pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Victory

Reading: Revelation 7: 9-17

Verse 16: Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst.

Tonight is a “scary” night.  People of all ages dress up in fun costumes and go out to collect candy.  The reality is that the “trick” has largely left the “trick or treat” aspect of the night and it is largely about dressing up (which is fun) and collecting candy (which is yummy).  For the vast majority who will be going door to door, trunk to trunk, or table to table, Halloween is just a fun night.

Although the “darkness” of Halloween is largely gone, the world we live in still has plenty of darkness.  The world brings each person their share of hurt and pain in life.  It is part of the otherwise beautiful and loving world.  As Christians we can better face the forces of evil and the times of pain and suffering because we know the end of the story.  Today, in Revelation 7, we get a peak into the end of the story.  We see praise and worship around the throne.  We see those that have gone through the great tribulation – they have been redeemed and their robes are white as snow.  They join the elders and the angels in worshipping God and the Lamb.  It is a wonderful and beautiful image of the end of life as we know it here on earth.

Through the victory of Jesus Christ we know that “never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst”.  It will be a time of light and love as we dwell with God and the Lamb.  All will be amazing as we join the heavenly choir singing our praises to the Lord our God.  The Lamb will lead us by springs of living water and God will wipe away every tear.  This is the vision, the hope, the promise that we hold onto as we dwell in this time and place.  Thanks be to God for the victory won by Jesus Christ!


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Worship

Reading: Revelation 5: 11-14

Reading of the worship around the throne in heaven makes me think of times of worship that have been powerful and amazing.  The first that comes to mind was the choir and orchestra that led worship at a big conference I attended in a Kansas City suburb.  There were hundreds on the platform and thousands in the congregation who joined together to praise our God.  Next my mind went to any number of Promise Keepers events where almost twenty thousand men would lift our voices as one and fill the stadium or arena.  The power and majesty and presence of God was real.

Of course both of these events pale in comparison to John’s description of the thousands upon thousands – literally millions – of voices gathered to praise the Lamb who was slain.  John goes on to include every being born since the creation story.  It will be quite the choir!  If we expand our ‘grandest’ worship experience hundreds on hundreds of times over, it may get us close to what John saw in his vision.

The thousands or even millions lifted in one voice, bringing praise and glory to God, surely pleases Him. There is an undeniable power felt when a large number gather for worship.  This experience occurs at large events throughout the year and at churches across the world on days like Christmas Eve.

Yet I believe God is also greatly pleased with the worship of one.  We all experience times of worship where we are the only ones there and we definitely feel the presence of God.  Maybe it is during a walk along the beach or maybe it happens sitting alone on the deck at sunrise.  Maybe it occurs during a hymn when you too have felt tears streaming down your cheeks.  In our times of worship, whether alone or with a handful or with hundreds, He is every bit as pleased as with millions upon millions in worship.  Praise be to the Lamb!  Praise to our God who is pleased when we bow and worship His Holy name!  All honor and glory is His, both now and forever!