Archive for July, 2009

“Word for Today” – Revelation 18 –

Cable 1I don’t like moving. I don’t like the packing.  I don’t like the hauling.  I don’t like the unpacking, sorting, and finding new places for everything in my new place.  I don’t like moving. But perhaps the thing I dislike most when it comes to the whole moving experience is the obligatory call I have to make to the cable guy.  You know how the conversation goes.  I call and say, “I’ve just moved in to a new place and I would like someone to come out and hook up my cable TV and internet.”  “Okay,” the associate responds in her best cheerful tenor, “We can schedule an appointment for two weeks from today between 8 am and 5 pm.”  “Two weeks from today?  Don’t you have anything sooner?  And can’t you give me a more specific window of time than nine hours?” I ask.  “No sir,” comes the polite reply. “I’m sorry, we can’t.”  And so I wait.  And after two weeks, the day finally comes.  And I wait again.  And I wait and I wait and I wait.  And finally, at 4:30 in the afternoon, the cable guy shows up.  And 15 minutes later, he’s finished.  All that waiting for 15 minutes of labor.  How frustrating.

After reading about a vile prostitute named Babylon in Revelation 17 (cf. Revelation 17:5) and how she became “drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus” (Revelation 17:6), we now read about this woman’s demise in today’s reading from Revelation 18.  And her demise is a spectacular one.  A chorus laments:

“Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come! Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin! Woe! Woe, O great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin!” (verses 10, 16-17, 19)

Babylon, the ultimate symbol of power, excess, and greed, has been utterly obliterated.  As another chorus sings in the following chapter, “The smoke goes up from her forever and ever” (verse 3).  But did you catch the pattern of the laments in chapter 18?  Each lament begins with a double woe, accompanied by a reckoning of how long it will take to destroy her:  “one hour.”  One hour to for this giant of a spiritual harlot to meet her demise?  That seems awfully swift.

One of the promises that we Christians receive concerning God’s judgment is that it will be swift and irrevocable.  As Paul elsewhere writes, “For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3).  Thus, in John’s vision, the enemies of God are destroyed in a mere hour while the people of God, in that same time frame, receive their anxiously anticipated salvation.

In the mean time, however, it can sometimes feel as though Christians are left waiting for a cable guy who has given them a painfully vague time frame as to when he will finally arrive.  Jesus promises only that he will come “soon” (Revelation 22:20).  Can’t he get any more precise than that?  Actually, he can’t.  For as Jesus himself admits, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matthew 24:36).  But rest assured, even if it’s at 4:30 in the afternoon, Jesus will come.  And when Jesus does come, the wait will most certainly be over.  For his judgment will only take a moment.

Thankfully, while we’re waiting for Jesus to come, we need not sit around in our houses all day like I had to while waiting for the cable guy.  Indeed, Jesus doesn’t want us to sit around all day waiting for him.  Instead, he wants us to use this precious time to share his precious message of salvation.  This is why Jesus declares, “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).  Jesus, not desiring the destruction of sinners, is waiting as long as possible for us to share his message of grace before he ushers in his End.  So don’t just sit there, share Jesus!  After all, who knows?  Jesus might just be waiting for you to share him with someone today.  I hope you will.

July 31, 2009 at 4:45 am Leave a comment

“Word for Today” – Revelation 17 –

Romano Gore Christie 1I find people who mix their metaphors, whether intentionally or unintentionally, to be quite entertaining.  And people do this more often than you might think.  Ray Romano, the American actor best known for his work on the sitcom “Everybody Love Raymond” is reported to have said, “Your dirty laundry is coming home to roost.”  Is that because the chickens dirtied the laundry?  Or how about the renowned English author Agatha Christie, who once penned these words:  “One has to tidy up the loose ends.”  Isn’t that, “Tie up the loose ends”?  And then, leave it to a politician to really stick his foot in his mouth, as former vice president Al Gore did.  Gore once quipped at a press conference, “We all know that a leopard can’t change his stripes.”  And indeed that’s true.  Mainly because a leopard doesn’t have any stripes.  He has spots.

You would think that a writer as astute, observant, and careful as John would never commit such a cardinal literary sin like mixing his metaphors.  But in Revelation 17, this is exactly what he does.

John sees a vision of a prostitute riding a beast who has emerged from the waters.  This beast, John continues, has seven heads and ten horns (cf. verses 1-3).  Now clearly, this language is to be interpreted metaphorically, as John himself later explains.  He even “decodes,” as it were, bits and pieces of his metaphorical language for us:  “The seven heads of the beast are the seven hills on which the woman sits” (verse 9).  So this woman is sitting on some sort of seven-hilled landscape.  But then John continues, “They are also the seven kings” (verse 10).  Wait!  I thought the seven heads of the beast were supposed to symbolize seven hills.  How can they also symbolize seven kings?

With such a labyrinth of imagery, it’s no wonder that the book of Revelation can confuse and frustrate many.  So let me see if I can help decipher some of John’s metaphors, mixed as they may be.  The prostitute seems to represent those once faithful followers of God who turn away from him in apostasy.  Indeed, the sad image of a harlot is common imagery in the Old Testament for Israel, who regularly turns away from God to follow her own sinful desires.  As the prophet Isaiah says, “See how the faithful city of Jerusalem has become a harlot!  She was once full of justice; righteousness used to dwell in her – but now murderers” (Isaiah 1:21)!  The beast out of the sea on which this woman sits seems to symbolize the Roman Empire, especially since this beast’s seven heads symbolize the “seven hills” (verse 9) on which Rome famously sits.  The “seven kings,” then, could very well be some of the wicked Roman emperors with whom John would have had to contend as he wrote Revelation.  For John had been exiled by these same emperors to the remote island of Patmos because he stood up for his faith in Christ when these emperors demanded that all subjects of the empire worship them as gods.  In the end, however, although these are my educated guesses as to what this imagery in Revelation 17 represents, they are still only my educated guesses.  In other words, I cannot, in the final analysis, decipher every one of John’s apocalyptic metaphors with precise specificity.

More than once, I have met a person who was convinced that he had every last one of the beasts, horns, kings, bowls, plagues, scrolls, and trumpets deciphered and decoded with the precise specificity that so stubbornly eludes me.  And, oddly enough, all of these images from John’s book just happened to correspond with the news stories he had read in the New York Times earlier that morning!  “The end of the world is at hand,” he would confidently, and even arrogantly, announce to me.  Usually, I would respond with only a knowing glance.  And then I would wait.  Because while he was furiously readying himself for “apocalypse now,” I just continued on with my daily activities, content to leave the Lord’s return to the Lord.  And eventually, the timetables he had placed on his predictions of doom and gloom expired.  And he was proven wrong.  Perhaps his precise specificity wasn’t so precise after all.

One of the reasons I believe John mixes his metaphors is to try to prevent us from engaging in interpretations of his writings which would foolishly and haughtily seek to decipher his metaphors with precise specificity.  For John’s metaphors are not meant to be precise predictions, but general descriptions of the sad state of wickedness in the world and of the glorious promise of salvation with Christ.  Sadly, this has not detoured many from their foolish, and so far completely wrongheaded, interpretations of John’s visions.

I cannot interpret John’s apocalyptic mixed metaphors specifically.  I can only speak to them generally.  And that’s okay.  I think John intended it that way.  But this I do know and this I do believe with amazing specificity:  That “the Lamb will overcome evil because he is Lord of lords and King of kings – and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers” (verse 14).  No matter what may come of John’s mixed metaphors, this I know:  I will live eternally with the Lamb.  And that makes me happy as an oyster.  Or is that a clam?

July 30, 2009 at 4:45 am Leave a comment

“Word for Today” – Revelation 16 –

Scrabble 1I am not a very competitive person, often to the chagrin of my wife, Melody.  For example, if we are playing a game of Scrabble one evening, Melody will glance at her tiles and then study the board with steely eyed resolve, determined to use her “Q” and “X” in one word while also landing on a “Triple Word Score” space.  But then, there’s me.  “THE,” I’ll say in a monotone drone.  “T-H-E.”  “You’re not even trying!” Melody will respond.  “It’s no fun to play with you unless you try to beat me!”  But I’m just not a very competitive person.  The thrill of a win feels muted to me while the pain of a loss feels blunted to me.

I am not a very competitive person.  That is, unless I’m playing 42.  This Texas domino classic captured my heart in seminary and has held it ever since.  I’m not sure what it is about this one game that brings out my competitive edge, but I am fierce and focused when I play.  I intensely study each and every domino, carefully strategizing my victory.  And if I lose…well, let’s just say I can be less than a gracious loser, especially when I lose after betting on what I was certain was a winning hand.  But sometimes, no matter what I do, no matter how carefully I strategize, and no matter how hard I try, the dominoes do not fall properly.  And I lose.  And I am not happy about it.

In Revelation 16, we are introduced to some very competitive people.  But these people are not trying to compete at a game of Scrabble or even at a game of 42.  No, these people are trying to compete against God. They stubbornly, unabashedly, and wildly defy God’s commands, trying to defeat God’s righteousness and usurp his authority.  But no matter how hard they try, they keep on losing.  And they are not happy about it.  John writes, “They cursed the name of God…but they refused to repent and glorify him” (verse 9).  They refused to admit, “I have lost at my game of wickedness.  God is the winner.  And I should declare him as such through repentance and worship.”

Finally, in one last ditch effort to defeat God, the wicked gather “together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon” (verse 16).  Without a doubt, much ink has been spilled over the famed Mountain of Megiddo and the impending gloomy and gory battle that will one day take place there.  But even before this final cosmic war, because of its location at a strategic point along the Via Maris, an important ancient trade route, Armageddon has already served as the unfortunate site for countless monumental battles.  As the biblical scholar Robert Mounce writes, “Armageddon is one of history’s famous battlefields, having witnessed major conflicts all the way ‘from one fought by Thuthmosis III in 1468 BC to that of Lord Allenby of Megiddo in 1917” (Revelation, 301).  Indeed, this site is substantially stained with the blood of the fallen.  Biblically, this is the same site on which Elijah competed with the prophets of Baal in a contest to see whose God was the true God (cf. 1 Kings 18:16-40).  Elijah won handily.

For all the battles which have taken place at Armageddon, this final eschatological one is of a different sort.  The wicked gather for war against God.  Their swords are drawn, their bows are strung, their catapults are mounted, and their intentions are clear:  To defeat the Lord and his righteous ones.  But then, before a single arrow is fired and before a single sword is wielded, God announces, “It is done” (verse 17)!  The battle ends before it can even begin.  John’s description of the battle at Armageddon, then, is a far cry from the depictions of bloody carnage given to us in many popular Christian, which turn out also to be fictional, descriptions of this war.  For no matter how hard they try, the wicked do not even have a chance at winning this war.  They lose.  And it is done.

The battle at Armageddon should offer us, as Christians, great comfort and hope because technically, it’s not even a battle.  Rather, it’s a simple declaration of victory:  “Christ has won over wickedness!  It is done!”  So when you face wickedness which harangues your morale and stresses your soul, remember that the battle has already been won.  Wickedness doesn’t stand a chance.  For our God has competed and won.  And that’s a victory we can all be happy about.

July 29, 2009 at 4:45 am Leave a comment

“Word for Today” – Revelation 15 –

Nueces Bay Causeway 1I’ll never forget my first visit to the first congregation I served at as a pastor.  It was a church in a little town outside of Corpus Christi called Portland.  I had hit the road early on a Tuesday morning to make a three and a half hour drive from Austin, where I was staying at the time, to Portland, my soon-to-be home.  It was a pleasant drive, first down 1-35 from Austin to San Antonio, and then down I-37, headed toward Corpus Christi, until I got about twenty five miles north of the city.  All of a sudden, dark and ominous clouds appeared on the horizon.  And as I sped closer to my destination, I realized that the weather was about to take a turn for the worse.

And then, it happened.

The lightning flashed, the thunder rolled, the heavens opened up, the floodgates released, and the rain came pouring down.  It was one of the most stunning displays of precipitation I had ever witnessed.  I could barely see a foot in front of my windshield.  Those last few miles took me a full hour to drive.  And as I drove them, I thought to myself, “Is this some kind of hurricane?  I’m not so sure I want to live here!”

Thankfully, my opinion soon changed.  For the next time I returned to Portland, the sky was blue, the weather was pleasant, and as I sped over a picturesque causeway from Corpus Christi to Portland, I was enraptured by the sailboats drifting through the harbor and the maritime birds soaring up above.  “This is more like it,” I thought to myself.  “Now this feels like home!”

In our reading for today from Revelation 15, we see a storm of sorts, described as “the seven last plagues” (verse 1), which are representative of the unfortunate trials and tribulations that accompany the end times.  Notably, during these stormy plagues, the temple in heaven is “filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, [so that] no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the sever angels were completed” (verse 8).  In other words, much like a blue sky in a thunderstorm, there are portions of God’s counsel which remain somewhat shrouded during this spiritual storm.

The writers of Scripture have long noted that, in some sense, God remains hidden from us as we live our lives on earth and in sin.  Paul describes it thusly:  Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways” (Romans 11:33).  “Inscrutable.”  Now there’s a word you don’t hear very often.  It is the negative form of “scrutinize.”  Paul us saying that, try as we might, we cannot scrutinize or analyze or standardize the way in which God works.  His ways often remain dingily shadowed behind the smoke in Revelation’s temple.  And yet, it will not always be this way.

Just like the clouds over Corpus Christi eventually broke and the storm eventually cleared, so too will the smoke from the temple one day dissipate and God in his full glory in righteousness will be revealed.  Indeed, not only will the smoke from the temple clear, the temple itself will tumble!  As John writes concerning the end of time, “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Revelation 21:22).  And then later, “We will see his face” (Revelation 22:4).  We will one day see the entirety of God.

In the mean time, however, we’re still in the storm of plagues.  Indeed, you experience this every time a financial crunch hits, a relationships breaks, or a loved one dies.  And it is during these times that we wish we were able to peer into the smoke of God’s temple and scrutinize his job performance.  But, frustratingly at times, we cannot.  But the smoke will indeed dissipate.  The temple will indeed tumble.  And we will indeed see Jesus face to face.  And when we do, we will declare, “Now this feels like home!”  I can’t wait.

July 28, 2009 at 4:45 am Leave a comment

“Word for Today” – Revelation 14 –

Surgery 1Perhaps it’s just part of the irreparable fissure between guys and gals.  The other night, my wife Melody and I were sitting on our living room couch and I, remote in hand, was doing what any self-respecting, red-blooded American male would be doing at a time like this.  I was channel surfing.  Now, truth be told, I actually don’t do a lot of channel surfing.  I usually only flip back and forth between two types of channels:  news channels and sports channels.  But on this particular day, the news was all Michael Jackson, a story which by this point had tired me, and the sports channels were saturated with Major League Baseball games which, although okay, are not merely as captivating to me as NBA or College Football games.  Thus, in a quest for something interesting to watch, I ran the whole gamut of TV channels when I stumbled across the Discovery Health channel.

I’m still not sure what kind of surgery it was on the Discovery Health channel, but whatever it was, it was really cool.  Scalpels, scissors, stitches, and lots of blood.  Immediately I became transfixed.  “Wow!  That’s amazing,” I declared.  Melody, however, was not so awed by the gruesome sight.  “Yuck!” she exclaimed.  “I don’t want to watch this.  Turn the channel!  Turn the channel!”

As I said, perhaps it’s just part of the irreparable fissure between guys and gals.  Show me blood and I find it fascinating and interesting.  Show my wife blood, however, and she turns away her head in disgust and disdain.

With that in mind, I suppose it’s really not surprising that the book of Revelation was written by a guy.  For this apocalyptic narrative certainly has its share of blood.  And today’s reading from Revelation 14 is no exception.

In what is yet another vision of God’s judgment of the world on the Last Day, John sees an angel executing divine wrath on those who do not believe in Christ.  This angel is commanded:

“Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.” The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia. (verses 18-20)

On the Last Day, the enemies of God are trampled by God’s sickle of wrath.  Such a punishment is fitting since, prior to their final judgment, they wickedly trampled on the saints of God (cf. Revelation 11:2).  But now their judgment has come and now their blood will flow, rising as high as a horse’s bridle, approximately 5 feet high, and flowing a distance of 1,600 stadia, approximately the length of Palestine from north to south.  Now that’s a lot of blood!  Even with my affinity for surgery shows on the Discovery Health channel, I’m not so sure this is a sight I want to see.  And it most definitely a judgment of which I don’t want to be a part.

Why would John paint such a gruesome picture of the Last Day and God’s judgment?  To serve as a warning for those who do not trust in Christ for their salvation.  It is especially interesting to note the location of where this judgment takes place:  “outside the city” (verse 20).  With a touch of poetic irony, this turns out to be the same place where blood once flowed from a Savior named Jesus: And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood” (Hebrews 13:12).  The question that John is prompting us to ask, then, is, “Whose blood do we want to flow outside the city?  Jesus’ blood for the forgiveness of our sins or our own blood at our impending destruction?”  Sadly, many people, rather than relying on Jesus’ blood, prefer to give their own blood as recompense for their sins.  But for those of us who trust in Christ, this need not be the case.  Our blood need not flow.  For Jesus’ blood has already flowed for us.

As much as I might like to watch doctors operate on others on the Discovery Health channel, I dread the notion of being operated on myself.  I’m happy to watch other people’s blood, just not my own.  Thankfully, for my salvation, I will never have to watch my own blood flow.  For I have seen the blood flow from my Savior on the cross for my forgiveness.  And that’s the only blood I need.  And that’s the only blood you need too.

July 27, 2009 at 4:45 am Leave a comment

“Word for Today” – Revelation 13 –

Terry Fator 1In 2007, one of the most captivating displays of raw talent ever seen was aired on the primetime hit “America’s Got Talent” in the voice of Terry Fator.  Terry is ventriloquist, now residing in Las Vegas, where he signed a contract worth a reported $100 million to be the headliner at the Mirage Casino.  He rose to fame after winning “American’s Got Talent” with his turtle puppet singing a rendition of Roy Orbison’s “Crying,” a song which is not easy to perform even when you can move your lips!

I have always been fascinated by ventriloquists, most likely because I’ve never been able to throw my voice.  Although I’ve tried my hand at ventriloquism, my lips inevitably manage to move and I sound more like a grunting gorilla than a seasoned entertainer.  So much for my Vaudeville career.

In our text for today from Revelation 13, we are introduced to a strange character:  “Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb” (verse 11).  Throughout John’s vision in Revelation, the image of a lamb has served to refer to Christ, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).  But this lamb seems to be of a different, if not even of a sinister, sort.  And indeed he is.  For John continues, “He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon” (verse 11).  Satan, it seems, is trying to play the part of the Lamb of God.  He “performs great and miraculous signs” (verse 12) and even dresses himself up like Christ.  But Satan is not a very good ventriloquist.  He may look like Christ, but he can never sound like Christ.  For the lies and blasphemies that Satan utters can never sound like the truth and grace that Christ declares.

Jesus warns his disciples, “For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect – if that were possible” (Matthew 24:24).  John’s vision in Revelation 13 is the fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy in Matthew 24.  And Christ warns that these false christs – these demons who look like lambs, but in reality are dragons – will try deceive even the elect saints of God.

How are we to keep ourselves from being deceived by such deluding demons?  By listening to what they say.  For although Satan may be able to fake Christ’s appearance, he can never fake Christ’s voice.  As Jesus himself promises, “My followers will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice” (John 10:5).

Sadly, there are many false teachers in the world today.  And, just as Jesus and John warn us, they teach untruths and half-truths about Christ and his gospel.  Some teach that all paths lead to God rather than the path of Christ alone.  Others teach that if you just have enough faith in God, you will no longer have troubles or trials of any kind.  Still others teach trumped up doomsday versions of the apocalypse and the end of the world, meant to strike fear rather than to engender faith into the hearts of those who hear them.  These are all false teachings.  For these all contradict what the Lamb of God says in his Word.  And no matter how lamb-like these teachers may look, it’s what they say that counts.

Are you following the voice of the Lamb of God alone, or dissenting voices that do not parrot the voice of Christ?  As Christians, we are called to listen and to learn from the voice of the Lamb of God alone.  This is why we are to read the Scriptures.  This is why we are to pray.  This is why we are to receive wise counsel from trusted Christian friends.  So that we never get taken in by a counterfeit Christ.  And, by God’s grace, we won’t.  For by God’s grace, we know the Lamb’s voice.  My prayer is that you hear, follow, and obey his voice today.

July 24, 2009 at 4:45 am 2 comments

“Word for Today” – Revelation 12 –

Anchor Buggy CompanyIn 1890, the then thriving Anchor Buggy Company, the largest producer of buggies in the world, published the ad pictured here.  What this ad has to do with horse drawn buggies, I have no idea, but nevertheless, it featured what has become a world-famous optical illusion.  Who is this woman?  Is she young and in her prime or old and in her twilight years?  It depends on how you look at it.  Of course, one should not miss the caption under the picture:  “You see my wife, but where is my mother-in-law?”

Anchor’s business was never the same after that.  After all, you never mess with a mother-in-law!

In our reading for today from Revelation 12, we see a strange sight:

A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. (verses 1-5)

What is John talking about here?  A heavenly woman?  A male child?  A fierce dragon?  Perhaps we know this story better as it’s told by Luke:

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:1-7)

The story of Revelation 12 is the story of Luke 2.  It is the story of Jesus, told from a heavenly perspective.  But from a heavenly perspective, it looks a little different.  Rather than a quiet stable, we have a roaring dragon.  Rather than a meager-looking infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, we have a conquering child wielding an iron scepter.  Much like the Anchor Buggy Company’s famed optical illusion, the story of Jesus has two sides:  The side we see here on earth and the side seen by the angels in heaven.  From an earthly perspective, it looks merely like a non-descript birth.  From a heavenly perspective, however, it is revealed as a cosmic battle between God and Satan.  It just depends on how you look at it.

Many times, the course of our lives can seem bewildering, confusing, and mystifying.  Many times, we are left wondering where we are going, what we are doing, and how we will survive the heartaches and challenges of this world.  It is during these times that we need to remember that our earthly perspective is not the only perspective there is.  There is God’s heavenly perspective as well.  And God’s heavenly perspective is this:  That we have “overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony” (verse 11).  From God’s heavenly perspective, no matter what trial, tragedy, or trouble from Satan we may face, our victory is secure, for we have overcome the dragon by the blood of the Lamb.  And so, when our earthly perspective leaves us feeling despondent and defeated, never forget that from God’s heavenly perspective, the outcome of our trials is sure and certain:  We have and we will overcome.  And that’s the way we should look at it.

July 23, 2009 at 4:45 am Leave a comment

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