#DailyDevotion The Knew It Was Jesus

#DailyDevotion The Knew It Was Jesus

Joh 21:9-14  When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread.  (10)  Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.”  (11)  So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn.  (12)  Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.  (13)  Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish.  (14)  This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Now you might wonder, at least I do, what’s the point of having disciples make the great catch of fish if you’re already miraculously having fish and bread cooking on the beach? At least I assume Jesus had the fish and bread on the beach as a miracle because we’ve never known Jesus to fish or bake bread. Well what we see here are two signs he produced in the past to let them know it is he. The first sign is the catching of fish. Jesus had done this in the past when we first called Peter, James and John. Having caught the fish, John immediately realizes it is Jesus. It can only be the Lord who could produce that many fish, at that time, in that place.

The second one was in John chapter six when Jesus had multiplied the fish and the bread. Jesus had once fed 5000 men and another time 4000. So producing a few fish and some bread cooking on the shore was small potatoes. Jesus wanted his disciples to recognize him. Sometimes in the post resurrection accounts it shows Jesus purposely hiding his identity to his disciples. Other times like this time, it appears his appearance has changed from when he walked as a mortal among us. Perhaps it is because during the course of his life we was taking our sins upon himself, in his flesh, as well as all our infirmities that caused him to look just like us until he took them upon the cross and the grave, that he looked one way up to that point. Now that our sins, infirmities and death has been left upon the cross and the grave he looks as if he had no effects of sin upon his flesh, excepting the scars of the crucifixion that we may recognize him, that he looks so different now. 

Therein is good news for us. If our sins, infirmities and death are still upon the cross and the grave of Jesus, then we too, when we are raised from the dead will no longer have them in our flesh. For Paul reminds us that we are raised immortal, imperishable and glorious being like Jesus in our resurrection.

Now the disciples knew it was the Lord. It was the third time he had appeared to them. They knew him by these signs. We too will recognize the Lord Jesus Christ when we see him. We will recognize him by the scars in his hands, feet and side. We will recognize him by what he does for us. Even know we know Jesus through the cross and the revelation of his will toward us which is his love, life and salvation he has given to us even now.

Heavenly Father, grant that we may know and recognize Jesus as the Lord through his suffering, death and resurrection, that as we suffer now with him, we will be raise in glory with him as his reappearing. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion All Glory, Blessing, Honor, & Might To Jesus

#DailyDevotion All Glory, Blessing, Honor, & Might To Jesus

Rev 5:8-14  And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.  (9)  And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,  (10)  and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”  (11)  Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,  (12)  saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”  (13)  And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”  (14)  And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

They sang a new song. What was the old song? Rev 4:11  “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” They sang praise to God. But now the new song they sing praise to the Lamb. To give praise and honor to the Lamb is to give praise to God as well, as the Lamb also is God and Lord. But  the Lamb is God and Lord incarnate.

Note that when we praise God and/or Jesus we tell of his mighty deeds. We don’t just shout, “Allelujah!” Now for what do they praise the Lamb? First they ascribe to him being worthy to open the seal. Jesus is the only one who is good. He alone perfectly obeyed the Father’s will in everything and in every way. It was the Father’s will that this innocent Lamb be slain. Jesus willingly submitted to the Father’s will in trust and obedience to suffer, suffer even death on a cross.

The Lamb is praised because he shed his blood for the world. His shed blood became the ransom price to redeem people of every tribe, langue, people and nation. As it was written, Isa 49:6  “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” So the Father sets Jesus’ blood to ransom the nations that they may participate in his life and light. It is also written, 1Pe 1:18-19 “knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold,  (19)  but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” Having been ransomed we are free now from our old futile ways of living to a new life in Christ Jesus which is one of trust and obedience to Jesus and the Father by way of the Spirit.

It is important to note also the elders ascribe to Jesus “power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing” and then everything in all creation gives the same praise to both the Father and Jesus. For the Father and the Son are One. God has saved us. One God, One Lord, though distinct persons, has done for us what was needed for us to be saved. The Father sending the Son and the Son being sacrificed for the sin of the world are One. We are called to join in their unending hymn of praise even now.  All glory, might and power to you eternal king and blessing!

All power, wealth, wisdom, might, honor, glory and blessing belong to you Almighty Father and you O Lamb of God. May this song become our life though the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Jesus, The Lion, the Root and The Lamb Is Worthy

#DailyDevotion Jesus, The Lion, the Root and The Lamb Is Worthy

Rev 5:1-8  Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals.  (2)  And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”  (3)  And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it,  (4)  and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.  (5)  And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”  (6)  And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.  (7)  And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne.  (8)  And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Who is worthy to open take the scrolls and open the seals? It was a pretty tense moment. It looked as if no one was worthy. And what was written on that scroll anyway and why did it need to opened? It is the unfolding of the plan of the Almighty and fulfillment of reconciling man to God and God to man. It establishes the kingdom of God in righteousness. John was beginning to weep because no one was found worthy. All of us had sinned and there was no one who did good.

Then one of the elders pointed out there was hope. The Lion of the tribe Judah, the root of David has conquered and was worthy. Now if that wasn’t crazy enough when he looked this Lion was now a Lamb, more than a Lamb, the Lamb of God. Now this some mixed up imagery. Now Judah was a lion’s whelp.(Gen. 49:8,9) From Judah would come the promised ruler. He is called Root of David but formerly he was called the Root of Jesse. (Isa. 11:10) He is the source of Jesse and David’s strength, power and beginnings. Now he is also called the Lamb, as John the Baptist had declared, Joh 1:29  The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! In taking away the sin of the world he has conquered sin, death and the power of the devil. He has risen victoriously over the grave never to die again.

The Lamb of course is Jesus the root and shoot of Jesse, the new David, the king of Israel, the Almighty over all creation. He has seven horns because all power belongs to him. He has seven eyes because he is full of the Holy Spirit and is all knowing. Because of this the elders bow down before him to give him praise, honor and glory.

But note what the elders have. They have bowls of incense. This is all your prayers. All your prayers, because you belong to the Lamb are precious and are saved by God. The Father has heard your prayers, every, single, one. He has saved them and answered them in the manner is which is best for you and in accordance with his will. This reminds us of this, Psa 56:8 “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” Yes, you mean more to your heavenly Father than you could ever realize in this life.

Unlike the rest of the world let us join with the elders in their song of praise giving to Jesus who was stricken, smitten and afflicted, all honor, praise and glory.

Heavenly Father, your purposes, your will will be accomplished even as it has been accomplished by the mighty Lion of Judah, the Root of David, your Lamb who has taken away the sins of the world. Grant that we may continue to persevere in this faith and join with the elders in the never ending hymn of praise on the day of his revelation to the world. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion The Lord Has A Plan For You & It Includes Suffering

#DailyDevotion The Lord Has A Plan For You & It Includes Suffering

Act 9:15-22  But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.  (16)  For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”  (17)  So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”  (18)  And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized;  (19)  and taking food, he was strengthened. For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus.  (20)  And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”  (21)  And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?”  (22)  But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.

God had a plan for Saul. While God does have a plan for your life, you shouldn’t be thinking he has some big plan for your life where you might be rich, famous or impacting the world in some great big recognized way. That is not the point of this text. But yes, God does also have a plan for your life also. The Lord’s plan for Saul’s life was to be an evangelist, an apostle to the Gentiles, kings and to Israel for the name of Jesus. Saul had been zealous for the Law of Moses and the tradition of the elders, even willing to kill for that witness to them. Now Jesus will have him be willing to suffer and even die for his name.

Jesus’ tells pastor Ananias, “I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” Now is Jesus being vindictive here? Well, no. Jesus says concerning all his disciples, Mat 10:38-39  “And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  (39)  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Jesus also says, Mat 5:11  “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” Paul would find this out as we see when he writes, 2Co 1:5 “For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” Paul no doubt was told what Jesus had told Ananias by Ananias. He writes, Php 3:10 “I… may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…” So no, Jesus was not being vindictive and Paul, considered it an honor to suffer for the name of Jesus.

Now Pastor Ananias did as Jesus commanded. He laid hands on Saul and healed him. He baptized Saul for the forgiveness of his sins. (Acts 22:16) Saul was reborn of the Holy Spirit, regenerated in baptism and became Paul. He would indeed be Jesus’ witness and proclaim Jesus is the Son of God. Having been trained in the Old Testament scriptures he preached from them how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies contained therein and was their Savior, Lord and King and that forgiveness of sins, life and salvation were found in Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified, buried, risen from the dead and sits at the right hand of God in power.

This same Jesus indeed has also called you to faith in him today. He calls you to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins and to receive the Holy Spirit. As his disciple you also will suffer for his name sake but you will also receive with Christ eternal life and share in his glory. Find another Pastor Ananias and have him give to you what he gave to Saul, the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation.

Merciful Lord Jesus Christ, even as you called your servant Saul to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, be a witness of your life and suffer for your name’s sake, continually give us pastors who will feed us with your Word, bestow upon us your sacraments, and preserve us in faith through all suffering even death, that we may attain to the resurrection of the righteous on the day of your return. In your precious name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Jesus Never Leaves Us Or Forsakes Us

#DailyDevotion Jesus Never Leaves Us Or Forsakes Us

Act 9:1-6  But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest  (2)  and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.  (3)  Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him.  (4)  And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”  (5)  And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.  (6)  But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”

So Saul had just finished taking care of St. Stephen, i.e. having put him to death and was going about putting other believers in Jesus Christ in prison. But that was not enough. Now we wanted to purify the Jewish faith of these people, everywhere. These people were going by “the Way” as Jesus is The Way, The Truth and The Life. Saul was very zealous for the ways of his fathers and wasn’t going to let even the Sanhedrin’s former direction (to leave them alone and see if this is from God or from man) to stand. Indeed, you will find such hatred in those whose lives are threatened by the life of Jesus.

Now along the way Saul is struck down by a great light, a light from heaven.  A voice says to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Now who is Saul persecuting? He is persecuting followers of the Way, i.e. Jesus. Saul is wondering this too? He recognizes the light is from heaven. It must be the Lord who is speaking to him. The voice lets him know in no uncertain terms it is Jesus whom Saul is persecuting. But Jesus is dead, how can Saul be persecuting Jesus? Of course we know, Jesus is risen and seated at the right hand of God in glory, power, and authority.

Now this gives us a great comforting biblical principle: Jesus and his followers are one. Jesus said, Mat 10:40-42  “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.  (41)  The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.  (42)  And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” Whatever happens to us, Jesus participates in and receives in his body as well.

This very Saul, now St. Paul would say, Eph 5:29-32 “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,  (30)  because we are members of his body.  (31) ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ (32)  This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” The Church and every single believer in Jesus is one with Jesus. We are his bride. We are one body and one spirit with Jesus. Everything that is his is ours and everything that is ours is his. Whatever happens to Jesus happens to us and whatever happens to us happens to him.  Therefore we have is comforting promise, “He never leaves us or forsakes us.” In world in which we will increasingly find ourselves opposed, sometimes even violently, for our faith in Jesus, this is a great comfort in time of need. Even when it looks like God has abandoned us, Jesus’ word, “It is Jesus whom you are persecuting” lets us know he is always with us no matter what we are experiencing. Our struggles are only temporary. His glory will last unto eternity, a glory he gives to us.

Heavenly Father, in every time of trouble, trials and tribulations help us to remember our oneness with Christ, that he is with us at all times, so we may be encouraged to stay faithful to him even as he is faithful to us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Thomas Gives An Example To Follow

#DailyDevotion Thomas Gives An Example To Follow

Joh 20:24-31  Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.  (25)  So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”  (26)  Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”  (27)  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”  (28)  Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”  (29)  Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  (30)  Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;  (31)  but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

So Thomas often gets a bad rap. We often call him Doubting Thomas. But the other disciples were nothing but doubters too. They didn’t believe the women. They didn’t believe the disciples from Emmaus. But he gets a bad rap because John’s gospel put a focus on it. Perhaps we should ask the question why. After all, like all the disciples all we have is the reports like they did. But we do have one thing they don’t; the Holy Spirit had not come down upon the earth yet in the fashion at Pentecost with the work it was given to do at that point we live in an age where we have the Holy Spirit working on us.

The great thing about Thomas’ response is it is the response we should be thinking of if anyone comes and says they are the Christ. There are and have been many people who have come and are around today who say they are the Christ. There will be a culminating Anti-Christ who will claim he is the Christ. Our response to them should be Thomas’ response to his fellow disciples, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” No marks, no holes, you’re not my Jesus, the Christ, bud. The Scriptures say, Rev 1:7 “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.” Jesus deigns to show Thomas his scars and Thomas recognizes Jesus.

“Shalom! Peace to you!” So says our Lord Jesus to his disciples again. “Ok Thomas, here’s your chance. Put your finger here and put your hand and my side. See it’s me!” Thomas recognizes that it is Jesus and that he is really raised from the dead. “My Lord and my God!” is Thomas reply. Note the Lord does not correct Thomas. He is Lord and he is God. Thomas gets that right. While Thomas, and well the disciples as well are admonished by Jesus for not believing the reports, he gives us this blessing, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” All we have is an empty tomb and the witness of the Apostles and five hundred other witnesses that Jesus rose from the dead. We have the Gospels which report all that Jesus has done. John says these were written so that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and by believing you would have life in his name.

John’s Gospel and by extension, the other Gospels and indeed even all of Scripture is written so that you may believe Jesus is the Christ and by believing possess eternal life. Unlike the apostles at that time, we have the Holy Spirit poured out on all flesh. By the power of the Holy Spirit through this word, God gives us the gift of faith, life and salvation. They all witness to Jesus’ resurrection. Believe that you too may have life eternal with Jesus.

O Merciful Holy Spirit, always give us your word, that we might hear and believe the good news of Jesus Christ, believe on him and receive the gift of eternal life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Jesus Leaves Us With The Power Of Attorney

#DailyDevotion Jesus Leaves Us With The Power Of Attorney

Joh 20:19-23  On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  (20)  When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.  (21)  Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”  (22)  And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  (23)  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

Peace be with you! Shalom! Those are Jesus’ words to his disciples as he appeared before them behind locked doors. They had been in fear since his arrest. Were they next? What is going to happen to them. Was it all a dream or the beginning of a nightmare? Shalom! Peace! All good things, all things necessary, even an over abundance of stuff, live long and prosper is the word Jesus speaks to them. Such is the peace the Lord gives. It is not as the world gives, conditionally, but according to the greatness and steadfastness of his love shown for them on the cross.

Jesus has to identify himself to them. His glorified body perhaps isn’t quite the same as the mortal one he bore since his birth. But the glory of God is in the stripes of Jesus, the sign of his crucifixion. So Jesus shows his disciples his glory in the nail prints in his hands and his feet. He shows them his side which was pierced through. These things Jesus kept that we may always recognize him. Recognizing this was Jesus and not just some ghost or apparition the disciples were glad.

Shalom! Again! A double blessing of peace! Jesus speaks Php 4:7 “ the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” They are going to need it. Jesus is sending them out into the world to continue the mission he has started. As the Father sent Jesus, Jesus sends his apostles. They will face the same sort of opposition Jesus faced. They too will have to bear their crosses and participate in his suffering. This peace Jesus also shares with you. He may not send you anyplace, but the peace, the shalom, he speaks to you gives you the strength to bear your cross and participate in his sufferings also.

This is what Jesus sends the apostles, and then the church through those whom he calls to enter into the office of his holy ministry, to forgive and to retain sins. Some people think only the apostles were given this gift. If that were so, where would the forgiveness of sins be? It is the main mission of the Church, the Bride of Christ, to distribute that which Christ won for the world on the cross. The authority of Christ is given to his Bride. Through his Bride, Jesus calls mean to speak the word of peace, i.e. the forgiveness of sins. He breaths on them the Holy Spirit, his life. He breathes this breath of life into us when his representatives speak the words of Christ’ forgiveness. Of course the Church and her pastors can also withhold the forgiveness Christ won on the cross of those who continue unrepentant of their sins, and even that is to the service to make them contrite and desiring this peace of Christ.

Jesus would not have us without the assurance and confidence of the forgiveness of our sins. To that end, he places his words of forgiveness, gives his representatives authority (like power of attorney) to forgive and retain sins. Whenever your soul is troubled, when your conscience is burdened by you sins, you can go to the one whom Jesus has given authority to forgive those sins and speak his shalom, his peace into your hearts.

O merciful and loving God, you sent your son into the world to win forgiveness of sins upon the cross and Jesus sends those he has chosen with the authority to give this forgiveness won for the world upon the cross to troubled consciences. Always provide for us such men that when we are troubled we may hear your word of peace and reconciliation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The First & The Last, The Living One

#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The First & The Last, The Living One

Rev 1:7-9  Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.  (8)  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”  (9)  I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

Rev 1:12-13  Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands,  (13)  and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.

Rev 1:16-18  In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.  (17)  When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last,  (18)  and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

Just as they looked upon Jesus, the one whom they had pierced at his resurrection, so now too, our Lord Jesus Christ is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, as everyone will be raised from the dead on that day. All the tribes of the earth shall wail on that day because they will have to give an account to him for the lives they had lived and what they have done to that point will not be enough. They had rejected his grace in this life and shall not receive it on that day. God speaks, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” God is saying here, he is eternal. He also is the source of all being. Apart from him there is no other God.

John was on Patmos, in exile when he received this vision. He was in exile there because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. He must have arrested for teaching the Roman world about Jesus Christ. It was part of his suffering that he had to endure following in the steps of Jesus. Since Christ had been crucified the world has entered into the time of tribulation and the persecution of the Church. While the Church has had pockets of well-being here and there, it has always experienced persecution somewhere in the world. Those who trust Jesus should expect trials and tribulations because of their faith in their Savior Jesus Christ.

John then sees who is speaking to him. It is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is a pretty scary looking spectacle. His image speaks the glory of God which no man can handle except for the grace of God, as we see throughout the Old Testament. Indeed, John falls at his feet as though dead. But Jesus comes to John in grace and peace. He speaks those gospel words,  “Fear not!” There need not be fear for those whose righteousness is the Lord Jesus Christ.

He further identifies himself as the First and the Last. Just as the Lord God is the Alpha and the Omega, so too, Jesus is one with the Father. He also is the Alpha and the Omega. Jesus of Nazareth also is the one who is and who was and who is to the Come. Jesus is the Living One. Not only living having been raised from the dead but Life itself. He is the risen one who will never died. We who trust need not fear Death or the Grave, for Jesus holds its keys and opens heaven for us.

Heavenly Father, you, your Son and the Holy Spirit are the one who is, who was and is to come, the First and the Last, the only true existence and being. Grant us such faith in your Son Jesus Christ that on the day of his return we need not fear the judgment because our judgment was with Christ on the cross. Grant we may persevere unto the day of his second coming. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion He Whom Is The Only Existence Greets You

#DailyDevotion He Whom Is The Only Existence Greets You

Rev 1:4-6  John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,  (5)  and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood  (6)  and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

One of the interesting things about Revelation is that is a letter, a literal letter, from John to seven of the churches that were in Asia Minor. It probably was one letter that was sent to one congregation, they copied it and sent it on to the next congregation. It is a letter that contains a vision that John actually saw. The things in the letter that John saw had already taken place, were taking place and some would eventually take place. But because it is a vision, most things should not be taken literally but symbolically, unless there is some indication that they should be interpreted literally. Now most of chapter one, at least the first part isn’t a vision so we can take it literally.

John gives greetings, grace to you. Grace, God’s undeserved favor, is prayed for those who receive this letter. This grace is extended to you. It comes from the One who is and was and is to come. What does that mean? God’s divine name YHWH means being. In the Greek it is Wn. It also mean being. It is he who exist, has always existed and always will exist, the One through whom all things exist. It is from God the Father in this instance, but later on in the letter Jesus will also get this designation equating him with God the Father. This grace comes from God the Holy Spirit (the seven spirits Isa. 11:12ff) and from Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness. It is written, Joh 8:38  I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.” Joh 12:49 “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.” Joh 14:10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.” When we have Jesus’ word it is a faithful testimony of God’s will towards us.

Jesus is the firstborn of the dead. That is Jesus is the first of the children of Adam who is raised from the dead never to die again. He is clothed with immortality and glory. But being the first, he is not the last. He will raise all the dead when he is revealed to the world again. Some will be raised to everlasting life like him and others will be raised to perdition. Those who have faith in him will be raise to glory with Jesus.

Jesus is the rulers of the kings of the earth. The kings of the earth may think they are running the show down here, but they work for Jesus and his glory. They can do nothing which is not for he benefit of Christ Jesus and his church. We may not be able to see it at times for many things they do are evil and wicked, but he used evil men to put him on the cross to die for us. He uses them likewise to accomplish his purposes.

Finally he loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood. Our sins have been atoned for by his death. Through it, he has makes us a kingdom of priests before the Father forever unto eternity. For such he deserves all praise, honor, glory and dominion.

Almighty God and Father, all praise and honor and glory are yours and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Grant us your grace always that we may live and reign with the Son unto everlasting life and live now faithfully through faith in Jesus’ blood. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.