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Daily devotional

May 2 – Blessed are those who read, hear, and keep…

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.” – Rev. 1:3 Scripture reading: Proverbs 8:32-36 How would you respond if someone were to ask you questions along the following lines, “What do you do with the Bible? How does the Bible influence your thinking and decisions? What difference does the Bible make in your life?” Our text today is the first of seven beatitudes (1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7,14) in the book of Revelation. It lays forth a blessing to the one who reads, hears and who keeps the words that are about to follow. By extension, our text applies to all of Scripture. We have a three-fold calling to take the Scriptures with the utmost seriousness and sincerity. Spurgeon once said, “Nobody ever outgrows the Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years." Augustine wrote, “Holy Scripture are our letters from home.” Indeed, God, in gracious mercy, has given us His Word and we have a blessed responsibility to take up the word, listen closely and uphold the Word in faith and faithfulness. Our riches in receiving light so that we need not be in darkness are profound. Jesus is that light! The Bible records for us what God has done, is doing, and will yet do. It is as the Psalmist says, "a lamp to our feet and light for our path." It is a great blessing to be in the Word and for the Word to be in us! For Further Study: Romans 10:17; 1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12 Suggestions for prayer Pray that the Holy Spirit would deepen our love for the Holy Word of God expounding Christ. May the Lord help us understand that many books can inform, but only the Bible, in the power of the Holy Spirit, can transform. Pastor Peter Vellenga serves as an itinerant preacher in the churches of Southern Ontario. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional....

Daily devotional

May 1 – Introduction to the Apostle John's letters to the seven churches

I have been asked to give some consideration to the letters that the Apostle John sent to the seven churches as we find them in the book of Revelation. They are also messages to the church today. From the onset, let me say that it is impossible to do justice to the full scope of the Scriptures’ teaching in short meditations of some 250 words. There is much we reluctantly pass over. And yet, within each devotion reflecting on Scripture, there is a great deal to ponder, not only concerning our personal walk with the Lord, but also our corporate, communal fellowship with the Lord in the church to which we belong. May the following reflective meditations be both comforting and sobering. We will begin with six devotions setting the context from chapter 1 (following the text of the NKJV) and then devote three days of reflection to each of the seven churches. We will conclude the month reflecting on the wonder of the throne room of heaven and the blessed worthiness of the Lamb Who was slain, now exalted in glory above. As we go forward this month, let us do so with our gaze, rooted in God’s love, on what is yet to come. But let us also engage in some self-examination, honest contemplation and consideration remembering life is short, death is sure, sin the cause, Christ the cure. I wish you the Lord’s blessings as you devote your attention to God and His Word. Sincerely in His grace and peace, Rev. P.J. Vellenga  THE WORD AND THE TESTIMONY  "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw." – Rev. 1:1-2 Scripture reading: John 12:37-50  To be a Christian is to have the eye of one’s heart opened by the grace of God. It is not our deserving. The world says seeing is believing. The Christian confesses believing is seeing. As we learn in the sermon to the Hebrews of long ago, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (11:1). The book of Revelation, albeit mysterious at times, helps us to see in faith. The Apostle John is given a revelation. The word revelation from the original Greek means uncovering, unveiling, disclosure. What is revealed to John? The book of Revelation unveils Jesus Christ in all His glory. Now, of course, this is evident throughout the Holy Scriptures, but like a mighty crescendo, the book of Revelation unveils for us a wonderful message of the full fruition of Christ’s victory in His soon, second coming. So very important to the believer is the revelation of Jesus Christ — it is our very life’s breath. The last surviving Apostle, John, exiled for the faith on the island of Patmos, had the great privilege of receiving this revelation of what had taken place and what will yet take place. He was called to bear “witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw." By God’s grace, John was a faithful witness to the most holy faith. We too are called to be Christ’s witnesses and His testimony to this very day—Praise God! Suggestions for Prayer Pray with heartfelt thanksgiving, acknowledging both the witness and testimony of Jesus Christ. Pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit so that we would be found to be faithful witnesses of the truth. Pastor Peter Vellenga serves as an itinerant preacher in the churches of Southern Ontario. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional....

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