January 21 2022
Today, Friday January 21
What Does Your Testimony Look Like? Revelation 1:9-11 “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. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
This is the third time in the first nine verses of this book that John referred to himself by name (1, 4). This time, his amazement at receiving this vision caused him to add the personal pronoun I. John was astounded that, despite his utter unworthiness, he had the inestimable privilege of receiving this monumental vision.
John was an apostle, a member of the inner circle of the twelve along with Peter and James, and the human author of a gospel and three epistles. Yet he humbly identified himself simply as your brother. He did not write as one impressed with his authority as an apostle, commanding, exhorting, or defining doctrine, but as an eyewitness to the revelation of Jesus Christ that begins to unfold with this vision.
John further humbly identified with his readers by describing himself as their fellow partaker, their companion, sharing with them first of all in tribulation. Like them, John was at that moment suffering severe persecution for the cause of Christ, having been exiled with other criminals. Tradition tells us that John had been thrown into a vat of boiling oil to be burned to death but God miraculously saved him. He could thus identify with the suffering believers to whom he wrote.
Finally, John identified with his readers in the matter of patience or perseverance. Hupomonē (perseverance) literally means "to remain under." It speaks of patiently enduring difficulties without giving up. Despite what John faced in the matter of suffering, he didn’t deny the Lord, get discourage, or quit.
John further described these experiences as in Jesus. Suffering persecution for the cause of Christ, belonging to His kingdom, and patiently enduring trials are distinctly Christian experiences. John then specifically gives two reasons or purposes that he believes he is suffering in exile for. First it is for the word of God! I believe this means that God has a word for the world around us and wants us to be His communicators of that word.
Suffering and persecution will reveal who you really are! I remember reading years ago something Oswald Chambers said, “It’s not so much that suffering builds character, but that suffering reveals the character that you already have.” If we truly are in Christ and “in the Spirit”, we will respond to pain and suffering the same way Jesus did! And my friend, the world will notice something remarkably different about you!
Without saying a word, you will be communicating God’s word of love, of patience, of forgiveness, of grace, of kindness, of mercy to those around you. Augustine said, “Preach the Gospel, preach the Gospel, and if necessary use words!
John was there for the word of God, which also meant that he believed that God would give him a special revelation, a special word about the future that God wanted to world to know! But John was also in exile on Patmos for the testimony of Jesus Christ! He was there to testify to the world the reality of Jesus Christ!
I believe that the Lord wants us always to be a testimony, a witness of Jesus Christ! We should be able to testify that we have experienced Jesus in our lives personally. Whether it be at home, at work, at school, on the playground, in the gym, we should be sharing Jesus in the way we respond to everything we encounter!
Today, what does your testimony look and sound like to those around you? I trust it looks like Jesus!