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.

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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.