Series: The Radical Call of Jesus
Message: Radical Implications
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Daily Walk: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 105:8–11.
Read: Revelation 15:5–18:24 (ESV). As you read the English Standard Version, note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Please accept my sincere apologies if this is the very first text you have read! That could be just as disastrous as when people randomly open the Bible, place their finger on the page and ask God for a “word” for their life today. Out of context there are some really weird “words” that a reader could receive—as is the case with any book. This is especially true of a book that is as authentic and honest as the Bible. Reading these chapters, though, comes at the end of a long journey—one that I hope has found you growing in your understanding of who Jesus is, and in particular what has happened thus far in the book of Revelation.
Context is key. Yet context may not even be enough for some of us as we continue to struggle with the the quintessential question of all time. This is the same question Jesus asked of His disciples: “Who do you say I am?” The answer to that question is what Jesus came here to reveal—so that when we see Him we might also see the Father. The Father continues to send the Holy Spirit, who points us to Jesus, who points us to the Father, who in turns points us to the Spirit. The Trinity lift each other up in everything they do. What is God’s character like? is the most important question of the universe. A question about the goodness of God’s character formed the original accusation made by Satan in the very beginning. He suggested that we can’t trust God to lead the universe, that he should lead us instead.
This is the reason that we have the Biblical narrative. Not to help us discover our purpose in this world—although it does help. Not to help us find the perfect partner—although it does help. Not to know how old the earth is or how we have developed over time—although it does help. Not even to work out the secrets of great leadership—although it contains great advice.
The Biblical narrative exists to help us discover the character of God. The purpose of our lives is nothing more than to know Him. The admonition, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God,” urges us to seek the ultimate truth. And with Jesus at the helm, this universe is amazing.
The Biblical narrative also shows us how we have, over time, interacted with God. It shows how Satan has twisted God’s character, turning as many people as possible away from God. The result is sin and the radical implication of sin is eternal separation from God.
Theses three chapters that you just read are the radical implications of sin . . . and God will in the end remove it.
Recalibrate: What stories in the Bible have helped you discover more about the character of God?
Respond: Pray for insight.
Research: Read the context of the story in Matthew 16 when Jesus asks Peter the question.