SPECIAL NOTE: There was a mistake on the original list of readings. Tomorrow's reading for February 28 is Revelation 22. We are reading the first and last chapters of this book. So, make sure you read Revelation 22.
February 27. Revelation 1
I don't know where we get the idea that accepting Christ as Lord and Savior is going to make our lives cozy and comfy. If we look at the people of faith in the Bible, although their souls were at rest and peace in Jesus, their bodies often were asked to endure hard things and much suffering. John was the "disciple whom Jesus loved" and yet, in his old age, he was exiled to a rocky island with minimal comforts and maximum isolation from his Christian brothers and sisters. It must have been hard.
But oh how Jesus met him there - quite literally! And the vision John saw swept him off his feet! He opens this last writing of his with awe and wonder and praise! Hear his testimony and rejoice that this suffering disciple was filled with joy at being Jesus' follower: "and from Jesus Christ. He is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world. All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen" (Revelation 1:5-6 NLT). Does John sound miserable about his lot in life? Not At All!
John got to see the risen Savior in His glorified heavenly body and was wowed. He fell down as though dead at first with the awe and wonder of it! His description of Jesus, the Light of the world, is intense. Imagine trying to describe the indescribable! He was SO excited to share what Jesus showed him and told him with the seven churches and also to all who followed after including us! These are important words. The direct testimony of Jesus the Christ, our Lord and Savior and we ought to read with great reverence. Isn't that the feeling you get as John shares? I love the opening to this revelation and it makes me want to read the whole book!
I love that at the very end of his life, before he died, John saw Christ high and exalted and yet still talking to him, John. What a gift and treasure. Oh that exile was nothing compared to the glory of that vision!
My verses: Revelation 1:9-10. "I, John, am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and for my testimony about Jesus. It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit."
My response: Dear Lord God, there are so many things about these verses that I love. I love that we partner in suffering with one another and with You, Lord Jesus, who understands suffering so well. I love the call to patient endurance as we wait for Your return. I marvel that John was exiled because of his testimony and the preaching of the Word. And then, what does John do in exile? He worships and praises you on the Lord's Day, Sunday, meeting with You as he always has and setting apart the day for special worship. I love how You met him as he worshiped! If ever a time of persecution like this comes, dear Lord, help me to remember John's example.