We believe that it is important to be thoughtful when considering God's Word, the Bible. We hope you will check back from time to time for thoughts on God's Word.
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." -Revelation 22:21
This is the final verse in the Bible. The last word. And the last word is GRACE! God's incalculable, immeasurable, un-earnable favor bathes us in the very midst of our failures. We don't deserve it. We can't deserve it. Have you ever failed? There is grace. Have you ever doubted? There is grace. Have you done almost everything right!? There is grace for that too. God's grace is not a respecter of our contributions or failings. That's what makes it grace. Do you desire to follow after Him, but are unsure where to start? Start with grace, and at the end of it all, just like God's word, you will find grace.
"He who testifies of these things says, 'Surely, I am coming quickly.' Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" -Revelation 22:20
This interaction demonstrates much regarding the relationship between Christ and the believer. It is a beautiful picture of promise and expectancy. Our Lord gives the steadfast and sure promise - "I am coming quickly." In that moment the believer does not respond with, "How long is that going to take? What does 'quickly' mean?" The heart and mouth of the believer responds with expectancy - "Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" Enthusiastically we long for, and cheer for, the pressing arrival of our Lord. If we become entangled in the concern of how long, we have missed the point. Be ready! Our Lord's word is as faithful as it ever has been. He is coming quickly.
"...The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely." -Revelation 22:17
God offers an open invitation to partake of His life-giving water freely. This message is pervasive, announced by many for the benefit of all who hear. And, we who believe have been drafted into the service of announcing this invitation. This isn't a secret, AND it's not exclusively extended to the perfect or well-hydrated souls. The invitation is for "whoever desires." The way is open to all, through Christ. We are all bidden to drink of the water liberally, and to find life in His cup. Thank you Father for your grace, for calling us to drink. Help us faithfully and fervently offer the invitation just as You have.
"...I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star." -Revelation 22:16b
Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of God's promise to raise up a King from David's lineage to rule forever and ever. He did not strive, maneuver, or campaign for this role. He did not fabricate some tenuous lineage to claim His crown. Search the scriptures! Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. He is begotten, ordained and appointed by God's sovereign will. He is the perfect fulfillment of all that was foretold. What an amazing, incomprehensible thought! He really happened, and is happening! All of that seems so improbable, so unrealistic, so unfathomable. And yet, it is happening now! As sure as Jesus Christ fulfilled all of God's Word, all of God's promises, He is faithful to His Bride forevermore. He is coming quickly!
"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches..." -Revelation 22:16a
Jesus takes full ownership of this message, of THE MESSAGE! All scripture is God-breathed, inspired. Christ directs His message and sends it directly to His bride. The universal Church AND local churches are special to Jesus. The churches receive so much care from our Lord. He shares so much with us. He desires that we would know the things written in this Book. Because He has committed His word to us we won't be caught off guard, wondering if we've been abandoned. AND, how glorious it is that we each individually, as parts of the whole, get to be a part of the churches that Jesus cares for so much! Lord help us to be discerning and attentive to the message you are communicating to Your churches.
"Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city." -Revelation 22:14
Jesus taught His disciples, "If you love me, keep my commandments."* During His time with the disciples, Jesus instructed them on how to pursue God. Such authoritative and pure instruction is hard for us to imagine apart from Christ. We live in the era of qualifying statements, exceptions, and asterisks. It is plain, it is essential, that we carry out our Lord's commandments. We must not be hearers only - or what do we gain? We must be doers, workers in Christ's field, looking forward to the promise of His coming and the invitation to enter through the gates - by the narrow way. No one shall enter without Christ's express permission. No one shall enter in by some other way.** There is no wall to scale to crash the party. Help us be diligent in obedience to your commands oh Lord.
** John 10
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last." -Revelation 22:13
There are doubters who, in their ignorance, declare that Jesus Christ never claimed to be God. Christ states this fact many times. He even declares boldly about himself, "I AM." This is a reference to the name God called Himself when speaking with Moses. The name Jehovah means, "the existing one," or "the one who is." No better picture is given of the fullness of the Existing One's nature than here in John's Revelation. Jesus Christ is the Beginning and End of all things. He is the First and the Last, sovereign over all, unbound by time, space or matter. Our Lord is the categorical summation and culmination of all things. We offer praise to His holy name for He IS the Existing One, the most high God, above all things and over all things.
"And behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work." -Revelation 22:12
Be ready. Keep oil for your lamps. Watch and pray. As sure as God's word has ever been, these words are certain. Christ has promised to come again and we wait in deliberate expectation, exercising, building up our faith until that glorious day. He is bringing His reward with Him for those servants who have been found faithfully working. What is the work? It starts with belief, the only work that matters; grows through building up the Body by our service to Christ, dispensing that which we have received; and culminates in a perfected faith when we see Christ face to face and enter into the joy of His kingdom. Help us be ready, Oh Lord! Help us be ready.
"He who is unjust let him be unjust still; he who is filthy let him be filthy still; he who is righteous let him be righteous still; he who is holy let him be holy still." -Revelation 22:11
As Christ's return approaches some people may feel like they can hedge their bets and change allegiance at the last minute. Be warned, our Lord's return will come upon us suddenly, without warning, as a thief in the night. No man knows the day or hour of His return. In that moment each person will be found as they are. If you are Christ's then you are righteous and holy because you are clothed in His unmatchable righteousness. If you find that you are filthy and unjust it is because you are clothed in your own righteousness and have denied the Lord Jesus' petitions to bring you close. Now is the time to cling to Christ, to take His robes. Time is quickly expiring. Do not delay.
"And he said to me, 'Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.'" -Revelation 22:10
It is critical that we know God's word from beginning to end. Otherwise we will develop a half informed concept of God's nature and relationship with humanity. This book of books is to be read and known, not sealed up and hidden away. One of the earliest challenges for the church was dealing with the bogus, yet attractive, teaching of a "hidden knowledge," that was only available to a few enlightened people. That is known as gnosticism, and is a lie! Here, God's messenger is explicit that these words, this knowledge, should not be hidden. God's word is for all to see and know. May God give us understanding in the things that He shows us. May we be students of His word.
Anthony is the Pastor of Living Water Christian Fellowship.