Archive for July, 2008

“These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.” Revelation 3:7b


A promise is only as good as the person who made it. Jesus is about to make an incredible promise. Who is He that makes this promise? He is holy. There is absolutely nothing impure in Him. He is true. The possibility of Him saying something that isn’t true doesn’t exist. He holds the key of David. He is the sovereign Ruler, and what He says, goes. He opens and no one shuts and shuts and no one opens. No one can under what He has done. When He does something, it stays done. If you read a promise in the Word of God, this is the Person who made it. This is the Person upon whom the reliability of that promise rests.

The glory, the beauty, the hope of all of the promises God gives us rests in who He is. Doubt the character of God, and I guarantee you that at least at some level, you doubt the reliability of what He promises. It’s important to study the promises of God. It’s important to know what God says to those who belong to Him. But remember as you study all about God and what He promises, that it’s all rather meaningless if you don’t really know the God you’re studying. There’s a big difference between knowing about someone, and knowing someone. Know about someone, and you know a lot of facts. Know someone, and you know their character. If someone I know about makes a promise, I may think he’ll follow through, but if my husband makes a promise, I know he will.

“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.”* May we ever seek to really know the amazing God who is the basis of His amazing promises.

*John 17:3


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“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book Of Life…” Revelation 3:5a


The Book of Life. If ever there was a book you wanted your name to be in, that would be it. If your name is in the Book of Life, you are welcomed into the gates of Heaven. If your name isn’t in the Book of Life, you are cast out. And who has their name there? It holds the name of every single person, from the beginning of history to the end, who will call upon the name of the Lord and receive eternal life. That’s who the overcomers are, the true believers in Christ; those who are really alive, not just those who have a name of being alive but in fact are still spiritually dead. Once God breathes His Holy Spirit into you, once He brings life to a spirit that is dead, your name is forever in the Book.

I’m not perfect, far from it in fact (just ask my kids!). But I love what it says here. It says I will be clothed in white garments. Not I will clothe myself in white garments, but I will be clothed. White is the color of purity, righteousness, and the white garment I will be clothed in is none other than the righteousness of the pure Son of God. I can never be pure enough to have my name in the Book of Life based on my own merit. There is only One who is. And He says He will cover everyone who calls on Him. My righteousness isn’t good enough to keep my name in the Book of Life. His is. If it depended on me, my name would surely be blotted out. Praise be forever to our gracious God and Savior that it doesn’t depend on me!

Christ is not only the One who wrote my name in the Book of Life, He’s also the One who guarantees it will stay there. When He writes a name, He writes it in permanent ink.

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“But hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end…I will give him the morning star.” Revelation 2:25,26a,28


Jesus has just finished warning the church in Thyatira that judgment is on the way. Yet within this corruption, there are still those that truly belong to Him. What a sweet promise He gives them. He will put no other burden on them. Just hold on, He seems to be saying. Don’t give up what you know to be true. And in the end, reward will be yours. What is the reward He promises? He will give those who hold fast the morning star. At first glance, this doesn’t make much sense. What exactly is the morning star? You have to read to the last chapter of Revelation to find out. Jesus tells us, in Revelation 22:16, that He is the Bright and Morning Star. Hold on to the end, and He will give us Himself!

There are many wonderful things the Lord gives those who belong to Him. He gives us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, without Whom it would be impossible for any of us to hold on. He blesses us in this life, and gives us strength to endure the trials that inevitably come our way as we live in this fallen, sin-cursed world. He gives us the promise of an eternity totally free of sin and its devastating effects. But the greatest gift He gives us is Himself. Without Him, everything else is meaningless. I love things He’s given me, the blessings He’s showered upon me, the strength He’s been for me during difficult times. But what I increasingly long for is Him. I just want to be with Him.

Someday, maybe soon, He’s coming back. Hold on till then, He says, and He will give us the ultimate gift. He will give us Himself.

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“And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.” Revelation 2:21


What a gracious God we serve! He would be fully justified in ending our lives the first time we deliberately sinned. In fact, He’d be justified in ending our lives the first time we sinned period, deliberate or not. Instead, He gives us time. God is not willing that any be lost but all come to repentance. He gives us chance after chance after chance. We turn our backs in His will and His ways, and He graciously gives us time to change our minds and turn to Him. Some of us get a good long time to change our minds. I recently heard a story of a mother who denied God for all of her long life, only to finally respond literally days before her death to the gospel message her daughter had shared with her time and time again. What joy that woman has now, what gratitude to the God who gave her one more chance!

Make no mistake, however. Eventually time runs out. Eventually God says, “I gave you time to repent and you would not.” If that moment comes and we have not repented, we will be without excuse. God did everything necessary to secure our salvation. Rather than striking us dead at our first sin, He gave us time to learn of what He did and respond with faith. Sure, some might argue about those natives in South America who’ve never heard the gospel, or children who die before they are old enough to understand their need of salvation, but I’ll leave them to God’s perfect justice. No one reading this has that excuse. God has graciously extended His hand in salvation and given us time to reach out and take that hand.

Say yes and know joy unspeakable. Say no and know forever that you have no one to blame but yourself.

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“These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass.” Revelation 2:18b


He has eyes like flaming fire. Eyes that burn through the chaff and see the heart of things. Eyes that destroy what is not of Him and purifies what is of Him. This is our Lord. He sees truly, and he stands ready to execute judgment on what He sees. There are no pretenses with Him, no arguments, no possibility that He is wrong. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, particularly for those who have rejected the only One who can save us. To have the holy Son of God burn through all our excuses and reveal the heart of sin and rebellion that beats within, to stand without defense before the One who has the power to destroy both body and soul in hell is a terrifying prospect.

Fire destroys and fire purifies. The only things that survive the fire of God are the things of Him. I see so many people doing things that seem remarkable. They give large amounts of money, time, resources, and sometimes even their lives. We look at these people and are amazed at what they do. God, however, sees to their heart. Are they doing these things in response to the call of God in their lives, to pour themselves out as a sacrifice for His will and glory? Then the fire will show their work for the pure gold that it is. Are they doing it for themselves, their own glory, their own gain, their own sense of personal satisfaction? Then the fire will burn it all away and show the good deeds for the chaff that it is. We can fool everyone else, including ourselves, but we can’t fool God. He is the God with eyes like flaming fire.

Chaff or gold, the choice is mine. When God has burned away all in me that isn’t of Him, may what remains be purified like gold to His glory and praise.

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