Revelation Series – Chapter 22: 1-5

22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

The angel who was sent to bring the great revelation to John showed him a river of the water of life. The river was flowing from the throne of God and of the lamb, who is the source of all blessings. It is written that we have been blessed with all blessings in heavenly realm in Christ Jesus. Without Jesus in our lives, we can’t experience the abundance of the blessings that may be surrounded us like river. If the origin of those blessings is not Jesus, they will never satisfy us fully. Its the river that flows from the throne that quenches our thirst. Pray that the Lord reveal the origin of the blessings that you may have in your life. Sometimes, our own desire and pursuit bring us blessings that could be disastrous in long term. Refuse to take anything that the father has not planted for your life and you will be blessed.

The tree of life is on each side of the river, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month and its leaves are for the healing of the nations.

When we walk with the Lord and drink from the water that flows from his throne we turn into fruitful trees that bear its fruits for the nourishment of the body of Christ, not just that, even when the fruits are still maturing, the leaves that we bear in our union with the Lord act as medicine for the souls. Leaves are the first sign of growth of a tree. Leaves that are fresh and green attract others to the tree. Leaves are the sign of our passion for the Lord that never runs out, Leaves show our first love for the Lord that others feel while we talk to them. We need healthy leaves to live the life of an ambassador of Christ. Christ makes his appeal through us that shines through the passion with which we speak about our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Leaves reflect our youthfulness and child-likeness that run to proclaim to the perishing world, the way Samaritan woman ran to the village to tell others about Christ. Our passionate testimony can bring healing to the nations! Guard your spiritual fervor.

Where the fire of passion is, there is no place for anything else. There can not remain anything that is not God sent. No curse can stay to those who are living a life that is full of passionate love for Christ, since they have made Christ their Lord and Saviour. Where the throne of Jesus is, there can remain no other throne or principality or power! When the servants of the Lord look at the face of the King, His name will be written on their foreheads. If you want to change your destiny, your future, your situation, your life you don’t need to do anything, just look up!  Look up to the place where the throne of God is! Look up to the face of Christ that washes away sin. The moment we change the focus of our heart and start looking at the face of Jesus, He begins to change our mind. We need to take the first step by looking up and revival will follow that will shake the world in Jesus name! Those who have received the name of Jesus will also be given the authority to rule with him.

 

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Jesus – Our elder brother

“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ.” Gal. 3:26-27

Faith in Christ Jesus declares with power that we are Sons of God.  When we enter into the family of God, we enter with full assurance that we have an access to his throne and divine blessings through Jesus Christ, our elder brother.

When we accept the word of God with faith, the light of gospel encourages and strengthens us to break every chain that has bound us for years and we flee from the Kingdom of darkness to enter into the Kingdom of light. None of us can do such mighty work on our own, the power has been granted as a favor to every child of Child who believes in God’s eternal plan of salvation.

When God designed the eternal plan of salvation, the intent of his heart was to include both the creator and creation. Not just that, both the creation and the creator meet each other on the same level for “both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.” Heb. 1:11 Since the creator didn’t spare his own Son but brought him down to the level of his creation, how much the creation should be eager to enter into the covenant family through Jesus?

Jesus, our elder brother, has done what we could have never achieved on our own. He went ahead and prepared a way for us to enjoy Godly blessings, the way Joseph opened a way for his family to get a share in the blessings of the land where he was given a position of authority.  All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus so go ahead child of God and claim your portion in the name of Jesus for his glory and praise!

Our elder brother has opened a way for us to be declared innocent before God by willingly accepting death on cross. Not just that, he has called us to share in the mighty power of his resurrection.  “And his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead.” Eph. 1:19-20

Our elder brother has finished his work but even today as the high priest over the house of God, he is busy interceding for us, “Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Rom. 8:34

Our elder brother is not ashamed to call us his brothers. Are we declaring him as our Lord and Savior before others?

I am the way, the truth and the life

The Truth – Truth is the very essence of the word of God. The truth is the bonding force that proves the validity of the word. Truth is absolute and authoritative. It doesn’t need the backup of any human testimonial to prove its amazing force at work. Truth is the very core of our being and it has been brought down to us by the one who dwelt among us – Jesus – the word of God turned into flesh to bring a face to the truth and who has enabled us to live a truthful life. Truth is not harsh in nature nor is it destructive. It always encourages and builds up. Jesus during his ministry, destroyed the false imaginations that were raised against the knowledge of the most high God and that had tainted the image of God in us. Jesus never promoted any sect of people. He diligently worked among all, seeking those who were humble and ready to come to God in faith. Even today God wants us to destroy  the false images that try to find an expression in our lives and deceive us by the lie that we are short of the virtues of God’s children.  Jesus has already destroyed these forces of darkness on cross through His death and resurrection and these false images cannot raise their head unless we allow them to find a way in us. Jesus never tried to establish any religion  but opened a way for us to know the truth that we are precious children of most high God, created in nothing less than God’s own image.

The way – Jesus came to preach that HE is the only way to the father. He said that no one can go to the father except through me. He said that father and I are one. He said that anyone who has seen me has seen the father. He is the image of the invisible God who has revealed the true nature of God to us. Without knowing Jesus as the son and representative of God, we will never be able to know the true nature of God, that is, God is love. It’s not God’s actions that are driven by love but HE himself is love. We measure the love of God by our own standards, but God’s love remains same in all situations. God is righteous and being created in his own image, we are every bit as righteous as our father, provided we remain in HIM. Jesus has opened a way for us to remain in this truth and has enabled us to walk in the blessings of  the shadow of God’s own righteousness.

The Life: Jesus has brought down a new life to us that is meant to be lived in the glorious freedom of God’s own children. Life is purposeless for those who live in bondage – of money, fame, insecurity, fear and other forces of darkness. God has not sent us on this earth to live in slavery but in freedom. In freedom we cry out Abba Father and acknowledge that we are not alone in this vast expanse of universe, we have someone who knows us by name; we have someone who knew all about us even before we came into existence. HE is the one who has carved out our image on the palms of his hands. We are his children  and always will be. Its only in HIS presence that life finds its true fulfillment and purpose.

Do not gloat over me, my enemy!

Micah 7:8, “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.”

Those who have been walking diligently with the Lord find themselves in a constant warfare. It seems that the life is not easy, One problem is barely solved and the other one is on its way. This is not unusual for Godly people, in fact, it is to confirm what the Lord  had told his disciple, “those who want to live a godly life will be persecuted”.  The process and the duration of persecution is different for all of us but every true child of God should be ready for a battle and be equipped with  Godly weapons to stand in faith and come out as a winner at the end.

Since no one wants to go through hardship, a question might arise, why does God allow persecution and hardships into the lives of his children? Some people indeed suffer more than others and some suffer for a very long period of time. Why Lord?

God our creator loves us more than anyone else. Isaiah 49:15 says, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast  and have no compassion on the child she has born? though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands”.

God, who is full of mercy and truth, fabricates circumstances and situations in our lives that will enable us to see the riches of glorious inheritance that we have in Christ. Most of us know the story of the Prodigal son. The prodigal son could have never felt the need to go back to his father, had he not gone through hunger and hardship. His hunger opened his eyes to realize the abundance of his father’s treasure and his desperate situation brought him to realize what he could have received from his father as a son. The moment his eyes were opened, he went back to the father.

God as our Father in his love, let us go through the trials, for trials bring patience. The process is indeed hard and sometimes we get frustrated to the point of giving up. The stage of giving up brings submission into our lives. We begin to lose control and learn how to submit our dreams and desires to the Lord. Some other times, we feel discouraged that despite our best efforts, it seems that nothing is bearing fruit, nothing is moving at all – this is the time of desperation. If we remain calm during this time (by not speaking negative words), we will experience a unique trust and deeper understanding of the word of God. The Word of God is alive and active, filled with the power to renew us in any situation. The Word that Jesus spoke to Lazarus when Lazarus was dead for four days “Lazarus, come out.” suddenly becomes alive in our lives. We experience the same resurrecting power to bring us out of whatever we count dead in our lives.

We could never experience the amazing power of resurrection without being persecuted to the point where it seems that everything is over and there is no hope left. But our God is the hope of all the ends of the earth. He is with us in trials and ready to receive us as a winner at the end. Nothing remains same for ever, soon the persecution and the wait will be over and those who have stood firm during hard times, will receive the crown of life in this world and the world to come.

Are you suffering for the Lord? Have you suffered long enough and feel that no strength is left? Do you feel that you are about to lose your faith? Just speak up the Word. That’s the only way to come out of the dead situation. Let the power of the living word work in your life and bring back to life everything that you once thought was dead. Don’t give a way to the deception of devil by thinking that its over.  Just speak up,  “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.” And Jesus, our son of righteousness, will cover you with his healing rays and bring renewed health and healing to your life.

Forgiveness – A Godly attribute

Luke 23:34 “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”. Jesus spoke these words when he was on cross, offering himself as an eternal sacrifice to redeem mankind from sin and the effects of sin.

Christ has left a model for us to follow to forgive those who have wronged us. Forgiveness is not inherent in human nature, in fact the moment we realize that we are being wronged, we are filled with revenge and anger to do the same to the offender. Christ has not called us to do the same but to forgive and pray.

Forgiveness doesn’t come easy but with great efforts. Being “Unforgivers” by nature, Anger and hurt are the first few emotions we experience when someone offends us. When hurt, we have a choice to make – either exercise patience or react abruptly. Patience, though hard, allows us to analyse the situation with a different mindset. We can never exercise Godly attributes without God’s peace that is actually available to us at any time. By getting away from the situation and letting the peace work through our mind, we prepare groundwork for Godly forgiveness to work in us and through us.

Jesus says in Matthew 5:44, “Pray for those who persecute you.” By choosing to pray for those who have done wrong to us, we allow God to control the situation. We feel free from the negative effects of unforgiveness the moment we have prayed for the offender. The matter is transferred from our own hands to the hands of the Lord, who is the true judge. And only He is able to change the mind of the offender through his own power that is above and beyond any human power.

A question might arise – What if the other person hasn’t forgiven you? The truth is that Christ has called us to follow Him without looking here and there. We are responsible for our own relation with the Lord without being carried away by who is doing what. Christ – the one who fills the forgiver with his won peace is able to bring a change in the life and attitudes of the offender at His own appointed time.

Forgiveness is not an option but a command from the Lord as written in Mark 11:25 “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your father in heaven may forgive you your sins”.

Do you feel hurt and are filled with mixed emotions without a trace of peace in your life? Has someone wronged you and you feel burdened? This is the time to pray and ask God to allow his peace to flow through you, then pray for the person and forgive. Hard to do indeed but with God’s power all things are possible.