Building A Reputation
Jesus, You are the Lamb who died for me and now You reign forever. Help me to prepare myself to be in Your presence!
Read Revelation 14:1-13
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my handsﾅ” (Isa. 49:16). What a wonderful thing to know about your closeness to God!
In today’s reading, John gives us two pictures and a conclusion. The first picture is that of individuals granted the privilege to be before the Lamb (1). The Lamb is positioned in a context that brings the earth and heavens together. As we look further, we discover the Lamb is surrounded by a peculiar multitude (2-4). Looking at their distinctive characteristics gives us a hint of what God appreciates and looks for in us, and we can notice three characteristics that might help us in aligning our lives with God’s desires for us (4,5). First, they have the name of the Father written on them, which cannot be removed; secondly, they kept themselves pure, not contaminated with sin; and third, their lives are an offering to God.
The second picture describes the actions of those individuals who are in the presence of God (6-12). This picture is dramatized by three angels and a message from each of them. Angel one (6,7) underlines the universality of the gospel; it is not bound to a culture or style. Angel two (8) describes the responsibility borne by those who lead people away from the gospel. Angel three (9-12) describes the punishment and destiny of those who reject the Gospel.
The reading ends with an encouragement to those who follow the Gospel (13a): rest and enjoy your reputation. Reputation is built through the lives of those “who die in the Lord”; their “deeds will follow them” (13b). In the meantime, rest or Sabbath is the time for reflection and repositioning until, finally, “they will rest from their labor” (13b).
“Who die in the Lord” (13) is equivalent to saying “those who have lived aligned with God.” What changes might align you more closely with God today?
Savior, my heart’s desire is to be faithful to You. Challenge me through the lives of those who have faithfully gone before me.
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