Readying the Bride

Journal Entry // December 31, 2021

Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;

Revelation 19:7 ESV

O how I long for this day to arrive. The day when the Church is swept up and presented in marriage to the Lamb. That day is the culmination of thousands of years of God’s hand guiding and preparing and making the Church ready to be the Bride of Christ. What a glorious and wonderful day. A day that will be for rejoicing, exulting, and giving all glory to the Jesus. The day when all of the enemies of God will be removed to the place prepared for them and the people of God will be with their beloved.

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Wise Mind

Journal Entry // December 30, 2021

This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated;

Revelation 17:9 ESV

A mind with wisdom… There is an inclination within me to look around at all that is happening in the world and in my life and give myself over to despair. Despair leading to depression. For it all just seems overwhelming at times. I want to just check out mentally from it all and not deal with the reality of life. I find myself disengaging from life and pouring myself into worthless pursuits.

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Cursing Response

Journal Entry // December 28, 2021

They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.

Revelation 16:9 ESV

When times of difficulty and trials come to me, what is my inclination? Is it to curse the name of the Lord and blame him for all my troubles or is it to humble myself in repentance and seek the grace and mercy of the Lord? In this passage we see that as the bowls of God’s wrath and judgement are poured out upon the people of the world, there is only anger and self-righteousness in response. John tells us that the people did not respond appropriately in that they did not repent nor did they give glory to God.

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Eternal Endeavors

Journal Entry // December 25, 2021

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people.

Revelation 14:6 ESV

This is one of the passages that the Lord has been imprinting within me for the last 25 years. He has put a desire within me that wants to be part of this eternal gospel being proclaimed to everyone. I want to see people from across all cultures and contexts come and join the chorus of praise and worship to our holy and sovereign God. I want to be part of this process in some form of fashion.

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Sweet to Bitter

Journal Entry // December 23, 2021

And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter.

Revelation 10:10 ESV

As I was reading this morning and reflecting on this interaction of John in his revelation, my thoughts moved from the meaning of the little scroll that tasted sweet but was bitter in his stomach in context of John’s message to how this is a helpful reminder of the poison of sin in my life. I have seen my thoughts and attitude drifting and wandering away from the goodness of God into a place of self-righteousness and fear. Putting myself into a position where I enjoyed and sought after this sweetness to put in my mouth that then turned bitter in my stomach.

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Aroma of Prayer

Journal Entry // December 17, 2021

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.

Revelation 5:8 ESV

This picture in Revelation 5 of the throne of God and the description of worship has always fascinated me. I think it’s fascinated me because this picture seems so foreign to my everyday life. The lamb, Jesus, is the only one who can open the scroll. And when he stands to take the scroll, everyone in heaven worships him. They fall down on their face and worship. But what I focused on this morning was the 24 elders. Each holding a harp and a golden bowl full of incense – our prayers, my prayers.

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The Closed Door

Journal Entry // December 13, 2021

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

Revelation 3:20 ESV

Just after Jesus tells us that he disciplines those he loves and that we should therefore repent, he reminds us that he is standing at the door waiting for us to welcome him in to our heart. His discipline can often make me feel isolated in my shame and guilt but Jesus doesn’t want me to feel that way or to live in that feeling. He wants me to see discipline and reproof for what it actually is – true steadfast love. A love that must bring discipline leading to repentance and in repentance there is openness. Jesus coming to me for fellowship.

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Almighty

Journal Entry // December 10, 2021

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 1:8 ESV

I know this verse. My brain has this verse etched into it’s memory. My prayers are laced with this verse. I truly love this verse. Yet in my practical day to day living, I oftentimes forget about this verse. I live my life as though God is just another object in my life and not the all encompassing Almighty. I will try to put God in a box, a box of my own designation, and even put that box up on a shelf with all the others. Why? So I can deal with God on my own terms and when he asks too much of me, I can simply close up that box and put it away.

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