Since we started the book of Revelation in the Fall, we've seen glorious moments filled with God's beauty as well as terrifying moments picturing God's wrath. This little blog series will be sent out to remind you that amidst all the pictures and symbols of this book, and amidst all the trials and fears of our day, Jesus has shown us plenty of Good News in this book. Revelation was written to seven churches ... and to a million churches. But it was written to the seven churches first - to areas now found in Turkey, or what was once called Asia Minor. And while those seven churches are certainly symbolically meant to represent the larger group of Christians in the entire body of Christ, they also heard from Jesus the encouragement and correction they specifically needed.
The patterns in chapters 2-3 are obvious, but there's one part of the pattern that uniquely carries good news for us today. No matter their strengths and weaknesses, each church was told that they could conquer: "to the one who conquers ..." Each group of Christians - despite their doctrinal and moral failings - each church was told that they could still conquer (ESV) - they could stillovercome (NASB), they could still bevictorious (NIV).
Where's the "good news" in that? Simple, this isn't just for the first 7 churches! No matter your past failures or present weaknesses, you -yes you- can stand up, keep walking towards Christ, and overcome today's trials and temptations. And just in case you think that your past disqualifies you from that kind of future, remember that Jesus is the One who conquered Satan and overcame death. So when He holds out to you this potential, don't forget that He knows what He's talking about.
God's Spirit wants to remind you today that you don't need to yield and that you ought never to give up. You - yes you- can conquer every struggle to despair and every temptation to turn away. More than that, when you believe God's Word and reject your sin, it's then that the same promises made to the first seven churches are offered to youas well: enjoying the life of God (2:8), real honor from God (2:10-11), a new identity in God (2:17), lasting hope in God (2:28), a righteousness from God (3:5), eternal dwelling with God (3:12), and a share in final victory with God Himself (3:21).
Jesus overcame sin and death, and He made it possible for us to do so as well ... and that's the best news (really the only news) we need to cling to today.
What picture comes to mind when you think of the word "conquer"?
Does that seem like a word that describes your life? Why or why not?
In what ways does the Bible talk about Jesus overcoming? Or about us overcoming?
Hint: check out John 1:5 and 16:33 ... and then read 1 John 2:13-14, 4:4, and 5:4!
What one tendency or sin have you struggled with that you'd really like to gain victory over this next month?
How could these passages help you to conquer this sin?
Take Time to Pray
Praise God for His ultimate victory over sin and death.
Thank God for inviting you to share in this triumph over sin and its effects.
Ask God for specific help to remember His victory and to lean on Him in faith when you are struggling to overcome during the week.