Works Rewarded…

Read: Revelation 19-22
Marked: Revelation 20:12, And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is [the Book] of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

There is judgment coming (Hebrews 9:27). How we shall be judged depends on our works, what we have done. Our works weren’t done in isolation but were noted and written down by God.

We each do things which the Bible defines as either works of righteousness or works of unrighteousness. John 6:29 suggests works of righteousness begin with believing in Jesus whom He sent. John 6:40 confirms this when we see the Son and believe in Him.

The reward for our work will be everlasting life, and, He (Jesus) will raise us up at the last day as Revelation 22:12 confirms. Anything else goes unrewarded.


The Consequence of Ignorance…

Read: Revelation 12-18
Marked: Revelation 16:9, And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.

God pours out His wrath on an unbelieving world. This might be hard to accept but the world has been warned. The Lord is righteous in His judgment (V5).

Why do men blaspheme the God they don’t believe in? Neither do they repent or give Him glory. It seems the worst events in our lives tend to bring out the worst blasphemies in our hearts (V21).

My heart must change so that I see my own culpability through choices I have made; even the choice to ignore God and do my own thing.

Love of Darkness…

Read: Revelation 6-11
Marked: Revelation 6:1, Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.”

In John 1:5 it says in Jesus is life, and the life is the light of men. John 3:19 says that light came into the world and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

What a sad commentary that men love darkness more than light that now the Author of Life has no other recourse but to bring wrath, destruction, and death on the world.

Even when mankind knows the source of their peril they refuse to turn to Him and repent. Mankind truly loves their darkness more than His light (V16).

Leaving Your First Love…

Read: Revelation 1-5
Marked: Revelation 2:4-5, “Nevertheless I have [this] against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place–unless you repent.”

In verses 2 and 3 Jesus commends the works of the church of Ephesus; the works, labours, patience, their stand against evil and false teachers. Yet, He chastises them for their lack of love, or more specifically, that they had left their first love.

Our first love is Jesus. We do what we do as Christians for Jesus and with Jesus. Jesus knows all we do and why we do it. Unfortunately, in many churches today much is done in the name of Jesus but not for or with Jesus.

There is little thought given to making disciples and teaching them to obey all things which Jesus commanded. It has become more about programs and events which feed the needs of the congregation rather than spreading the gospel and growing the kingdom of God.

Few participate like the church in Acts did, steadfastly continuing in the apostle’s doctrine, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and especially prayer (Acts 2:42).

Better to do these works and maintain our love for Jesus, and for others, than to chase every new method or program to grow the church but leave hearts empty.

Walking with Jesus…

Read: 2 John 1; 3 John 1
Marked: 2 John 1:6, This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

In verse 4 John the apostle rejoiced greatly that some were walking in truth. Some, but not all.

It’s a sad truth that many claim the name of Jesus but do not do what He says. John ties love for Christ with walking according to His commandments. Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.” (John 14:21).

When we walk according to His commandments we walk in His love and when we walk in His love we walk in His commandments to love God and love others. Verse 9 brings this truth home.

When we transgress by not abiding in the doctrines (teachings) of Christ we do not have God. But when we abide in the doctrines of Christ we have both the Father and the Son.

So where do I want to be? I want to abide in Him and His word. It’s the only assurance I have of having both the Father and the Son.

Deceiving Ourselves…

Read: 1 John 1-5
Marked: 1 John 1:8, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

What is sin? John says in chapter 3:4 that sin is lawlessness. Specifically John means the law of God as summarized by the Ten Commandments. For example, lying. We all think ourselves as honest, yet we all lie. There is no denying that.

Under the law we are sinning when we lie and are lawbreakers because we fall short of God’s moral standard (Exodus 20:1-7). We try to deny our accountability to the law by calling sin something else or even denying there is such a thing as sin. But we can’t erase the consequences of lying, or our accountability to God as easily.

Peace Bringer…

Read: 2 Peter 1-3; Jude 1
Marked: 2 Peter 1:2-3, Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that [pertain] to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,

On the night of His birth, the Angels declared, “Do not be afraid, I bring tidings of great joy. And on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Jesus was born to bring us peace; peace with each other but especially peace with God. But we can’t have true peace with God until we receive the grace of God. Jesus is the peace bringer and through faith in Him we receive the grace which brings us peace with God and all men.

In Jesus we have all the things that pertain to life and godliness (V3). Come to the Saviour and receive grace, mercy, peace, and life.

Share in Suffering…

Read: 2 Timothy 1-4
Marked: 2 Timothy 1:8-9, Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called [us] with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,

In verse 8 Paul calls Timothy to share in his suffering for the gospel. In what ways do I share in suffering for the gospel? In one sense, as Paul says in verse 9, since God saved us and called us, I can do the Will of God rather than my own will.

While I may suffer in putting His will ahead of my own, I need to remember that I have been called with a “holy calling”, not to do my own thing (my works), but to do the things given me to do in Jesus (Ephesians 2:10).

Pursue Christ, Pursue Peace…

Read: Hebrews 11-13
Marked: Hebrews 12:14-15, Pursue peace with all [people,] and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

In Christ I have peace with God and God expects me to pursue peace with all people; not just those I agree with or who agree with me.

I am also to pursue holiness. God has consecrated me, He has sanctified me so that I can have fellowship with Him. Without holiness no one can see the Lord (V14). Without holiness is it possible to have peace with God or with people?

Holiness means separate, or, set apart for God’s purpose. Charles Spurgeon said, “Unholy Christians are the plague of the church. They are spots in our feasts of charity. Like hidden rocks, they are the terror of navigators. It is hard to stear clear of them: and there is no telling what wrecks they may cause.”

If I don’t pursue peace and holiness I will fall short of the grace of God. Without peace bitterness is a real possibility. And there is too much of that in the world.


Read: Hebrews 7-10
Marked: Hebrews 7:19, for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, [there is the] bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

The law makes nothing perfect but shows how imperfect we are. If the law could perfect there would have been no need for an offering once a year to atone for sin.

We try so hard to be good, thinking that because of our goodness we will receive an eternal reward. But that is law keeping. If I just do this or do that. What then do we do if our good works do not perfect us for eternity?

There is a better hope through which we can draw near to God. Our hope is in the Lord Jesus because Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant (V22), because He continues forever and has an unchangeable priesthood (V24).

Therefore, He is able to save those who come to God through Him (V25). His sacrifice perfects us forever because He has been perfected forever (V28).