Saturday, December 31, 2016

His is Always the Same



December 31

Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 22

Verse of the Day: Revelation 22:18 – 19 – “I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.”

We end our ponderings on the New Testament realizing that if Jesus were to make Himself visible and speak audibly, His message would be in total accord with the Bible.

His counsel, His commands, His opinions, His warnings, His desires, His promises, all would be in complete alignment with what we are privileged to have. The Bible is God’s true, perfect message to you and to me. Continue to read, heed, and believe what God says to us.

Prayer: As I see this year come to a close Gracious Father, may I be called into a continual reading, studying, and learning from You in this Blessed Holy Writ. I thank You for Your provision for me in this Sacred Scriptures.


Friday, December 30, 2016

Alpha and Omega



December 30

Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 21

Verse of the Day: Revelation 21:6 – “And he said unto me, They are come to pass. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.”

Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. It is an idiom that encompasses the whole. It is like our saying from A to Z, or from the start to the finish, or the whole 9 yards, or the whole enchilada, or… well, I am sure you get the picture.

It stresses God’s fullness, completeness, comprehensiveness, and his all-inclusiveness. He has always existed and will always exist. He is Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent. He is the source of all things and will see all things to their completion. God was in the beginning of our year, and is in the end of our year.

Prayer: Almighty Alpha and Omega, I can rest in assurance of all of Your promises. Your promises are backed by all of You. You never change. You have been and will be. I can hold on to every word that this Bible speaks, You say what You mean and mean what You say.



Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Accuser and Deceiver



December 29

Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 20

Verse of the Day: Revelation 20:2 – “And he laid hold on the dragon, the old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,”

This chapter we are reading today describes the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ on the Earth. It begins with the binding of Satan. He is called the Devil (Greek διαβολος) or the deceiver, and Satan (Greek σατανας) the accuser. Throughout the Scriptures we have seen that these names describe him so well. From Genesis chapter 3 where he lied to Eve and Adam, in Job as he stood and made accusations against Job, up to today, he has consistently sought to thwart God’s glorious plan for man. Satan tried to stop Christ’s coming, His Death, and even His church’s task of sharing the Good News.

Prayer: Almighty God, as I ponder today the depth that Satan has gone to cause Your plan to be subverted, I am in awe of Your constant and direct provision and protection of Your people. I thank You that You overshadow me, You protect me from the Evil One, and meet my every need to accomplish Your work.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

King of Kings



December 28

Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 19

Verse of the Day: Revelation 19:16 – “And he hath on his garment and on his thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.”

In the Greek language, they do not have superlatives for words. To create the ultimate superlative, the speaker or writer would repeat the word. We would say, good, better, best, they would say good good.

In today’s reading, we see Jesus coming back on a White Horse with a sharp sword (this is in contrast to the first White Horse and rider in Revelation 6:2). Jesus’ garment had His name or title written on it, He is the superlative King (King King) and the superlative Lord (Lord Lord).

The Battle is the Lord’s, He defeats the Beast and all of his armies by the sword that comes out of His mouth. The Word of God is powerful (Heb. 4:12).

Prayer: Amazing and Powerful Savior, I bow in humble submission to You and Your Will for me today. I seek to walk only in Your Way. Guide me, direct me, lead me in all things.



Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Babylon is Fallen




December 27

Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 18

Verse of the Day: Revelation 18:10 – “standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.”

In today’s reading, we find the pronouncement of the fall and total destruction of the city Babylon. In this verse, we find the statement “woe, woe….” The Greek word used here, ουαι, is a primary exclamation of grief, which in this instance is repeated to double the emphasis of the exclamation. It could be translated as alas, or how dreadful. It marks the impact that this city’s destruction would have.

Considered a strong city, the world will marvel that in such a short time the city would be destroyed. The power of God in His judgment is demonstrated in this event. We know that God is a God of Love, but we forget that He is also a God of Judgment.

Prayer: Father, I want to be on Your side of Love in all of my life. I do not want to face Your Judgment. I have accepted the provision You have made through Jesus , Your Son.




Monday, December 26, 2016

Babylon



December 26

Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 17

Verse of the Day: Revelation 17:5 – “and upon her forehead a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of the Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth.”

Babylon. The word means confusion. It is first found in the account of the Tower of Babel, It then became a very large and famous city, the residence of the Babylonian kings, situated on both banks of the Euphrates. Cyrus had formerly captured it, but Darius Hystaspis threw down its gates and walls, and Xerxes destroyed the temple of Belis. At length the city was reduced to almost solitude, the population having been drawn off by the neighboring Seleucia, built on the Tigris by Seleucus Nicanor. Allegorically, it speaks of Rome, the most corrupt seat of idolatry and the enemy of Christianity in John’s day. This introduction of the city in today’s reading sets the stage for the destruction we will see tomorrow.

Prayer: The world constantly seeks to go away from You, Gracious Father. It seeks to do all that it’s ruler, Satan, will present to seek to defeat You and Your plan. We know they can’t.



Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Reason for the Season



December 25

Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 16

Verse of the Day: Revelation 16:15 – “(Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.)

Christmas Day. The day we celebrate the entrance of Jesus into time and space. He came from His throne on Heaven, robed Himself in human flesh, and began the one-way trek to the Cross of Calvary.

As I pondered upon this verse in our reading today, I know the setting is the preparation for the Battle of Armageddon, but I couldn’t help but think that this statement of Jesus could have been made that night in Bethlehem. The Creator of the Universe slipped into time and space hardly noticed but by a few shepherds. Today, in the midst of the celebration, don’t let Jesus be ignored, not noticed like a thief. Make Him the center of the Day and Celebrations. Focus on Him. Pause and worship the One who makes all things possible.

Prayer: Jesus, I make You the center of my thoughts, thanks, and total celebration today. You are the Reason for the Season, and my life. 


Saturday, December 24, 2016

AWESOME POWER



December 24

Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 15

Verse of the Day: Revelation 15:3 – “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are thy ways, thou King of the ages.”

The Almighty (Greek παντοκρατωρ), means he who holds sway over all things, the ruler of all, one who has power over everything. We would say that He has total control.

Our God is the One who commands all the hosts, the powers in Heaven and Earth. Because of this, He is able to overcome all His foes. Eight times this word appears in the Book of Revelation. It shows the unveiling of God’s awe-inspiring control over the entire universe and throughout all of history.

Prayer: Almighty Father, Almighty Son, Almighty Spirit, what an awesome and majestic view is painted for us in Your Word. You disclose a small glimpse of Your might, Your power, Your presence, Your knowledge, and we then say we totally know You. Continue to open our eyes, hearts and minds to see You.



Friday, December 23, 2016

Determined to Walk



December 23

Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 14

Verse of the Day: Revelation 14:12 – “Here is the patience of the saints, they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”

The Christian life is often compared to a marathon that we must run. I like to think of it as an obstacle course. There are many demanding twists, turns, and trials that we must confront and live through.

The Bible makes it clear that we are in a battle. We are the soldiers in the trenches. Most of our battles do not come with fanfare and applause. We fight the good fight (1 Timothy 6:12) on an ongoing basis. Our walk with Christ is one that requires endurance. 

We need to be determined as we face each day. God is our helper, He gives us strength, He provides our way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13). Yet, we must make the decision to follow and obey. As we go through this life, we must intensify our determination to walk in the steps of Jesus.

Prayer: Father, strengthen me. I have good goals to walk as Jesus walked, yet I too often walk the way of the world. Amen.



Thursday, December 22, 2016

666




December 22

Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 13

Verse of the Day: Revelation 13:18 – “Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man: and his number is Six hundred and sixty and six.”

666. A number that has caused many to speculate upon who this man of sin is. Many different people have been ascribed as being this personification of the Antichrist. And, time has proven each one incorrect. We must be careful in trying to make people fit, when the final beast is here, it will be highly obvious.

Six as a numerological point is one short of seven. Seven is the number of completion and perfection. This man (the beast is a man) is identified in intensity, 666, meaning he is a very powerful man. His power is beyond any that has been. This will be a key to identifying this man of sin.

Prayer: Father, may I not speculate on that which You have not disclosed. May I seek to only speak and teach that which You have given. Give me wisdom to interpret and teach only what is true from Your Word.



Wednesday, December 21, 2016

VICTORY!



December 21

Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 12

Verse of the Day: Revelation 12:11 – “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life even unto death.”

We are reminded in this passage that believers are victorious in Jesus Christ. We do not need to have any fear. We are shown that we have “overcoming” power. Not in ourselves, but through the One who died that we could live.

The victory comes from the death of Christ upon the Cross, and is proclaimed by our verbal testimony in any and all circumstances. We will have the victory through the believers that remained strong even to giving up their own lives. Often we are not sure if we could be a martyr, but we should be constantly looking to see if we are willing to give up our choices for the ones that God wants. Are we willing to center our all on the desires and directions of our Savior?

Prayer: Jesus, I fail often in making my way more important than Your way. I surrender all.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Depraved Celebration



December 20

Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 11

Verse of the Day: Revelation 11:10 – “And they that dwell on the earth rejoice over them, and make merry; and they shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwell on the earth.”

In our reading today we come across two men who are only identified as the Two Witnesses. We know very little for certain about them, and much speculation has arisen over their identification. Moses, Elijah, Enoch, John the Baptist are various ideas presented. God has chosen not to disclose their identity, so we waste a lot of time trying to discern them.

In our verse today, we see the depravity of people on earth at this time. They have heard the prophetic warnings issuing from these two, and they seek to destroy the messengers. When they succeed, they do not allow a proper burial, but instead they have a time of celebration, almost like our Christmas parties. They are astonished 3 days later when they are resurrected and raptured.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, I pray for those who refuse to listen and believe God’s message.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Choosing to reject the Creator



December 19

Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 10

Verse of the Day: Revelation 10:5 – 6 – “And the angel that I saw standing upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his right hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created the heaven and the things that are therein, and the earth and the things that are therein, and the sea and the things that are therein, that there shall be delay no longer:”

This angel was about to make a great proclamation based upon the authority of the One who holds all Authority. The Creator of all that is was about to finish the great mystery. The seventh trumpet would be sounding without delay, and the events that would culminate the return of Christ were to take place.

Prayer: Father, as I have been reading this book, I so thank You that You will not allow Your children to face this massive punishment. It is a frightening reminder that so many of those going through this still shake their fist at You, curse You, and totally reject Who You are. This shows me the full depravity of sinfulness.



Sunday, December 18, 2016

Abaddon and Apollyon



December 18

Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 9

Verse of the Day: Revelation 9:11 – “They have over them as king the angel of the abyss: his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek tongue he hath the name Apollyon.”

The “locusts” released upon the Earth are from the αβυσσου, a Greek word that basically means bottomless. This was considered to be a very deep gulf or chasm in the lowest parts of the earth used as the common receptacle of the dead and especially as the abode of demons.

These demonic creatures were under the leadership of one that John made sure was identified in both the Hebrew and the Greek languages. The reference to the Hebrew concept of Abaddon means destruction, and is understood as being the name of the angel-prince of the infernal regions, the minister of death and the author of havoc on the earth. Apollyon is the angel of the bottomless pit, the Destroyer. We consider this to be Satan, the great deceiver and opponent of the righteous.

Prayer: Father, I am totally Yours. Do not allow the Deceiver to come and kill and destroy my life with You. 


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Eerie Silence



December 17

Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 8

Verse of the Day: Revelation 8:1 – 2 – “And when he opened the seventh seal, there followed a silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels that stand before God; and there were given unto them seven trumpets.”

In our chapter today we move from the Seven Seal judgments into the Seven Trumpet judgments. The opening of the first six seals brought great devastation upon the Earth and mankind. Went the seventh seal was opened, there was an eerie silence that enveloped all creation. Like the quiet before the storm, the silence was overwhelming in light of what had already taken place. And now, after about a half of an hour of total silence in creation, the first four trumpet judgments are unleashed in rapid succession. Then, as if they weren’t distressing enough, an angel flew announcing that the final three were even greater woes.

Prayer: I thank You that You hold me in Your Hand. I find that You will protect me from the horrific judgments brought upon this world and Your Creation. I am Yours.


Friday, December 16, 2016

Practicing for Tomorrow



December 16

Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 7

Verse of the Day: Revelation 7:9 – 10 – “After these things I saw, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, arrayed in white robes, and palms in their hands; and they cry with a great voice, saying, Salvation unto our God who sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb.”

Throughout the chapter we read today, there is a marked amount of worship. In these verses, we see the multitude of believers proclaiming praise to Jesus. We see that heaven will be made up of all nations people groups, languages gathered in one place. There will not be separations of people. 

I believe that it will a majestic swelling chorus of voices in many dialects and languages all proclaiming the same thing, that our presence there is because of the Salvation provided by Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Prayer: Jesus, may I praise you now for what You did. I want to practice my praises today in preparation for that day. Amen.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Hades



December 15

Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 6

Verse of the Day: Revelation 6:8 – “And I saw, and behold, a pale horse: and he that sat upon him, his name was Death; and Hades followed with him. And there was given unto them authority over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with famine, and with death, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”

Hades. In the Greek, it means the place of the unseen. Literally, it means “not seen.” It is used to designate the invisible world of the dead. The Hebrew equivalent in the Old Testament is Sheol. It is natural that it is connected here with death. All people who die go into Hades, or the invisible place of the dead. Unfortunately, it has been associated with the word hell, or place of eternal torment. The Greek word for that is gehenna (Mark 9:43 – 45). We all go into Hades, but we can avoid hell by believing in Jesus.

Prayer: Father, unless Jesus comes back first, I will go through the fact of dying. I will go into the invisible world of the dead, but knowing Jesus means I will go into Paradise and not Hell. I thank You for Your great provision for me. 






Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Completely Worthy



December 14

Daily Bible Reading: Revelation 5

Verse of the Day: Revelation 5:12 – “saying with a great voice, Worthy is the Lamb that hath been slain to receive the power, and riches, and wisdom, and might, and honor, and glory, and blessing.”

The Lamb that was slain. One of the many names and titles ascribed to Jesus throughout the Scriptures. In this passage today, the title is attached to the idea that as the Lamb that was slain, Jesus is shown to have great worth. And this worth ascribed to Him is explained by seven descriptive words. In the Bible, the number seven is considered to portray completeness or wholeness. In this verse, the worth of the Lamb is complete.

Worthy to receive our complete accolades. He receives power, riches, wisdom, might, honor, glory, and blessing.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we pause today to look at our Lamb that was slain. The One who was the complete and perfect sacrifice for our sins. We cannot say enough to deliver worship and praise to Your Son. He is worthy of all our praise and worship. Amen.



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