A Daily Dose of Good News
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
At 10:30 today, this devotional will be offered online at https://youtu.be/QC1iolINrow
A printer-friendly version of today’s devotion is available at DDGN 20201124
Good morning! It’s time for our Daily Dose of Good News. It is November 24. Today we’re going to look at Revelation 19:1-9. Before we get to that, yesterday for the Daily Dose, we touched on 2 Timothy 2:8-13. That text focused on our burdens and how we suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained and that we do that for that Gospel. Following that perspective, one of the things I mentioned is we’d talk a little bit more about those chains today. I want you to hear this next text, with 2 Timothy kind of in the back of your head- thinking about the hardship, thinking about the feelings of feeling chained and bound, and the heaviness of that. OK? Now, listen to this…
After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,
Salvation and glory and power to our God,
for his judgments are true and just;
he has judged the great whore
who corrupted the earth with her fornication,
and he has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
Once more they said,
The smoke goes up from her forever and ever.”
And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who is seated on the throne, saying,
And from the throne came a voice saying,
“Praise our God,
all you his servants,
and all who fear him,
small and great.”
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying out,
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
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;
to her it has been granted to be clothed
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”
Here ends the reading.
So I wanted to contrast the heaviness and the burdens of what Paul talked about in 2 Timothy with the outright joy and worship of God in Revelation. The reason for the burdens in 2 Timothy, Paul’s point was: I’m doing this to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. I compared how one of the things we’re doing right now is we’re burdened and kind of chained in our homes in many ways, as we trying to lessen this pandemic; and that’s also a way of sharing the Gospel of Christ, sharing the love of God and sharing the love we have for our neighbors.
In Revelation 19, this isn’t about burden. This isn’t about being chained, if anything this is about being free. I wanted you to think about and feel the joy in that, the lightness in that, the freedom of that. Of not having this heavy weight on our backs and I think that orientation is so important. It’s easy to focus on the burdens and all the hard and how it’s piling up, and oh my gosh, there’s so much of it, it’s overwhelming, and it’s intense, and it’s heavy. It’s easy to focus on that. But this text is about focusing on God, and there’s all of this “Hallelujah! Glory to God!” This is the beauty of God and the righteousness of the saints and “Amen! Hallelujah!” Instead of the people being bowed down, bowed over, with the weight of the chains on their backs and the burdens….
In this text, there’s still a bowing. But it’s not because of the heavy weight of all that we’re piled under. It is a free desire to fall on our faces in front of God and worship God. So, instead of holding the burdens and carrying them around, it’s releasing that in our praise of God and lifting up God. And you can’t hold the burdens and praise God. It’s an impossibility. (Laughs) So, rather than these fists clenched, carrying the heavy burdens… Open your arms, embrace God for all God is and all God offers to you. Praise the glory and magnificence of God, our Redeemer and Savior who is ready to celebrate such a beautiful world to come with us.
I know we’ve got heavy stuff on our plates, whether that’s Thanksgiving, or that’s pandemic, or we’ve got a couple of heart surgeries on this week- one for Gavin Larrimer and one for my Uncle Jim- one is today and one is tomorrow. Those things are heavy, they’re intense, and they’re hard. But rather than letting yourself be bowed over by the chains and weight of this world and the burdens of it and clenching that and carrying that, release that in your praise and focus on God. Bow to the glory of God and there’s freedom and lightness and joy in that. In all things. In all circumstances. Hallelujah! Your God reigns forever and ever, Amen.
Take care everybody!