2023 Advent Devotional - Revelation 5:6-10 (Day 30)

What The Gift Brings
Revelation 5:6-10 “And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

Now, I know what you might be thinking.  How does THIS verse from the end of the Bible have ANYTHING to do with Christmas or the coming of Jesus or His gift of forgiveness and salvation?  GREAT questions!  Well, in our text today we see past present time.  In fact we see into eternity and the ultimate reality that exists.  All that we see temporally, will pass away.  Everything most people think makes up their life, will fade.  The “stuff” we “own”.  The things we’ve accumulated.  Many of the accomplishments of our life will no longer be remembered shortly after we are gone.  When Adam fell into sin, the consequences were far greater than he could have ever imagined!  By the way, that’s true for us!   Sin’s consequences are always greater than we realize!  But in our text, we see this scene in eternity where a “Lamb” (i.e. Jesus) takes a scroll from the hand of God.  When He does, there is a response from those who were seated there.  Their response?  Worship!  Interestingly, each of the living creatures is holding something that’s significant!  A harp and bowls of incense.  We’re told the incense represents the “prayers of the saints”.  Now, we’re not told “what those prayers are” specifically.  

But know this:  Your prayers are being heard by God!  

Now, on the scroll are seven seals.  A “seal” is an imprint of authority.  Each seal has the stamp of God’s ultimate authority on them.  So, what that means is whatever is written on the scroll IS reality.  It is what the King will do, declare, make happen.  Now, when you keep reading in the Revelation, you discover that each seal represents a judgment that is opened up on earth.  Each is horrible!  We’re in them now!  We see it on the news.  We read it in the paper.  Are these judgments in response to the “prayers of the saints” who are crying out to God for justice, salvation, rescue from the evil one and his war on God’s people?  What we DO know is that Jesus has “ransomed people FOR God, from every tribe and language and people and nation”!  The Gift of Jesus is EFFECTIVE!  AND, the Gift received makes those “ransomed” a “kingdom of priests to God”.  A priest is a servant.  One who serves God and His will!  One of the effects of the Gift of Jesus is that we will “reign on the earth”.  That’s the “new heaven and earth” that the Revelation reveals and that Jesus will bring.  And just as the Bible starts with mankind having “dominion” i.e. “rule”, so Jesus will restore Eden!  Remember what I’ve been saying: “God is committed to Eden”.  So as we get close to the end (of both the season of Christmas AND the end of all things), how will YOU prepare for THIS?  

First, receive the Gift of Jesus!  Look to Him.  

Trust in Him for YOUR salvation and ransom!  

See what He offers you and believe!  

And then as you pray, pray for others to receive the Gift.  Since you are a “priest to God”…a servant of the Most High, ask HIM if He might use your life to bless and help others!  Remember the Gift of Jesus isn’t ONLY for you!  It IS for you but it’s also for every tribe and language and people and nation!  How might God use you in THAT Gift?

Heavenly Father, I thank You that You have made us “priests”.  Help us serve You, love You, worship You and obey You, so that others might receive the Gift of Jesus You are offering the world!  In Jesus Name. AMEN - By Pastor Tim
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