Suggested Reading: Revelation 15
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Key Verse: Revelation 15:4a
Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy.
Jim and Kathy Cantelon write today’s 100 Words segment (originally published in Crossroads’ Day Unto Day devotional series)…
In chapters 15 and 16 we read about God’s wrath. This isn’t pleasant reading, and if we’ve thought of God only in terms of His love, these chapters can be disconcerting and even repellent. But we’ve got to understand something – Jesus didn’t come to earth merely to give us a good example, nor was His death at Calvary some sort of morality play. He didn’t come to make us better people. He came to make us new.
Why? Because God the Father is wholly pure, holy, and just. Sin offends Him – so much so that He has decreed that “the wages of sin is death.” All mankind have sinned, and all deserve death in His eyes – His justice demands it. But He is also love. He is not willing that any should perish; He loves the sinner and hates his sin. So what does He do?
God becomes one of us. His Son, Jesus, is born in Bethlehem, is raised in Nazareth, and for three years teaches all who will hear about the Kingdom of Heaven. He tells us what God is like, and He tells us to repent of sin. He takes the penalty of our sin upon Himself and dies on the Cross. Three days later He rises from the grave and issues in a whole new order of life that transcends death and enters the eternal. He becomes the “first fruits” of “them who shall also rise.”
He does all this to satisfy His justice so that man can have a second chance. But if we don’t accept His offer, we’ll suffer His anger. And “it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). Revelation makes that very clear.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, Your creation of the natural world should be sufficient to cause me to fear You! May I give You at all times total respect! When I realize that You entered Your creation as a tiny life in the womb of the Virgin Mary, I am in complete awe of You. I am moved to pray the prayer of King David found in Psalm 51:1-13. Lord Jesus, You took upon Yourself my sin and the sins of the human family as the sacrificial Lamb. I confess my sin, and I ask for the assurance of forgiveness and cleansing from all sin. In Your Name I pray! Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
The Apostle John served as the Overseer, or Bishop, of the Roman province of Asia Minor. Today this land is called Turkey. Norma-Jean and I travelled across Turkey with 150 friends, otherwise known as tourists. Actually we called ourselves Pilgrims, visiting cities such as Antioch, where people were first called Christians. I remember well the city of Tarsus, birthplace of the Apostle Paul and his home until he left to study in Jerusalem. At each stop, I would read the Scriptures about the place. Rev. Dale Lang, of Tabor Alberta, would make an application to our lives today, and Dr. Paul Maier, Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University, would give the historical background. On one occasion we were at the ruins of the first century synagogue in Tarsus. Dr. Maier pointed to a rose bush growing out of the ruins and said with a straight face, “This is where Paul got his thorn.” As Jim mentioned above about today’s reading, “This isn’t pleasant reading.” I thought I’d share a time of hilarious laughter from our group there in Tarsus. Paul wrote of his “thorn in the flesh” in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. Yesterday I met with a Pastor who is constantly in pain and yet he soldiers on. In my judgment he is one of the finest Bible teachers and preachers I’ve ever met. His name is Jay, and I want to ask you to pray for his healing. He said that he drew strength from the knowledge that Paul persevered. He quoted Paul, “For when I am weak, then I am strong!” I said that the Corinthian letters were some of Paul’s first letters to the churches he had planted, and that I like to believe that by the time Paul was executed by beheading in Rome, God had said, “Yes” to his prayers; and if the thorn was a physical problem, he was healed! By the grace of God I expect to ask many questions of the Lord, His Apostles, and others. The thorn question is on my list!
Yours for the attitude in our lives of Paul to the thorn and John toward his imprisonment on Patmos,