January 22 2022
Today, Saturday January 22
What John Heard and Saw! 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."
It is amazing to me, as we go through scripture, how that over and over we can be encouraged by the witness and testimony of the writers of the Bible who went through great pain and suffering. Remember most of the Book of Psalms was born out of the afflictions and brokenness that David encountered in his life. And here it is no different with John. He declares first, that he is a brother and companion of those who were experiencing tribulation, along with him, from the Roman rulers in the first century of history of the church. We can’t really identify with those who are suffering brokenness until we have been broken ourselves!
Today our world is filled with brokenness and suffering and we, like John, have the opportunity to be a witness of Jesus Christ as we patiently persevere the tribulations that come our way! It is during these times of intense suffering that we usually have our most intimate and special encounters and experiences with the Lord. Remember it was in a blazing furnace of fire, that three Hebrew young men had been thrown into, because of their faith and refusal to bow to the god of their day, that Jesus showed up to commune with them. (Daniel 3) And by the way, the world noticed it and we still talk about it today!!!!
We will notice here two things that took place in John’s life in the midst of his suffering and exile! He heard and saw Jesus!!!!! The question for us today is, “How are we going to hear and see Jesus?” What is it going to take to put us into the right position to be attentive to His voice and see Him is a fresh and new way? Remember in Isaiah 6:1-10, where we are told that it was when Isaiah’s best friend, Uzziah, the king of Israel died that he saw the Lord God in the splendor and glory of heaven and heard the voice of God calling him to a new mission!
John says that he was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day”. We see at least two things John was doing to experience these two wonderful things of “hearing and seeing” the Lord! First, he was “in the Spirit”. This is so important, because if we are not careful, when we begin to suffer we will start focusing on ourselves and our pain instead of looking up to the Lord! Instead of “being in the Spirit”, we will be into the flesh of feeling sorry for ourselves and comparing ourselves with others who are better off than us. We then start complaining, gripping and becoming bitter because we don’t deserve what is happening to us!
When we are “in the Spirit”, we will be filled with the fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:16-25, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. …. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. ….But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Did you read and get this! We need to be led by the Spirit, living in the Spirit and walking in the Spirit! That is what John was doing! Notice next when he was doing it! He was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day”! The “Lord Day” is of course a reference to the “first day of the week”, which is Sunday! The “first day of the week” is always “Resurrection Day!” Jesus arose from the grave on the “first day of the week”! Every one of the Gospels, (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20), used this same phrase, “the first day of week” to communicate what day it was that the Lord came out of the grave! That’s why we worship and go to church on Sundays, “the first day of the week”. We remember and celebrate that our Jesus victoriously conquered death, hell and the grave on that Day!
John, instead of staying home because he didn’t feel good and was suffering, went to church anyway! My friend, what a great lesson for us today in this crazy time in which we are living! May the Lord help us today to “be in the Spirit” and to always be celebrating our risen Lord! It is then that we will hear His voice and see Jesus in a fresh and new way! (Hebrews 2:8, 12:1-4)