Posts Tagged ‘Mystery’


Revelation 1:17-20 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. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later. 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 of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Today I begin a journey I have dreaded for a long while, a journey across the book of Revelation, a prophetic book written by John when he was imprisoned on the island of Patmos. My dread was that I would not present it the way God would be glorified but knowing that this is a journey that God has set me out to complete, I trust God to provide me the wisdom to understand and pen what His heart is on these visions.

Often I have seen painted pictures of Jesus and if I were to see another picture, it would not be hard to recognize Him or so I thought until I read John’s description of Jesus (v 12-16). The Jesus in John’s vision is not the Jesus I know from sight and as I read through the 1st chapter, I began to wonder why Jesus would reveal himself in such a complex way through images that are hard for us to imagine and numbers that mean a lot more than just being literal numbers?

John must’ve felt the same way when he was shown these mysterious visions and asked to record them. He must have know how incredibly bizarre all of this would be for anyone to accept after the simplicity of Jesus’ life here on earth just 60 years before the vision.

When Jesus placed His hand on John, His words were words John was very familiar with. When Jesus was on earth, He did say that He is the Great I AM, He did die a physical death that the world witnessed in Israel and was lifted up from the dead to sit on the right hand side of God The Father, He did tell His disciples that anyone who wanted to access the Father would have to do so only through His Son, Jesus Christ.

The reason for this mysterious revelation is that we are people with limited vision and understanding and like the glory of God which Moses had to be sheltered from because of the holiness of God, we cannot fully comprehend God or His ways which are much higher than ours. Our human minds cannot understand more than God has revealed to us but one day soon, we will join the hosts of heaven and praise God’s name or for those who never put their trust in Jesus, be a part of the many who are condemned by Him.

My prayer for you today is that you will open your heart and mind to Jesus and let Him take the reins of your life and direct you to His glory. I pray that we would not try to simply comprehend God and fit Him in our limited minds but instead explore Him to be filled by His love and grace that are sufficient for us.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Isaiah 44:6 This is what the LORD says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies: “I am the First and the Last; there is no other God.


1 Timothy 3:15-16
If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great:
He appeared in a body,
was vindicated by the Spirit,
was seen by angels,
was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory.

Earlier in the chapter, Paul explains to Timothy what pre-qualifications one needs in order to be made an overseer or deacon in the Church. An overseer also referred to as an elder are people who should be peacemakers, prayer warriors, teachers, leaders by example, and decision makers. Deacons are generally more like servant-leaders helping out with non-teaching roles whereas elders can be described as teaching-leaders. When we look at the pre-requisites, very few people in every Church fit that role and might be willing to perform that role. Obviously the role involves serving the body of Christ and therefore there is much at stake. The draw of power and prestige should not be the earmarks of the role but instead the focus should be on whom God calls and how the chosen are able to serve with servant-hearts. What then is the mystery of godliness?

As we look at the 6 lines that explain it, we understand it as:

1. Appearing in body: Jesus Christ was fully man and yet fully God

2. Vindicated by the Spirit: After his condemnation to death, the power of God raised Him from the dead

3. Seen by angels: The angels were at the open tomb and told the women about Jesus’ resurrection

4. Preached among the nations: To Paul, a Jew who was taught that Gentiles (Non-Jews) were not chosen, it was significant to Him that God came to die for sinners regardless of their culture or heritage

5. Believed on in the world: Two thousand years later, Christ is still preached and lives in the lives and hearts of millions today

6. Taken up in Glory: Christ’s resurrection

Those who seek to take up office in the Church need to be mindful most importantly that they are called to serve Jesus Christ and his bride, the Church, which is the people in the body among them. This calling is a fulfillment of how God wants His body to be led and instructed and served and those called into it His servants.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

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Ephesians 5:22-27, 31-32
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless… “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

We went for a dear friend’s Birthday party on Saturday night and it was a special one because we got to meet so many people and we were amazed to see how God works in the lives of people for purposes higher than just the here and now. I loved the fact that the entire evening was spent with real people with real lives and in the midst of that, the source of encouragement to each of us was the forgiveness of God and the lives marked by His grace. During the course of the evening, one of the topics 2 brothers and I discusses was to do with today’s passage and while this was contentious, it was a reality we had to deal with. What is the role of Jesus in our marriages and what roles do we play in His Church?

Paul reminds us today that the proper structure of a marriage is Christ as the foundation, husbands below in submission to Jesus and wives in submission to Jesus and their husbands. This is the structure God expects in our churches as much as in our marriages and while it sounds very lopsided in favor of men, the essence is the role Christ, men and women take in the marriage relationship. Jesus loved his bride, the church (Us), so much that he did everything in His power to make us perfect and without stain to be one with Him. In the same way husbands are expected to love their wives in such a manner and only then will they together be able to become one and serve God effectively. Similarly wives are required to submit to husbands in the way the church submits to Christ and in so doing glorify Jesus in their marriages.

When we consider our lives in Christ, we need to realize that submission is the only way forward with God. Without submitting our lives and it’s challenges to God, we will never enjoy the spiritual freedom in Him and so we should never consider submission to Christ or Husbands as bondage but freedom from the challenges of this world. In Christ, we will constantly battle the world because Satan would have us believe each for themselves but in Christ we are bound by love, God’s ever-forgiving, never-ending, always-cleansing, sanctifying love! Are we willing to submit and if yes, to whom, Jesus Christ or Satan?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.


Romans 16:25-27
Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him—to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

What a fitting close to the book of Romans. Paul’s recommendation of key people of faith with a personalized note on each was so encouraging to read. Then his warning about people who cause Church divisions to serve themselves was appropriate and what I loved most was his closing benediction featured above. It speaks volumes and is so rich to reflect on and one of the anchors is the ‘mystery’ that Paul says was hidden for ages. What was this mystery?

This mystery was hidden from the start of mankind through the shadows of the ceremonial law, the dark predictions of the prophets that pointed at it, through the veil that Moses used to cover his fading glory, from the Jews and the Gentiles and even from the disciples of Jesus. This mystery was revealed after the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead – it was salvation for all mankind through Jesus’ shed blood. The veil is now torn and life and immortality are brought to light by the gospel. I hope you can celebrate with me the revelation of this mystery and celebrate the life of Jesus. Good Friday is good because without Christ’s death, there would be no resurrection and our hope of eternity in God’s presence would be lost!

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Luke 21:7-9
“Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”

Mystery of mysteries, the end of the world as we know it seems most confusing and worrisome as we have been waiting on the Lord from when he spoke about his coming again and so much has happened, yet the Lord has not returned yet. As much as people of those times waited, we still await the Lord’s return but one issue we face is that as we wait, we lose hope and get on with our lives. This morning, as I decided to restart writing the devotionals, I prayed and felt the Lord speak to me that we need to once again find our hope in Jesus and we need to mark this as the year of the Lord! No, I am not saying that the Lord said he would return this year but I am saying that we are to observe each day in 2010 as the Lord’s and live for his glory. I know this might sound silly but it is not. We are called to live each day for the king of kings and to do his will.

2009 was a year that went by so fast for me and my family. So much happened, both good and bad, and as we sat together to read God’s word and pray, my son prayed first requesting God to help us give him glory for everything that happens this year, regardless of whether it was good or bad. I pray that for each of us that as the time is drawing near for the Lord’s coming, we would not lose hope and become one with the world but instead we would put on the armor of God and serve him in love. This is not a new year resolution, which is joked to be the shortest living thing but this is our commitment to the Lord and I pray you are able to make that today. Ask the Lord to use you today for his glory and follow his voice faithfully.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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