JESUS LOVES THE CHURCH
Gracious God, the deepest longings of my heart are for you. Accept my worship and praise as I come before you now.
Read REVELATION 1:1–8
1 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
Greetings and Doxology
To the seven churches in the province of Asia:
Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits[a] before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectAsk God to speak to you as we begin these readings in Revelation, in particular about the church of which you are a part, and that he loves, despite its shortcomings.
Churches vary considerably in their beliefs, worship style, and ministry philosophy but they have one thing in common – they belong to Jesus. This doxology describes three aspects of what he has done for us.
He loves us (v 5b). This simple truth is at the heart of everything, the foundation stone on which our faith rests. Love brought him into the world, took Jesus to the cross, and love flows from his heart and his throne in heaven.
He has freed us (v 5b). His death was the sacrifice that made atonement for our sins. He died in our place, giving his life as a ransom to set us free from sin’s penalty and power. We have been redeemed, and the liberating power of the cross is still at work in us today.
He has made us (v 6). The purpose of God is being worked out in the world through the church. We are called to be the expression of his kingdom, living under his rule and reign, and demonstrating his goodness to a watching world. At the same time, we are called to be worshippers, standing before him as priests and declaring his praises.
Do you know you are loved by Jesus? Are you allowing him to set you free from anything unhelpful in your life? Are you joining in his purpose for the church?
Lord Jesus, how blessed I am. You love me, you have loosed me from my sins by your shed blood, and have lifted me to be a part of your kingdom. All praise to you!
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