Friday, September 7, 2012
Welcome to Day 250 of our Life Journal!
Click here for today’s reading: 2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 36; Jeremiah 40; Jeremiah 41; Revelation 12 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Finally, after all the prophecies, Jerusalem is now overtaken by Babylon, as was proclaimed by the word of the Lord, through the prophets.
2 Kings 25:1, “So in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army.”
2 Chronicles 36:16, “They [his people] mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. 17 He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and spared neither young man nor young woman, old man or aged. God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar.”
Jeremiah 40:5, “However, before Jeremiah turned to go, Nebuzaradan added, “Go back to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed over the towns of Judah, and live with him among the people, or go anywhere else you please.”
Jeremiah 41:10, “Ishmael made captives of all the rest of the people who were in Mizpah…”
We are told of his failed attempt to prevent the male Child from being born and assuming His rightful place of authority as ruler of the nations (1-6). An effort to usurp that authority by waging war in heaven is thwarted, resulting in the devil and his angels being cast to earth. That prompts a loud voice in heaven to proclaim that salvation, strength, the kingdom of God and the power of His Christ has come.
11, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.”
17 “Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”
Our testimony is powerful!
Never underestimate the power of your testimony, of what God has done in your life. It’s how we overcome. (That, and what Christ has done, by going to the cross and shedding his blood. “The blood of the Lamb.”)
My testimony isn’t only how I came to faith in Christ, what he did in my life, how I was “born again.” But it is also what God is doing in my life, day in and day out…
Makes me think of the story in John 4 about Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. She went and told her friends, “Come see a man who told me everything I ever did.” (Which Jesus didn’t do… he only addressed the number of husbands she had…) Many came to faith because of her testimony, before they heard for themselves, just based upon her words!
(By the way, there will plenty of time to address the Babylonian captivity, especially when we get into the book of Daniel…)
Again the issue of Revelation is how much of this has already been fulfilled and how much is pending…
There is no question, that the birth of Jesus had to have set off a firestorm in the heavens… Remember when King Herod had all the young boys in Jerusalem killed, “When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.”
Sounds like it fits with Revelation 12?
I am always reluctant to weigh in heavily as to my opinions or preferences in Revelation, because I am certainly no expert. Just connecting a few dots and sharing my musings along the way…
Regardless of what the future holds, we overcome by the blood of the Lamb (the work of Jesus on the cross) and by sharing our testimony with others. (So that they may come to faith.)
Sharing my testimony builds faith in others… if it is about a healing, it raises their faith to believe for healing for themselves, or perhaps for someone around them. The same would be true for enduring a tough situation, a financial miracle, or whatever God may have done for us.
The Apostle Paul, after speaking in Athens, recapped by saying, “Some believed, some sneered and some wanted to hear more.” That’s usually the case. I contend for those who may believe, but just know that some will sneer or want to hear more. Not lowering my expectations, just being prepared for what to expect. (Acts 17:32)
Don’t let other people’s reaction prevent you from sharing your faith.
My best tip, do it in love. Be sincere, transparent and kind. Romans 2:4 states it’s “the kindness of God leads to repentance.” Not our fancy presentation, not quoting tons of scripture… just a loving interaction, sharing our faith, offering a prayer… helping to move, being a listening ear.
But it has to tie back to Christ (the blood of the Lamb) and the work he has done in our lives.
That is when we experience breakthrough and lead others to Christ.
Thank you Lord for the work you have done in my life! Open doors for me to share my faith with others I come into contact with.