Study from God’s Word… Revelations 8: 7 – 13: 18 … Passage for Reflection: Revelations 13: 10 … NIV This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.
My Journal for Today: Wow! Reading through Chapters 8 – 13 of Revelations can be – and for me, IS – a bit overwhelming with all the apocalyptic imagery involving the devil and his beasts which will bring horrible physical and spiritual oppression upon mankind in the great tribulation. And bringing all this into here-and-now perspective and application can be a bit daunting, to say the least. But this little verse in Rev. 13: 10, which is repeated, very close conceptually, in Rev. 14: 12 is reflective of why God gave John all these visions to write down for the churches in Asia-Minor of the day as well as for you an me.
Remember the seven letters Jesus dictated for John to send to the 1st Century churches, the intent of which, being canonized into Scripture, applies to any/all in the church today. At the end of each of the seven letters, Dr. Smith today helped me remember that there was a charge for the remnant of believers who had been scattered and were being persecuted in the world of that day; and that charge involved the challenge by God in today’s highlight text; and we – the church – are being charged to remain faithful with patient endurance; because our faith will be challenged by Satan, the world, and even our own flesh.
I challenge you to go back, as I did today, and read the end of each of the seven letters to the churches in Rev., Chapters 2 – 3; and you’ll read the promises of God for the believer “who overcomes and does [God’s] will to the end.” And you’ll see that each of the seven promises raises the specter of Dr. Smith’s poignant question to close his devotional today, which is, ”Do I have the depth of faith and commitment that would keep me faithful no matter what the consequences?”
Pretty good question as we close out the old year and enter a New Year, don’t you think?
Oh, we may not be dealing the level of horror and persecution as those 1st century Christians were facing; and we certainly are not involved with the terror Christians who were saved in the tribulation will face. BUT – the challenge for those believers, leveled in today’s highlight verse, is the same one which is put to any Christian today. Any type of physical, emotional, and/or spiritual circumstance, which causes us to reflect on our fears and challenge our faith, is going to call for us to exercise our faith and become OVERCOMERS.
What are you facing as we go into 2011 which gives you pause or maybe is terribly fearful? Are you dealing with cancer; or maybe you have a loved one who is? Are finances to a point of challenging your faith? Maybe you just can’t seem to conquer a recurring pattern of sin, which you know is an affront to God? What are our oppressive faith challenges going into 2011?
Well, no matter what our challenges or circumstances are, the book of Revelations was given to us, through John, so that we – God’s church – can realize that His ultimate promises will overcome anything Satan, the world, or even our own selfishness can throw our way. My fellow Christian, we can be overcomers; but we’ve got to become conquerors by believing God’s truth – such as His promises set forth in His word, … just as they are the Book of Revelations. If you cannot or will not lean, with faith, on God’s promises, my dear one, you are going to succumb to our spiritual enemies in 2011. But if you can – and will – determine to learn about and lean on God’s wondrous truth from His word, you, my friend are going to be more and more of an OVERCOMER into and through the New Year.
I do hope you, a reader here, will have a HAPPY OVERCOMER NEW YEAR in 2011.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, I declare my pursuit of overcomer faith in this new year. Amen