Scripture Reading: Revelation 1:1-3
“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophesy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3)
Revelation is the only book in the New Testament that I haven’t covered in my devotions. I don’t intend to go verse by verse, but I want to cover some of the great passages in the book.
There is probably not a book of the Bible that has been more misinterpreted, misunderstood, and misrepresented than the book of Revelation. To some the message is intimidating and fearful. But this is not the case at all. The Book of Revelation was written to encourage first century Christians who were going through a time of severe persecution. It was most likely written in the last decade of the first century. The early Christians were being persecuted under the reign of the Roman Emperor Domitian. Thus, the book was written to strengthen and encourage believers who were going through persecution and tribulation.
The message of the book is simple and clear — Jesus Christ rules and He wins. Keep on going! Derek Thomas in his commentary, Let’s Study Revelation, sums up the basic theme of the book with these words — “The book of Revelation is meant to humble us by a vision of the absolute sovereignty of God over history: past, present, and future. There is nothing outside of God’s control. Every power, every evil power is subject to the rule of God.”
Revelation is the only book of the Bible that begins with a promise of a blessing for those who read it and heed it’s message. Of course, all Scripture is inspired by God and is a blessing when we read it. But God makes special mention of the blessing attached to this book — “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophesy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near” (v. 3).
As the early believers read the book, they experienced God’s blessing during a terrible time of persecution and suffering, for the theme of the book is the victory of Jesus over all His foes. Therefore, it should be a special blessing to us also. We may not be facing the kind of persecution these early believers faced, but we are all in need of encouragement that Jesus Christ is victorious and because we are His children we will be victorious also.
Lord Jesus, it is so comforting to know that You are sovereign over all history. You have already won the victory over Your foes. You will strengthen and encourage me as I face times of difficulty, trial, and pain. Thank You for promising a blessing for me as I read and heed the words of the book of Revelation.
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