instead of letting You sit and then kneeling at Your feet.  Father, forgive me and help me to be different.  You are the true Sovereign over my life.  Help me to know and understand Your will for me and then do it.  Keep on making me just like Jesus.  Amen.

Revelation 3

Thanks, Jesus, for the victory YOU bring!

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“I know that You have little strength, yet you have kept My Word and have not denied My name … Since you have kept My command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come…” (v 8, 10 NIV)

When I am weak, Father, YOU lift me up.  YOU are my true all-in-all, my ultimate Source of all things.  How I pray that You would be able to say of me the same that You said above to the church in Philadelphia, that I had “endured patiently.”  Since patience is most readily wrought through endurance, I’m sure that there will be and are already quite enough opportunities for me to “endure.”  Yet I do know this: YOU are in the midst of every one of them WITH me, as You keep on making me just like Jesus.  Amen.

Revelation 2-3

Thanks, Jesus, for the victory YOU bring!

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“…we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37 NIV)

“But thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57 NIV)

“for everyone born of God overcomes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4 NIV)

TO THE ONE WHO OVERCOMES, LORD, YOU PROMISE…
ETERNITY“To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (2:7 NIV)
IMMORTALITY“He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.” (2:11 NIV)
IDENTITY“To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.” (2:17 NIV)
AUTHORITY“To him who overcomes and does My will to the end, I will give authority over the nations … just as I have received authority from My Father. I will also give him the morning star.” (2:26-28 NIV)
PURITY“He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before My Father and His angels.” (3:5 NIV)
SECURITY“Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from My God; and I will also write on him My new name.” (3:12 NIV)
ROYALTY“To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” (3:21 NIV)

Father, You hold forth so many promises of so many things to me as rewards for remaining faithful to You.  Help me to FIX my “eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of [my] faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand” of Your throne (Heb 12:2 NIV).  Help me to remember His endurance … and the assurance of His strength and presence throughout my own way of endurance.  Keep on making me just like Jesus, Father.  Amen.

Revelation 2:1-7

Thanks, Jesus, for the victory YOU bring!

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“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance … Yet I hold this against you: YOU HAVE FORSAKEN YOUR FIRST LOVE.  Remember the height from which you have fallen!  Repent and do the things you did at first…” (v 2, 4-5 NIV)

“…you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love] … Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously [when you first knew the Lord],…” (v 4-5 AMP)

Take me back, Father, to those times when I found SUCH joy in focusing on the needs of others around me and connected to me … when I had no fear of being rejected by even Your people… when I could be found seeking ways to serve others unreservedly… I remember those times dimly.  Restore to me the vibrancy of an understanding heart, a selfless mindset, and a generous spirit.  Keep changing me to be just like Jesus.  Amen.