June 23, Friday

The AMI QT Devotionals from June 19-25 are provided by Pastor Joshua Kim of Church of Southland.  Joshua, a graduate of Emory University and Columbia Theological Seminary (M.Div.), serves as the pastor of Access group (singles).  He is married to Christina.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

Revelation 10:1-4

I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire; and he had in his hand a little book which was open. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land; and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices. When the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken and do not write them.”

I’ve mentioned C.S. Lewis’ sermon The Weight of Glory in a previous quiet time, but there is a picture that Lewis draws for the believer in how to grasp the kind of glory God has designed us for. Lewis writes, “To please God… to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness… to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son—it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is.”[1] The burden he writes of the glory of being God’s masterpiece is something beyond what we can imagine.

There is something unique about this next chapter of Revelation that reveals the kind of glory that we have come to participate in. So far, whenever we have read of angels in Revelation, most of the focus has been upon their actions; this time, John takes extra time to describe in detail the characteristics of this other angel. Commentators note the language used to describe where his feet are placed (an identifying characterization of the angel repeated throughout this chapter). He is described to have the sea and the earth under his two feet, displaying his towering figure and the dominance he has over the world. His voice, like a lion, roar along with seven peals of thunder. Needless to say, the appearance of this angel (especially from John’s now shifted view from earth) is impressive.

A few things to consider: this letter was written to the first century churches where they had incredible, violent oppression from the outside and divisive heresy from within. To the world, the church was a tiny, insignificant group of people, but to those whose eyes are open to the spiritual reality, we see in this angel just how great the kingdom of God truly is. The powers at work for God, and therefore, for the church, and the power of the good news that is proclaimed, stretches across all land and sea as the angel stands above them. The church, though seemingly insignificant in the eyes of the world, must realize that we are a part of a kingdom of utter glory and power.

Brothers and sisters, may you be encouraged today as you recognize the grandness of the Kingdom that you are a part of. Through your union with Christ, you are now part of a God’s glorious Kingdom that cannot be shaken. Yes, we are called to fend for our faith and the church must be a faithful witness to the Lord. But also, we must remember who it is that we are defending.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for allowing us to be part of Your Kingdom that is so glorious and powerful. We proclaim that nothing can stop this Kingdom. Although in the eyes of this world, the church may look like a thing of the past or insignificant, we believe that the church is part of something so much bigger than what meets the eye. Help us to live with that kind of perspective. In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

[1] C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, http://www.verber.com/mark/xian/weight-of-glory.pdf, pg 6.

Bible Reading for Today: Titus 3


Lunch Break Study

Read Hebrews 12:22-29: But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly[a] of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

Questions to Consider

  1. Verse 22 begins with the conjunction “but,” which causes us to look to what has come just before the passage. What comparison is the Hebrew writer making?
  2. In verse 25-27, what will happen when the Lord once more shakes the earth and heaven? What does this reveal about what remains, that is, God’s kingdom?
  3. When you think about what it means that in Christ, you are a citizen of God’s Kingdom, how does this change your perspective on how you view your life?

Notes

  1. A contrasting is happening here—one that has been done throughout the book of Hebrews. The writer is comparing how God once related to His people in the times of Moses (where they could not even come close to the mountain of God lest they be struck dead) and now, in Christ our great Mediator, we are able to join in the assembly of God’s Kingdom.
  2. The Lord declares that He will once more shake the earth and heavens so that only what is unshakeable (meaning, only the things that have been made perfect and righteous) will stand. It is a picture of God’s Kingdom that is holy and pure, a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, one whose King is a consuming fire that will devour anything that is unrighteous.
  3. Personal response.

Evening Reflection

One of the greatest challenges of life is fighting the temptation of being consumed by the things of this world—to make our lives all about our jobs, our families, our achievements, or even our struggles. But as you have reflected upon the awe-inspiring Kingdom of God whose King is for you, how has this challenged your perspective on life? Engage your imagination and see how God has made you part of that Kingdom and how that challenges the way you view your current circumstances.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s