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Monday, 15 January, 2018

Revelation 1 : 9-20

"I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. " -Revelation 1:9

It was in the midst of great trial that Apostle John had the Revelation of Jesus Christ! If anyone had reason to be depressed and defeated, it would be the Apostle John.  With all the apostles dead – except himself– believers being killed; churches defecting and abandoning their faithfulness, it was a very difficult time.   John himself, an old man by this time, has been exiled to the island of Patmos, designed as a prison.  Because of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus, he was exiled to a criminal island; but that where he receives all that is written in the book of Revelation.

John is writing this book not as an apostle or a disciple or a pastor or an elder. . . but as a brother and a companion in the battle. He is linked to the church as a brother in tribulation, one under pressure, politically, mentally, spiritually, and physically. Notice how John connects not only himself but all believers with Jesus Christ.  From the key verse we understand that Jesus, John and us are Partners with Christ Jesus, Reigning with Him! Let us see how:

  1. Partners with Jesus in Tribulation

Our corporate identity with Jesus and also with John and all other true believers is to be found in being partners in tribulation.  Our Lord is the perfect example of this— Jesus said, “…In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).   Trials mark us as participants with Christ. When we are in Christ, we share in His suffering as well as His glory, partaking of the cross and the crown. What an encouragement it is to know that trials and tribulations mark the Christian as loved by God and not forsaken by Him.

  2.Partners with Jesus in His Kingdom

John and the church, from his time through the ages are representatives in Jesus’ Kingdom. The Jews’ idea of the Messiah’s reign was different—they expected the Messiah to conquer Rome not sin and death. While Jesus was on earth, His rule was veiled- He ruled through suffering not as an overpowering dictator. Seated in the heavenly places with Christ, we too are reigning with Him in His Kingdom right now. The Kingdom of God is growing and will culminate when our Lord returns in His Majesty and Power. We should be encouraged to know that we will reign with Him in that visible Kingdom!

  3.Partners with Jesus in Patient Endurance
The word carries the idea of “endurance, the ability to abide under pressure, regardless of the intensity or length of time.” This is an empowerment from God, not guaranteed but acquired through rigorous discipline— the discipline of a walk of faith with eyes fixed on Christ.  The ability to endure tribulation/difficulties is found in Christ. We not only suffer with Christ but we endure with Christ. The church does not conquer by compromising with the world but by following Jesus’ example of the faithful witness.  When our current world system opposes us, we must stand firm.

When did John receive the Revelation of Jesus Christ? It was at the end of his life, undergoing persecution on a forsaken island.  Moses wrote the Pentateuch in the wilderness. David wrote many psalms while being pursued by Saul.  Ezekiel wrote in exile.  Jeremiah’s life was one of trial and persecution. Peter wrote his two letters shortly before martyrdom. Paul wrote several of his letters from prison. When do we hear best from God?—Often, in the midst of a crisis.   If we are going through a severe time of testing, let Him speak and reveal Himself to us in a fuller way. And then we will see in our midst, our Lord, One like the Son of Man with all His Majesty, Power and Authority!

Thought For The Day- “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.”

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