revelation: noun, from the Ancient Greek apocalypsis, 1. disclosure, unveiling.
Do you ever have entire chapters out of your life that are so incredibly draining and exhausting that three clones of yourself working around the clock could never manage your to-do list?
That’s where I’m living these days.
And it’s ALLLLL the good things in life: three active children (one of them a rambunctious toddler, whose energy level is equivalent to septuplets on speed), a thriving business, and living in a construction zone as constant home improvements go on continually, and I wouldn’t trade NOT ONE of those things for all the peace and calm in the world, but life is roaring by in a huge, thundering current and it’s a lot to handle.
I feel like I’m drowning.
It’s why this blog, which was once my favorite hobby and creative outlet, gets updated once every 62.3 weeks or so, and that’s so incredibly sad to me.
But… though I might feel like I’m drowning, I’m not. I won’t, ever, because the Bible assures me I am held.
And if I can only focus on the ONE who is the same yesterday, today, forever, who was, is, and is to come, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, I can barely even hear the turbulence roaring around my ankles.
God still reveals Himself to me, and that’s my comfort, strength, and peace in all the difficult, exhausting times. Do YOU need some comfort, strength, and peace? I’d love to share with you the words that meant the most to me in my Bible study this week from Revelation 1:1-20.
These are the words God has revealed to me this week.
FAITHFULNESS. The book of Revelation was written by John, who was ‘the disciple Jesus loved.’ And in just the first few verses of Revelation alone, I see why. When Jesus was arrested and punished, all of his other disciples fled. His ELEVEN closest friends… all of them… ran away. All but John. WOULD I?
I hope not. Recently a woman (I won’t mention by name) has been all over the internet for standing up for her beliefs in a way that is NOT politically correct, and my thoughts on whether her behavior was right or wrong have gone back and forth a few times, until I read about how John was one of the few who stayed by Jesus’ side. Did that woman do the right thing? Not sure because I don’t think like God does, but I DO recognize that she was trying to be faithful to Jesus when it would have much easier not to be. And I also recognize that even most believers have turned against her… like the disciples, 92% of them are fleeing and scattering. When it gets tough to admit we know and love Jesus, there are three ways we can respond:
- Flee and scatter and hide like 92% of His disciples did that day.
- Join in the persecution of the believers.
- Stay near the cross with His faithful followers.
What would YOU do?
SHEPHERDED AND LOVED. These words spoke to me this week. John followed Jesus, then ‘shepherded and loved’ the church for the rest of his life. I love this picture of a shepherd, because shepherds lead their sheep by the still waters, make them lie down in green pastures, and restore their souls. Who wouldn’t love to be a sheep cared for by a kind, loving shepherd?
This is probably another big reason that John was Jesus’ favorite. God is pretty clear about the Top Two ways to His heart: loving Him, and loving your neighbor. Loving people is hard. Loving our neighbors is sometimes really hard. But this is how we act like John (and thus, like Jesus’ favorite):
- Feed the hungry.
- Befriend the lonely.
- Give sacrificially.
How could you ‘shepherd and love’ God’s people this week?
PRIESTS. God calls us all to serve Him. This word, ‘priests,’ jumped out at me during this study. SO many times I see myself as inferior when it comes to talking about God or serving Him. ALL of the other people are just better at it than I am. My best friend is more gifted with kids, my sister is gifted at organization, and other friends are good at teaching. Me? I’m not good at ANY of those. So I want to linger in the background and let someone else do THE THING, whatever THE THING is that needs to be done at church at the moment.
And sometimes I feel like a giant hypocrite and don’t want to really be God’s representative… sometimes I’m scared I’ll get it wrong… and sometimes I just don’t want to open myself up to the wrath of unbelievers when my beliefs don’t line up with political correctness.
But this is a LIE! As members of God’s community, we ALL have the privilege to speak on His behalf. We all communicate the gospel. We all teach others what God has taught us. We all extend God’s mercy and compassion to people in need. It’s not optional, y’all. We’re consecrated as PRIESTS. It says so in the Word, and God Himself MADE YOU equal to the task of speaking up and BEING THE PRIEST who is God’s representative here on earth.
How can you be God’s voice this week to a lost and dying world?
LIGHT. Jesus is the light of the world. Does this dark and evil world depress you lately? ME TOO. Times are tough and getting tougher for believers. But I LOVE what the Bible says about the LIGHT:
I am the light of the world… Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. – Jesus
The reality and power of Jesus transcends time, death, and every enemy.
Light always overcomes the darkness.
Jesus overcame death. Did you catch that? Truly? He OVERCAME DEATH. None of this stuff going on in the news, the evil that seems to be spreading and overtaking our world, the ever-growing persecution believers are facing for staying by Jesus’ side when everyone else flees, NONE of it can conquer the one we call Savior who has overcome death.
Not even death is to be feared by those who belong to the Living One, Christ Jesus.
There is one who knows and holds the future and is coming back. ALL of our days and times are empowered by Him, even those turbulent times where we’re swallowed up by stress and feel like we’re drowing. Or when we’re being mocked and ridiculed for believing.
Don’t be afraid, and keep your eyes on the light.