Uncommon Source of Assurance…

I love the definition of the word revelation.   1: an act of revealing or communicating divine truth  2: something that is revealed by God to humans . I also love the fact that this book, Revelation, is a book that sparks heated conversations and often times is a point of contention between churches. I have come to learn that most people are intimidated or not interested in the book of Revelation. Revelation is considered one of the most controversial and difficult books of the Bible, with many diverse interpretations of the meanings of the various names and events in the account.  As I grew up in the Lutheran church, I came to learn that Martin Luther at first considered Revelation to be “neither apostolic nor prophetic” and stated that “Christ is neither taught nor known in it”. However, he later changed his mind. A man byt the name of John Calvin believed the book to be true and a pure writing of John, yet it was the only New Testament book he did not write a commentary on. It is interesting to me that Jesus’ name is the most recognized and controversial name of all time. I feel the same with this book of the Bible. Some might say that this book is one that is a little off kilter, rather freaky and too complicated. But lately I have found very simplistic messages that lay within the words of these pages.

For example, in Revelation chapter 3, we meet a church known as the church inPhiladelphia. Philadelphia was a city founded by the citizens of Pergamum. Pergamum was a major city in western Asia Minor in New Testament times. It lies in a spacious valley, sixteen miles from the Aegean Sea in what is today the country of Turkey. In the centuries before Christ, Pergamum was the capital of an independent kingdom. Its impressive temples, library, and medical facilities made Pergamum a renowned cultural and political center. By the time Revelation was written, Pergamum had become part of the Roman Empire, but because of its location and importance, the Romans used it as an administrative center for the province of Asia. So, now back to the church, this was a tiny church, some might consider it insignificant. I can relate, feeling insignificant is common for me these days.

Jesus spoke kind words to this church, words that give me peace I the trials of life I have found myself amidst.  7“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

I want to look at verse 7 – 8 “These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” There is something comforting in the words “What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.  I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.”  I know for a fact that the he in these sentences is referring to Jesus. What He opens, no one can shut. The power in those words brings me breathless.

Read on, “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.” It has come to my attend that the Lord knows my deeds, now yes that might seem like a simple thought, but it struck my heart to the depths. Even though He knows my deeds, He has still chosen to place me before an open door that no one can shut. Through this door is a lifetime consumed with grace, mercy, unconditional love, and most off all the forgiveness one could possibly need. And trust me the well of forgiveness will never run dry, I have tried many times to test the limits of my Father’s forgiveness and yet, I am overwhelmed that once again, He has opened His arms without judgment and forgiven me. Are you wanting a life of guilt free love, consuming peace and overwhelming mercy? Then you must reach out, you must not wait, you must look to Him now, fall in love with Him, for He has been waiting for you! I love the fact that the final book within His word gives me such peace and assurance in His love for me. Praises be!

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