Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December 7 - Revelation 4

Today's reading in our daily plan is Revelation 4. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • We now move past the letters to the seven churches and to some visions John experiences.
  • In John's vision of heaven, God is at the center. He sits on a throne encircled by a rainbow, twenty-four elders, and a sea of glass. From the throne comes lightning and earthquakes.
  • Again we see the number seven, the number that represents completion.
  • There are four weird creatures, parts of which may have held special meaning for people in that day (kind of like the American eagle or British lion in our times).
  • During the time John witnesses this scene, every person and creature is worshipping God. The elders are bowing down and the eye-covered creatures never stop declaring that God is holy.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • In the presence of God, everyone keeps repeating that God is holy. God's holiness is his purity and perfection. God's holiness has great significance for our life.
    • God's holiness should make us realize how desperately we need his grace. A theologian named R.C. Sproul wrote, "When we understand the character of God, when we grasp something of His holiness, then we begin to understand the radical character of our sin and hopelessness. Helpless sinners can survive only by grace. Our strength is futile in itself; we are spiritually impotent without the assistance of a merciful God."
    • God's holiness should lead us towards living holy lives. In fact, in the Bible we are called to live holy lives. (See 1 Peter 1:15-16.) We need to seek God's help in becoming more and more like him, living each day with less sin and more purity.
    • God's holiness should lead us to worship. Because God is holy, he deserves worship. In fact, God is the only one who is holy and the only one who should be worshipped. And we should join everyone surrounding God in John's vision and worship him.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Do you understand God's holiness? Are you amazed by it? Does it lead you to realize your desperate need for grace? To want to leave sin behind and live out God's holiness in your own life? To want to worship God now, and eternally in heaven? It should. If it does, take some time to worship God right now. And if it doesn't, take some time to ask God to change your thinking and your heart.