LORD OF THE CHURCH
Lord Jesus Christ, you reign supreme over life and death, frustration and pain, loss and loneliness. I praise you.
Read REVELATION 1:9–20
John’s Vision of Christ
9 I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”
12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man,[a] dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.
19 “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. 20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels[b] of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
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.
ReflectTake a moment to be quiet and still. Relax. Know again that God is present.
I wonder what fears crowd into your mind today. What is worrying you or causing you stress? For a church living in the midst of a hostile pagan world there are plenty of good reasons to be afraid. So, here is a reassuring reminder that Jesus, the Lord of the church, places his strong hand upon us to comfort and strengthen us.
He is Lord of history (v 17). Everything began with him (the First), and everything will end with him (the Last). And in between, all is well because his purpose is being worked out, despite the wiles of Satan and the persecution of the world.
He is Lord of life (v 18). At the cross he defeated death and now lives again to lead and guide his church. We are not alone. The Living One is with us.
He is Lord of the future (v 18). The keys are in his hands, meaning that all authority has been given to Jesus. The destiny of the world and individuals is with him.
We are invited to turn our eyes upon Jesus and see him in his glory (vs 12–16). Here is the antidote to fear and despair – knowing that Jesus is Lord.
Where is your gaze today? Take a moment to remind yourself that he is in control and you have nothing to fear. Hand your concerns over to him.
Sovereign Lord, amidst all the overwhelming things going on in my life and around me, I rejoice that Jesus is Lord. I am your child, and my life is in your hands.
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