Thursday, 26 December 2013

Bible Reading Thoughts for December 25th “THE TIME … FOR REWARDING YOUR SERVANTS”

 The Book of Revelation provides us with a wondrous vision today.   There are loud voices in heaven saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” [Ch.11 v.15].   Then the elders fall on their faces and worship saying, “We give thanks to you Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign.  The nations raged, but your wrath came and the time for the dead to be judged and for rewarding your servants the prophets and saints. And those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth” [v.17/18]
    What a day of incredible thanksgiving this will be.   We should see the present human celebrations surrounding the Christmas period for all its emptiness.  What are people giving thanks for today?  It is the passing ‘pleasure’ of the moment!   The children enjoy themselves and we recall Paul’s observation “When I was a child … I reasoned like a child. When I became a man I gave up childish ways.” [1 Cor. 13 v.11].
    Paul also said, “remember … Jesus how he himself said, ’It is more blessed to give than to receive’” [Acts 20 v.35] – we must teach our children this principle.  Do any of the children in the world (or their parents) learn anything real about Jesus? It seems impossible to think so, but God knows. Wherever opportunity offers we should “speak a word in season” to help them to do so. 
    It is interesting that only twice in the Bible is there any mention of celebrating birthdays – and both were those of bad men! [Genesis 40 v.20 – Pharaoh] and [Matthew 12 v.6 – Herod, when John the Baptist lost his head]. 
     The heaven inspired celebration to come will be wondrous, but until that time true believers celebrate not the birthday of Jesus, but his sacrifice and death in the way he appointed [Luke 22 v.15-20], believing in a wondrous climax to that celebration in the kingdom.  
    This wondrous event, called “the marriage supper of the Lamb” is also mentioned in Revelation [19 v.6-9] “Blessed are those who are invited” to that celebration which is far beyond us to imagine!  Do you believe you are worthy of receiving an invitation?  No?  It will be only by his grace!  But who is worthy?  It is interesting that the Gk word for ‘worthy’ is one of the words  which occur seven times in the book – but only its first occurrence (ch, 3 v.4) is one that indicates saints that are worthy of receiving a  blessing before God; the last (ch. 16 v.6) is about those unworthy. Once again, the broad and narrow ways – make sure you on the “rewarding” pathway of the “worthy” in 2014