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Posts Tagged ‘praise’

We’re doing a verse by verse of Revelations in our Sunday School classes at church.  All the children are also studying this in their classes (except the youth for some reason, I think I’ll have to find out why not because I would love for them to be on the same page as the rest of us but they are talking the Sermon on the Mount so that’s good too).  We’re in the sweeping overview stage right now, and so we’re not in real depth yet. 

Despite the depth, it’s not your usual yada yada yada study of Revelations.  Typically, in my past, we would study this in small groups or have a quick sermon or set of sermons for a few weeks.  There was always a timeline, there was always discussion about the future.  There were even scary movies at camp.  Anyone out there subjected to those B (or C or even F) movies about the end of the world where they were cutting off people’s heads?  I recall a guy with dark hair and eyes was the main character, and as a little kid this whole thing scared me.  Kids were talking about end times and saying there were micro chips in Proctor and Gamble products. 

With my experiences with Revelations in the past, I have avoided the book.   I did read it several times on my own as a teen/young adult, but then rarely go back to it anymore.  I thought it best for me to focus on things I could grasp better.  I heard Hank Henergraff’s more recent comments on the book, and am not sure I agree with the bits I’ve heard from him.  Is it that he believes it has ALL happened already?  Not sure, but I know he’s marketed a fictional book about it.

Our assistant pastor was different in his initial presentation of Revelation.  Nothing was sensationalized, there’s not an ad outside the front of the church for the series.  There was really not much announcement the study was coming.  It’s just a study like any other study, and it’s being treated as such.  We’re in the first part of the book, so I am not sure but do doubt the charts will be coming. 

The best thing I’ve heard the pastor say, and he says he’s going to remind us over and over again, is the answer to the question, “what is being revealed in Revelations?”  Hmmmm.  How to answer this one?   He made it very clear that to find that answer you have to READ it.  Open your bible, read the first words.  You’ll find, as I did, the book’s main purpose not the future revealed, not the scary judgement revealed, and not the end times revealed.  It is the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Yet again, Christians (or so called Christians) and especially the secular world misses the point.  The point is to reveal the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It shows His magesty, His dominion, His sacrifice, His love, His judgement, His glory.  He is worthy.  He alone is worthy.  It’s not an oracle for us to see the future, it reveals His plans as the ruler of the universe, but it’s not about the plans.  It’s about HIM.  The pastor did such a good job explaining this, it’s shocking to me how I’ve missed the obvious all along.  How many people have died early deaths because they read too much into that book?  So many cults twist it to place their leaders into it.  So many people search the newspapers for proof they are living in some special time and that the anti-Christ is coming.  Books are sold, and men propped up.  Who is the book supposed to glorify and prop?  The Lamb that was slain, that’s who!

I am looking forward to getting into this book and not missing the obvious any more.

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Today, my church got together (and some others) and we sang for the woman who is dying of cancer.  She’s off treatments, so she’s actually temporarily feeling better…but she’ll eventually have the cancer take over or her ruined bowels (from the treatments) will give out…or an infection will win.  She has been given 2-8 weeks to live.  We sang several very tradtional old hymns such as “It is Well,” “How Great Thou Art,” “My Jesus I Love Thee,” “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow” and many more.  We recorded this for her as she cannot come to church anymore for worship.  The time was a worship set, and it was to honor God.  She doesn’t want us to sing to her, but to God so she can have that exerience of being with the body in worship.  I so hope it blesses her in these days.  My littlest decided she was going to fuss and fidget, so we went in the hallway for part of the time (no one would have wanted to hear a toddler crying MAAAAMAAAA in between several songs), but I was able to sneak back in for a bit longer.  We then were able to leave her a message on tape, so she could be encouraged.  If there was more to do, I would do it.  We have provided meals for the husband and daughters each week, and helped the family move things from a storage shed.  Still, we cannot take away their pain, cannot make mom live longer.  In light of that, singing and recording it for her was a way to make the most of the time that is left.  I really like how this church loves this little family and has served in their time of need.  This is the body….

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