Tag Archives: Revelation

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – We Help Conquer Satan

 

“They defeated him by the blood of the Lamb, and by their testimony; for they did not love their lives but laid them down for Him” (Revelation 12:11).

Down through the years, you and I have lauded and applauded the martyrs – and rightly so.

These heroes of the faith – like Chester Bitterman of the Wycliffe Bible Translators, one of the latest in a long line of martyrs – preferred death to disloyalty to God and to Christ. Their testimony literally was written in blood.

Truly, “they did not love their lives but laid them down for Him.” And by so doing, they became partners with God and with Christ in defeating the enemy of men’s souls, Satan. Satan is to be conquered not only by the blood of the Lamb, but also by reason of the testimony of the martyrs.

T.E. McCully, father of missionary martyr Ed McCully, who, along with Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, Nate Saint and Roger Youderian, lost his life to the Auca Indians on January 8, 1956, made a sage observation about the great sacrifice these young men had made.

“Sometimes,” he said, “it’s harder to be a living sacrifice than it is to be a dead sacrifice.” And this hits us all right where we live, in our walk with Christ today. The daily grind, the commitment and recommitment, the enduring of trial and testing – all of this takes a daily sacrifice. This is an opportunity for our lives to be a “sacrifice of praise” to our God.

Bible Reading: Revelation 12:7-12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Claiming the power of the Holy Spirit by faith, I will seek to be a living sacrifice, so that my life will be part of Satan’s defeat.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – On The Throne Beside Him

 

“I will let everyone who conquers sit beside Me on My throne, just as I took my place with My Father on His throne when I had conquered” (Revelation 3:21).

Can you imagine such glorious majesty as that which is promised in this verse?

In Revelation, Christ is frequently pictured as being on a throne, both in heaven and during His return to earth. More unusual is this promise to overcomers that, just as Christ is seated with God on His throne, they will sit on their thrones with Christ, but this is in keeping with the reward of a crown as described in chapter 2, verse 10.

In Mark 10:35-45, in response to the request of James and John that they be allowed to sit at His right and left in glory, Jesus replied that this was not in His power to grant. On the contrary, He reminded them that they were to be like Him, the “servant of all.”

Matthew 19:28 presents quite a different view, with Jesus telling his disciples that when the Son of man sits on His glorious throne, those who have followed Him “will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

In Luke’s parallel passage (22:30), the disciples are to eat with Christ at His table and also to sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes – a joyful combination similar to the one presented in Revelation 3:21. The promise that the overcomers will rule is to find its glorious fulfillment in their millenial reign with Christ (Revelation 20:4).

In our daily walk with Christ, this view of His grace and love and majesty should spur us on to holy living – to supernatural living.

Bible Reading: Acts 2:30-36

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will strive to express my gratitude and appreciation for God’s wonderful provision for His children by living in such a way that all I do and say will be pleasing to Him.

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Glorious Future

 

“As for the one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; he will be secure, and will go out no more; and I will write my God’s Name on him, and he will be a citizen in the city of my God – the New Jerusalem, coming down from heaven from my God; and he will have my new Name inscribed upon him” (Revelation 3:12).

You and I shall some day be in that beautiful temple in Jerusalem – to rule and reign with the King of kings and Lord of lords forever and forever.

Can you see it now? While we do not know – and need not know – all the incidental details and circumstances, we know enough from God’s holy Word to know that some day we shall be with Him, never to be separated. That is the cause for shouting and rejoicing.

And we need not be terrified by the condition that we must be conquerors before we qualify for any of these promised blessings. Has He not told us that we are already “more than conquerors?”

Here again we have that promise of the new name, thought by some to be the very name of Christ Himself – certainly worthy of attainment, whatever its true meaning.

To be “heirs with God and joint-heirs with Christ” holds all the wonderful promise that the human mind can imagine. Just to be with Him is enough; to know that He adds blessing upon blessing as we rule and reign with Him – that is unparalleled joy indeed.

Bible Reading: Revelation 3:7-13

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: With a quick look at the future, I’ll do my best to make this day all that God intends for me, especially in my outreach to others.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – In the Book of Life

 

“Everyone who conquers will be clothed in white, and I will not erase his name from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and His angels that he is Mine” (Revelation 3:5).

Perhaps you have rejoiced – as I have – at the reminder that our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, God’s heavenly record of the redeemed.

Here are two more promises to the conqueror, the overcomer, the victorious Christian – one having to do with future reign, the other with our security in Him.

Not only to the believers in Sardis who should be victorious, but also to those in every age and every land, lies the hope – indeed the promise – of appearing with Christ in white robes expressing holiness and joy in that future day when He shall rule and reign on this earth.

If you are a believer in Christ, your name is in the that book which contains the names of those who are to live with Him throughout eternity. Not to have our names erased, of course, means that the names will be found there on the great day of final account, and forever and ever.

What better way could we use our time today – and tomorrow – and the next day – than to add names to the Book of Life, by faithfully witnessing to others about the good news of the gospel? Our privilege and responsibility is to share; God’s Holy Spirit does the work of convicting and saving.

Bible Reading: Revelation 3:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: “Dear Lord, help me to add names to Your Book of Life by sharing my faith in You at every possible opportunity.”

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Awards for Faithfulness

 

“Stop being afraid of what you are about to suffer – for the devil will soon throw some of you into prison to test you. You will be persecuted for ‘ten days.’ Remain faithful even when facing death and I will give you the crown of life – an unending, glorious future” (Revelation 2:10).

I find this a very timely word of caution, for we live in a day when it appears that the enemy is making his last fling. I would not attempt to set dates, for it may be years, decades or even centuries before the culmination of all things.

But the fact remains that committed believers are facing persecution and testing as perhaps seldom before. You and I may be called upon to suffer for the cause of Christ. By faith, we are not to fear, knowing that an “unending, glorious future” awaits us.

This promise might apply equally to the physical suffering we encounter from time to time as a part of the natural order of things. If we can accept such suffering as part of God’s plan for us – one of the “all things” of Romans 8:28 that is working together for our good – we will be among those victors who are able to “count it all joy.”

As we consider these possibilities, we may be optimistic, even cheerful, knowing that we are already on the winning side – more than conquerors. And we need not be afraid, for “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Bible Reading: Revelation 2:8-11

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will count on God’s promise of Romans 8:28 to do only that which is good for me, regardless of the circumstances. He will enable me to live supernaturally.

Presidential Prayer Team; C.P. – Sonlight

 

A scientific website says, “The sun is as bright as four trillion 100-watt light bulbs.” But the sun has nothing on the Son of God. How beautiful that eternal city will be, with the glory of God lighting up the place!

The city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light.

Revelation 21:23

Revelation 21 describes wonderful things about the New Jerusalem: made of pure gold with walls of precious jewels, no night, nothing unclean. But the most marvelous thing of all is the very presence of God. “He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)

No one likes to think of the fate of the unsaved (Revelation 21:8), but they need prayer. Intercede for all those who have yet to yield to Jesus as Lord – the true light of this world and the one to come.

Recommended Reading: I Peter 5:1-11

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Poor, Blind and Naked

 

“You say, ‘I am rich, with everything I want; I don’t need a thing!” And you don’t realize that spiritually you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Revelation 3:17). 

George had come for a week of lay training at Arrowhead Springs. Following one of my messages on revival, in which I explained that most Christians are like the members of the church at Ephesus and Laodicea, as described in Revelation 2 and 3, he came to share with me how, though he was definitely lukewarm and had lost his first love, he frankly had never read those passages, had never heard a sermon such as I had presented and therefore did not realize how wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked he was.

If there were such an instrument as a “faith thermometer,” at what level would your faithfulness register? Hot? Lukewarm? Cold?

Jesus said to the church at Laodicea, “I know you well – you are neither hot nor cold; I wish you were one or the other! But since you are merely lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth!” (Revelation 3:15).

Again, I ask you, where does your faithfulness register on that faith thermometer?

The greatest tragedy in the history of nations is happening right here in America. Here we are, a nation founded by Christians, a nation founded upon godly principles, a nation blessed beyond all the nations of history for the purpose of doing God’s will in the world. But most people in this country, including the majority of church members, have without realizing it become materialistic and humanistic, all too often worshiping man and his achievements instead of the only true God.

Granted, the opinion polls show meteoric growth in the number of people in America who claim to be born-again Christians. But where does their faith register on the faith thermometer? America is a modern-day Laodicea. We are where we are today because too many Christians have quenched the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Bible Reading: Revelation 3:14-19

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Realizing that America cannot become spiritually renewed without individual revival, I will humble myself, and pray, and seek God’s face, and turn from my wicked ways. By faith I will claim revival in my own heart.

Charles Stanley – The Door of Opportunity

Revelation 3:7-10

In New Testament times, the city of Philadelphia was strategically located on travel routes between Rome and the east. This made it an important conduit for Greek culture and language. The church there received an exciting opportunity when God planned that the region would become known for a new export—the good news of Jesus Christ.

For the loyal church at Philadelphia, this was a tremendous blessing. In Revelation 3, Jesus Christ acknowledged the congregation’s deeds, which means they must have carried out their work with diligence and dependence on the Lord. That community of faith also followed God’s Word and didn’t deny His name, despite opposition from “the synagogue of Satan”—the worldly people who also inhabited the city.

The Lord opens doors, not simply for mission organizations and churches, but also for individual believers. A chance to do His will in any area of life must be taken seriously, as His opportunities always lead to the path He has designed for us. Some seem too good to be true, others are cloaked in hardship, and still others defy human reasoning. We need to know how to listen for and discern God’s voice so that we can be certain when it is His hand opening a door.

We all desire that the Lord give us His best for our life—in our vocation, finances, service, and spiritual growth. So we must build a proven record of faithful obedience, as the Philadelphian church did. When we serve Him with loyalty, humility, and diligence, God will open doors for even greater blessing.

John MacArthur –Comprehending What You Have

 

“[I pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Eph. 1:17).

Your inheritance in Christ is so vast and profound that you cannot comprehend it apart from God’s enabling.

The late newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst invested a fortune in collecting great works of art. One day he read of an extremely valuable work that he determined to add to his collection. His agent searched the galleries of the world but to no avail. Finally, after many months of effort and at great expense, the agent found the prized art work: it had been stored in one of Hearst’s own warehouses all along!

That story parallels Christians who are constantly searching for something more because they don’t understand what they already have in Christ. Since Paul knew that was a potential problem, he prayed for God to enable us to comprehend our spiritual riches.

“Spirit” in verse 17 refers to a disposition or attitude of humility, such as, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matt. 5:3). “Revelation” is knowledge that God imparts through His Word. “Wisdom” is the application of that knowledge to daily living. The combined effect is a humble attitude toward God’s Word that compels you to learn it and integrate it into every aspect of your life.

On the human level the fullness of your inheritance in Christ is incomprehensible. God’s Word reveals many of its benefits and the Holy Spirit empowers you as you learn to live according to its principles, but much of it will remain a mystery in this life (1 John 3:2). Paul’s prayer is that you will understand as much as possible so that godly wisdom and revelation will govern all your attitudes and actions. Let that be your goal today.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God for the incomprehensible riches that are yours in Christ.
  • Pray that you might always approach His Word with a submissive and teachable heart.

For Further Study

  • Reviewing God’s promises motivates praise and reminds us of His gracious provisions. Read the following passages, noting the promises they contain: Psalm 29:11; Isaiah 26:3; 41:10; Matthew 6:25-33; John 14:2- 3, 13-14; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 John 1:9; 5:11-12; Revelation 21:3-4.
  • Study your life. Does it demonstrate confidence in God’s promises?

Our Daily Bread — The Beautiful Bride

READ: Revelation 19:4-9

The marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. —Revelation 19:7

I have officiated at a lot of weddings. Often planned according to the dreams of the bride, each of the weddings has been unique. But one thing is the same: adorned in their wedding dresses with hair beautifully done and faces aglow, brides steal the show.

I find it intriguing that God describes us as His bride. Speaking of the church, He says, “The marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready” (Rev. 19:7 esv).

This is a great thought for those of us who have become discouraged about the condition of the church. I grew up as a pastor’s kid, pastored three churches, and have preached in churches all over the world. I’ve counseled both pastors and parishioners about deep and troubling problems in the church. And though the church often seems unlovable, my love for the church has not changed.

But my reason for loving the church has changed. I now love it most of all for whose it is. The church belongs to Christ; it is the bride of Christ. Since the church is precious to Him, it is precious to me as well. His love for His bride, as flawed as we may be, is nothing less than extraordinary! —Joe Stowell

Lord, we look forward to the day when we will be
robed in the fine linens of purity and join You at the
marriage supper of the Lamb. Until then, remind us
to love Your bride and to live beautifully for You.

Since Christ loves His bride, the church, so should we.

Bible in a year: Genesis 10-12; Matthew 4

Insight

The imagery of the church as the “bride of Christ” is found repeatedly in the New Testament. While seen several times in the book of Revelation (including today’s reading), this word-picture also appears in John’s gospel. In John 3:29, John the Baptist describes Christ as the bridegroom, then identifies himself as the “friend of the bridegroom”—a role that in ancient times paralleled the role of the “best man” in modern wedding ceremonies.

Our Daily Bread — For Sale— “As Is”

Our Daily Bread

Revelation 5:1-12

For you were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood. —Revelation 5:9

A house listed for sale “As Is” usually means the seller is unable or unwilling to spend any money to repair it or make it attractive. Any necessary repairs or desired improvements are the responsibility of the buyer after the purchase is complete. “As Is” on a real estate listing is equivalent to saying, “Buyer beware. Home may require significant further investment.”

How remarkable that when Jesus died, He paid the highest price for each of us, regardless of our condition. Revelation 5 describes a scene in heaven where only “The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David” is found worthy to open and read a sealed scroll (vv.3-5). He appears as a Lamb and becomes the object of praise in a new song, “For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth” (vv.9-10).

Jesus Christ willingly purchased us for God with His blood. We were bought “as is,” faults, defects, needed renovation included. By faith we are now under His ownership, in the process of remodeling for God’s glory. How wonderful that God knew us, loved us, and bought us just as we are. —David McCasland

Jesus paid it all,

All to Him I owe.

Sin had left a crimson stain;

He washed it white as snow. —Hall

God knows us inside and out. No renovation project is too big for Him.

Bible in a year: Ezekiel 37-39; 2 Peter 2

Greg Laurie – In Spite of Sickness   

greglaurie

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. —Revelation 21:4

God can work in spite of sickness. He still answers prayer and heals people today, and He still does miracles. In sickness and in hardships, He can work in a person’s life. Even if a person still has the sickness or problem, God can work in spite of it and give them a special strength. And no matter what happens to our physical bodies here on earth, we have the promise of heaven and ultimate healing in heaven. At that time, God says He will wipe away all our tears. There will be no more death, sorrows, crying, or pain (see Revelation 21:4).

What a glorious promise! There is more—so much more!—beyond this life on earth. Whatever our limitations, whatever our problems, God promises us that we will one day receive a new body that won’t have the shortcomings we experience today.

And God can also use sickness to bring a person to Himself, can’t He? I know of many people who have come to the Lord in the hospital or when facing death. Suddenly they reevaluate their lives. They wonder, What am I living for? What’s really important in my life? What’s going to happen to me when I die? And they begin to think about eternity.

As the psalmist said, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word” (Psalm 119:67). God can work in spite of sickness, and He can work through sickness. Nothing is impossible for Him.

Today’s devotional is an excerpt from Every Day with Jesus by Greg Laurie, 2013

Our Daily Bread — Multiply It

Our Daily Bread

Revelation 22:1-5

There shall be no more curse. —Revelation 22:3

Amy had battled cancer for 5 years. Then the doctor told her that the treatments were failing and she had just a few weeks to live. Wanting some understanding and assurance about eternity, Amy asked her pastor, “What will heaven be like?”

He asked her what she liked most about her life on earth. She talked about walks and rainbows and caring friends and the laughter of children. “So, then, are you saying I will have all of that there?” she asked longingly.

Amy’s pastor replied, “I believe that your life there will be far more beautiful and amazing than anything you ever loved or experienced here. Think about what’s best here for you and multiply it over and over and over. That’s what I think heaven will be.”

The Bible doesn’t describe in detail what life in eternity will be like, but it does tell us that being with Christ in heaven is “far better” than our present circumstance (Phil. 1:23). “There shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him” (Rev. 22:3).

Best of all, we will see the Lord Jesus face to face. Our deepest yearnings will be fully satisfied in Him. —Anne Cetas

We’re thankful, Lord, for Your presence now

in our lives. But what an amazing day it will be

when we meet You face to face!

Life with You in heaven will be greater by far.

To be with Jesus forever is the sum of all happiness.

Bible in a year: Jeremiah 40-42; Hebrews 4

Insight

In some translations of the Bible, the book of Revelation is entitled “The Revelation of St. John,” giving attention to the human author John, one of the disciples of Jesus. This title, however, is inaccurate. In Revelation 1:1, we read, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John.” This is significant because the word revelation means “a revealing or unveiling.” The primary purpose of the book is to give us an unveiling of Christ Himself. Interestingly, that unveiling reveals Jesus to be the Lamb of God, and the word lamb appears in Revelation more than 25 times.

Our Daily Bread — Believing In Advance

Our Daily Bread

Revelation 22:12-21

Surely I am coming quickly. —Revelation 22:20

In a German prison camp in World War II, undiscovered by the guards, some Americans built a homemade radio. One day news came that the German high command had surrendered, ending the war. Because of a communications breakdown, however, the guards did not yet know this. As word spread among the prisoners, a loud celebration broke out. For 3 days, they sang, waved at guards, and shared jokes over meals. On the fourth day, they awoke to find that all the Germans had fled. Their waiting had come to an end.

A number of Bible stories center on waiting: Abraham waiting for a child (Gen. 12–21). The Israelites waiting for deliverance from Egypt. Prophets waiting for the fulfillment of their own predictions. The disciples waiting for Jesus to act like the powerful Messiah they anticipated. Jesus’ final words at the end of Revelation are “I am coming quickly,” followed by an urgent, echoing prayer, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (22:20). For this, we still wait.

Here’s the question I ask myself: As we wait, why are we so often fearful and anxious? We can, like the Allied prisoners, act on the good news we say we believe. What is faith in God, after all, but believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse? —Philip Yancey

Faith looks beyond the shadow

Of dread and doubt and fear

And finds the Savior waiting

And always standing near. —French

Waiting tries our faith and so we wait in hope.

Bible in a year: Psalms 100-102; 1 Corinthians 1

Insight

After writing of the events that will precede Jesus’ second coming (Rev. 4–22), John assured his readers of the certainty and nearness of Jesus’ return by quoting Him two times: “I am coming quickly” (vv.12,20). John then adds a personal plea, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (v.20).

 

Our Daily Bread — Holy, Holy, Holy

Our Daily Bread

Revelation 4

They do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” —Revelation 4:8

“Time flies when you’re having fun.” This cliché has no basis in fact, but experience makes it seem true.

When life is pleasant, time passes all too quickly. Give me a task that I enjoy, or a person whose company I love, and time seems irrelevant.

My experience of this “reality” has given me a new understanding of the scene described in Revelation 4. In the past, when I considered the four living creatures seated around God’s throne who keep repeating the same few words, I thought, What a boring existence!

I don’t think that anymore. I think about the scenes they have witnessed with their many eyes (v.8). I consider the view they have from their position around God’s throne (v.6). I think of how amazed they are at God’s wise and loving involvement with wayward earthlings. Then I think, What better response could there be? What else is there to say but, “Holy, holy, holy”?

Is it boring to say the same words over and over? Not when you’re in the presence of the one you love. Not when you’re doing exactly what you were designed to do.

Like the four creatures, we were designed to glorify God. Our lives will never be boring if we’re focusing our attention on Him and fulfilling that purpose. —Julie Ackerman Link

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;

Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!

God in three Persons, blessed Trinity! —Heber

A heart in tune with God can’t help but sing His praise.

Bible in a year: Psalms 79-80; Romans 11:1-18

 

Charles Stanley – Our Helper in Bible Study

Charles Stanley

1 Corinthians 2:12-16

The Bible is God’s revelation of truth, and it is intended for regular use by every believer. The Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence is a necessity since He is the one who makes clear the meaning of the Word. He illuminates the mind of each person who genuinely seeks to know God.

When we read, our Helper opens our understanding to the true meaning of the text so that we can grasp its significance. We never outgrow this need for Him. Even a mature believer with decades of experience meditating on Scripture requires as much revelation as a child who has just received Christ. Not long ago, I had reason to recall this fact as I read a passage I had seen often in my studies. For the very first time, my soul opened wide to these verses, the truth burst in, and I felt immediately energized. Grasping a new truth from the Scriptures gets us excited and inspires us to apply what we have learned. Then, as we integrate one truth into our life, the Spirit of God reveals another in order to make us increasingly like our Savior.

Learning about God and conforming to the image of Jesus Christ are the highest ambitions of Christianity, and we can achieve these goals only by learning and applying scriptural principles. But truth cannot be poured into a dirty heart. Nor can we expect to understand the Bible if we refuse to obey its precepts. If we want the Holy Spirit to reveal biblical meaning, we must ask first for a revelation of our sin. When we repent of the wrongdoing brought to mind by our Helper, our heart opens to His illumination.

John MacArthur – Prophecy Without Love

John MacArthur

“If I have the gift of prophecy . . . but do not have love, I am nothing” (1 Cor. 13:2).

Love motivated God to communicate with fallen humanity. That must be your motivation too.

The word prophecy as used in 1 Corinthians 13:2 is the ability to publicly proclaim God’s truth accurately and authoritatively. It’s a greater gift than tongues because tongues were given as a sign to unbelieving Israel in the first century (1 Cor. 14:21-22), whereas prophecy instructs and edifies believers throughout the centuries. Paul said, “one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation [and] edifies the church (1 Cor. 14:3-4).

Prophecy has two aspects: revelation and reiteration. When an Old or New Testament prophet received new information directly from God, that was revelation. Whenever that information was repeated through preaching or teaching, it was reiteration. For example, the sermons of Peter and Paul combine new revelation with a reiteration of Old Testament truth. That’s a common element in New Testament preaching.

With the close of the New Testament canon, direct revelation from God ceased. All preaching and teaching today is reiteration. New Testament prophets policed one another to ensure that every prophecy was truly from God (1 Cor. 14:32). Today, Scripture itself is the standard by which we test someone’s message. As the prophet Isaiah said, “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no [light]” (Isa. 8:20).

Paul is saying 1 Corinthians 13:2, “If I have the ability to speak direct revelation from God, or to reiterate divine truth forcefully and dramatically, but lack love, my ministry is meaningless.” In its broadest sense, that principle applies to every believer because we all are proclaimers of God’s Word. You might not teach a class or preach a sermon, but whenever you tell someone about Christ or share a biblical principle, you’re reiterating divine truth. That’s why you must always speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). Then the Holy Spirit can empower your words to minister to others.

Suggestions for Prayer  Ask God to help you guard your words so that everything you say will be clothed in His love.

For Further Study  Read Deuteronomy 13:1-5 and 18:20-22.

  • What tests did Moses give for determining false prophets?
  • What punishment did false prophets receive?

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – We Help Conquer Satan

dr_bright

“They defeated him by the blood of the Lamb, and by their testimony; for they did not love their lives but laid them down for Him” (Revelation 12:11).

Down through the years, you and I have lauded and applauded the martyrs – and rightly so.

These heroes of the faith – like Chester Bitterman of the Wycliffe Bible Translators, one of the latest in a long line of martyrs – preferred death to disloyalty to God and to Christ. Their testimony literally was written in blood.

Truly, “they did not love their lives but laid them down for Him.” And by so doing, they became partners with God and with Christ in defeating the enemy of men’s souls, Satan. Satan is to be conquered not only by the blood of the Lamb, but also by reason of the testimony of the martyrs.

T.E. McCully, father of missionary martyr Ed McCully, who, along with Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, Nate Saint and Roger Youderian, lost his life to the Auca Indians on January 8, 1956, made a sage observation about the great sacrifice these young men had made.

“Sometimes,” he said, “it’s harder to be a living sacrifice than it is to be a dead sacrifice.” And this hits us all right where we live, in our walk with Christ today. The daily grind, the commitment and recommitment, the enduring of trial and testing – all of this takes a daily sacrifice. This is an opportunity for our lives to be a “sacrifice of praise” to our God.

Bible Reading: Revelation 12:7-12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Claiming the power of the Holy Spirit by faith, I will seek to be a living sacrifice, so that my life will be part of Satan’s defeat.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – On The Throne Beside Him

dr_bright

“I will let everyone who conquers sit beside Me on My throne, just as I took my place with My Father on His throne when I had conquered” (Revelation 3:21).

Can you imagine such glorious majesty as that which is promised in this verse?

In Revelation, Christ is frequently pictured as being on a throne, both in heaven and during His return to earth. More unusual is this promise to overcomers that, just as Christ is seated with God on His throne, they will sit on their thrones with Christ, but this is in keeping with the reward of a crown as described in chapter 2, verse 10.

In Mark 10:35-45, in response to the request of James and John that they be allowed to sit at His right and left in glory, Jesus replied that this was not in His power to grant. On the contrary, He reminded them that they were to be like Him, the “servant of all.”

Matthew 19:28 presents quite a different view, with Jesus telling his disciples that when the Son of man sits on His glorious throne, those who have followed Him “will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

In Luke’s parallel passage (22:30), the disciples are to eat with Christ at His table and also to sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes – a joyful combination similar to the one presented in Revelation 3:21. The promise that the overcomers will rule is to find its glorious fulfillment in their millenial reign with Christ (Revelation 20:4).

In our daily walk with Christ, this view of His grace and love and majesty should spur us on to holy living – to supernatural living.

Bible Reading: Acts 2:30-36

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will strive to express my gratitude and appreciation for God’s wonderful provision for His children by living in such a way that all I do and say will be pleasing to Him.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Glorious Future

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“As for the one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; he will be secure, and will go out no more; and I will write my God’s Name on him, and he will be a citizen in the city of my God – the New Jerusalem, coming down from heaven from my God; and he will have my new Name inscribed upon him” (Revelation 3:12).

You and I shall some day be in that beautiful temple in Jerusalem – to rule and reign with the King of kings and Lord of lords forever and forever.

Can you see it now? While we do not know – and need not know – all the incidental details and circumstances, we know enough from God’s holy Word to know that some day we shall be with Him, never to be separated. That is the cause for shouting and rejoicing.

And we need not be terrified by the condition that we must be conquerors before we qualify for any of these promised blessings. Has He not told us that we are already “more than conquerors?”

Here again we have that promise of the new name, thought by some to be the very name of Christ Himself – certainly worthy of attainment, whatever its true meaning.

To be “heirs with God and joint-heirs with Christ” holds all the wonderful promise that the human mind can imagine. Just to be with Him is enough; to know that He adds blessing upon blessing as we rule and reign with Him – that is unparalleled joy indeed.

Bible Reading: Revelation 3:7-13

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: With a quick look at the future, I’ll do my best to make this day all that God intends for me, especially in my outreach to others.