THE HEART OF WORSHIP
Creator God, you made me in your image and breathed into me the breath of life. I am forever your grateful child.
Read REVELATION 5
The Scroll and the Lamb
5 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits[a] of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign[b] on the earth.”
11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”
13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”
14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
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.
ReflectStop. Stop planning, worrying, rushing and, especially, stop taking control. Be still. Think about one thing: you are in the presence of the Living God, of perfect love, endless grace and mercy. Stop. Receive his presence. Know yourself accepted.
The thunder of heaven’s worshippers in the three hymns in this chapter (vs. 9,10,12,13,14) must have been spine-tingling! Their songs (vs 9) and shouts (v 12) were all focused on a Lamb, that had signs of having died but was now very much alive (vs 6,8,12). The Lamb signifies Jesus, crucified and now resurrected, receiving heaven’s adulation with, and as, God himself (v 13). But what has caused such a cascade of praise?
Jesus has overcome a grave problem. No one could be found who was good enough to open and bring into effect God’s plans for salvation (the scroll of verses 1–3). With God’s purposes sealed up, history is in the control of darkness: the suffering Christians and the world itself have no hope. Enter the Lamb (v 5): the powerful, all-seeing, Spirit-guided (v 6) King Jesus! The cosmos has hope, in the shape of a suffering, resurrected King.
How do you keep your vision of Jesus fresh, such that it inspires you to praise? Meditating on the songs in this chapter is guaranteed to take you back to the heart of worship.
What is your favorite Jesus-focused hymn or worship song? Find the words or a recording and use it now to join heaven’s celebration and worship the Lamb on the throne!
Lord Jesus, you are worthy of all my praise. Because you died and were raised from the dead, I can live forevermore. Hallelujah, what a Savior.
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