A Passage and A Prayer 1/18/19

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”  Revelation 7:9-10

Do you see yourself in John’s vision?  That’s you in the white robe of Jesus’ righteousness, cleared of all you did wrong and freed from the ugly impulses of your sinful nature.  That’s you with a palm branch in your hand, worshiping your glorious God without inhibition, totally focused and engaged.  Jesus died to place you into this vision.  His Church is driven by the purpose of surrounding you in this vision with family, friends and foreigners.  Look around.  It’s a huge crowd, all those who trust and follow the Savior.

Do you think it will matter then who did what to hurt you, or how much pain you endured because doctors couldn’t diagnose what was wrong?  Will you care that you were saleswoman of the year for your company, or that hundreds showed up at your funeral?  How significant will the politics or the Oscars of 2019 be when you stand before the throne of God?  John’s vision creates perspective.

This vision of eternity explains why you and I are still here.  THIS is where our faith culminates.  And THIS is the reason our church is serious about truth and passionate about sharing that truth.  St. John’s vision of eternal life drives our vision for First Immanuel’s ministry – bringing people to know Jesus, surrounding them with brothers and sisters in faith who will encourage them, and confirming their faith with biblical teaching for the day they meet Jesus face-to-face.  May we be bold enough to dream what St. John saw in his vision.

The song “I Can Only Imagine” by the band Mercy Me expresses the awe of that day when we join the multitudes before the throne of God and worship the Lamb.  Ask Alexa to play it for you.  The movie “I Can Only Imagine” tells the story of how God brings even a reluctant disbeliever into that multitude before his throne.  Watch it.  And put your life into eternal perspective.

Thank you, dear Savior, for giving us a vision of the eternal life you won for us.  Thank you for the privilege of sharing this good news with others.  Recommit our church to making this vision reality for more and more people as we proclaim the gospel and nurture faith.  In you alone we trust and to you we give our praise.  Amen.

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