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Cubs fans are (were) notorious for the phrase, “There’s always next year.” Even when things were bad, they found a way to have hope. Because of Jesus, we know that we have something absolutely perfect to which we look forward. “There’s always eternity!”
I love hot tubs. It feels so great sliding into the steaming, bubbling waters. I love a cup of ice cold water when I am hot and tired. Hot: Good. Cold: Good. God writes the letters to the seven churches to encourage us, to correct us, to challenge us, to assure us. He brings them to their conclusion in lukewarm Laodicea.
Alexander Graham Bell is quoted for saying: “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” What door(s) of God’s mission and are open that we fail to recognize because we are star-ing at the closed door?
They call it the dead zone. Not the place in the ocean where nothing can live, but the time of day after lunch. You have already worked hard for a few hours, you’ve eaten and are full, and all you want to do is nap. Speakers at conferences don’t want to be assigned the dead zone. Teachers struggle with their students in the dead zone. It is even possible for a person to be there
spiritually. To those who want to nap Jesus’ message is clear, “Wake up!”
When Jesus writes to the churches, He does so because He wants them to experience the fullness of His love and the blessing of eternal life.
You shall have no other gods. The first commandment is the baseline for our entire life as followers of Jesus. It means that we fear, love and trust God above all things. Jesus calls us to a life following him alone; no compromises.
Not a fan. This book, written by Kyle Idleman a few years ago, calls Christians to be completely committed followers of Jesus, not just fans. “Be faithful even to the point of death…” That is what Jesus calls us to; not fandom, but faithfulness.
If God were to write a letter to our church today, what would He say? What would He celebrate? What would He correct? That is what we consider as we look at the first of seven letters to Christian congregations in the book of Revelation.
Not long after God created the world Satan went to work to try and destroy God’s good creation. Since that first rebellion and sin, a battle has been raging. John shows us what that looks like from the heavenly perspective, which helps us to better understand the earthly consequence of this so that we can stand firm. Onward, Christian soldiers!
Jesus wins! Remember that. Hold on to this truth. Look forward to the full realization of it when Jesus returns. This helps us to keep our focus and our courage as we live through the vicious cycles of life in limbo.
In Revelation 7:9-17 we are given a snapshot of heaven. There are a variety of books and artwork that try to give us a glimpse of what heaven in like. The concept of heaven is incomprehensible to our fallen, sinful minds and hearts. Especially as we face various trials and tribulations in our daily lives. As we live our lives in limbo dealing with the daily trials and struggles, we know that God will wipe every tear from our eyes. (Revelation 7:17)
The book of Revelation is one of the most intriguing books in the Bible. Its message is both clear and mind-boggling. The gift God gives us in this book is a picture of life between the beginning and the end; a life in limbo, but not in uncertainty. In the book of Revelation we see Jesus with greater clarity and live with confidence in His (and our) ultimate victory.
Brookfield Lutheran Church
18500 W. Burleigh Rd.
Brookfield, WI 53045
Office: (262) 783-4270
Fax: (262) 783-4616
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