12/28/15 Blessed is He who Reads and Obeys

READING: Revelation 1-5

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  I admit that the book of Revelation has always been confusing to me — and I doubt I’ll figure it all out this time around, either. My guess is that all of us who are reading this book over the next few days will disagree on some points of interpretation, too. What is clear, though, is this word of “blessedness” to those who read, hear, and obey this book: “The one who reads this is blessed, and those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep what is written in it are blessed, because the time is near!” (Rev. 1:3). 

Seven times in this book are believers called “blessed” for varied reasons (1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14), and this verse is the first of the seven. It’s likely the “reading” refers primarily to first-century church leaders who read the Word aloud, but that application doesn’t weaken the message for us as well: this word is God’s Word — His “letting us in on the future” while calling us to faithful living today, even when persecution comes — and we will find joy in hearing and obeying it. 

That’s my goal as we read this book together in only a few days: to help us hear and apply this book. When we faithfully follow it, we will experience the joy that comes from genuinely serving God. And, we’ll be more prepared for Jesus’ coming as the time draws near. 

ACTION STEPS:  From chapters 1-5, here are some application steps to consider today:

  • Evaluate whether you love God today like you did when you first met Him. If not, repent and return to your first love. 
  • Look for any idols or sexual immorality in your life. If you find any, repent and turn to the One who is calling you to hear His Word. 
  • Be honest — is your spiritual life more alive or dead? If it’s the latter, be aware that Jesus is coming like a thief in the night. Ask God to enliven your faith. 
  • Consider the “temperature” of your spiritual walk. If you’re lukewarm, the tepid nature of your commitment is sickening to Christ. Ask His forgiveness, and run back to Him.  
  • Turn from all your wrong today — and then spend a few minutes reading Revelation 4 and 5 aloud. Worship Christ with the praises and songs that resound through these chapters. 

PRAYER: “Lord Jesus, You are holy. You are worthy. I worship You today.” 

TOMORROW’S READING:  Revelation 6-11