Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christ is in Control (short reflections)

Most days of the week, I spend quiet time with God, using the method taught to us by our friends at Navigators. I stop, look, listen, and respond as I meet God in His Word. For more on this simple way of meeting God each day, see here.

This month, my daily time with God has been focused on the book of Revelation. Despite the complexity of its apocalyptic imagery, I find that as I read Revelation this month, God has been impressing the most simple and beautiful things on me. Today is no exception as I considered God's message in Revelation 11.

Here's what God taught me today:
Look: ““The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15b)

Whatever else this passage might mean, it surely does mean this:

First, God is in control of history despite the pretensions of humanity. No matter how arrogant we human beings are, God has the final say.

Second, on Jesus’ return, the old sheriff will be gone and Jesus will rule as Messiah over a kingdom of grace. His citizens will be all who, in this life, continually repented--having entrusted their sin to Him--and continually believed in Him--having entrusted their lives to Him.

In response to the announcement of the impending return of Messiah made by the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the twenty-four elders say: “The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small—and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” (Revelation 11:18)

Listen: The Lord reigns forever and ever. Your kingdom is never-ending, Lord. And by Your grace alone--not by any merits I may think that I have--I can be a disciple in Your kingdom. Whether the world considers me to be great or small, you reward all Your servants who revere your name by turning from our sin and trusting in You.

Respond: Today, Lord, help me to trust in You. Not in myself. Not in the pleasure of sins that cause me to put myself first. Not in the pleasure of being right, when I think that I’m right. Help me take my pleasure in You--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God in three persons--and in the good and perfect gifts You give alone. Amen
[Blogger Mark Daniels is pastor of Living Water Lutheran Church in Centerville, Ohio.] 

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