January 16 2022
Today, Sunday January 16
“Has Made Us A Kingdom of Priest…” Revelation 1:4-6 “John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
John is writing this letter to the seven churches in Asia which were undergoing tremendous persecution. To encourage and help them to have the strength and courage to be faithful as they face this time of suffering, John reminds them of at least three things they should always remember.
Today, we live in a very broken world! It’s obvious that our nation is broken. Many churches are broken and falling apart for various reasons. Communities and cities are broken and being overrun with crime and violence. The family is broken and as a result the individuals in it are suffering and are experiencing mental, emotional and spiritual breakdown.
The same three things that John told the churches and believers to remember, are the same three things that will give us what we need, not only to endure and have the strength to face the pain and suffering in our lives and the world around us, but they will also make us victorious overcomers! What are those three things?
First John magnified and lifted up Jesus! We need to always remember Who Jesus is and what He has done for us. Jesus is the faithful witness and because of His resurrection, He is the “firstborn of the dead”. Which means, "The highest of those raised from the dead." Firstborn is a title of honor because Jesus has been given the seat of honor on the throne, at the right hand of the Father. And from this position, Jesus is the King of kings and ruler of all the kings and kingdoms on the earth! That’s Who Jesus is!!!!!
And not only that, but we need to always remember what Jesus is presently doing for us! Jesus loves us, and is right now, washing and freeing us from the guilt, the burden, the penalty and the eternal consequences for our sins!!!! We are forgiven and free!
And not only all of that, we need to remember what our calling is!!!! Jesus has made us a “kingdom of priest!” This is the emphasis of Revelation. Today, Jesus Christ is a Priest-King like Melchizedek (Hebrews 7), and according to Ephesians 2:4-6, we are seated with Him on His throne. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”.
In His love, in Exodus 19:1-6, God called Israel to be a kingdom of priests. “And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel." But the Jews failed God and their kingdom was taken from them. "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.” (Matthew 21:43) Today, God's people (the church) are His kings and priests exercising spiritual authority and serving God in this world. “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (1 Peter 2:1-10).
I have been often asked over the years how do you stay faithful to keep on serving the Lord with all the trials and difficulties you face? I simply remember Who Jesus is, what He has done for me, what my position is in Him, and what He has called me to be and do! My friend I encourage you to do the same today!