Revelation 1:9-20

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Due to the holiday weekend, I will not be posting daily devotionals. I will include the readings for each day. Daily devotionals will return on Monday, November 27.

Reading the Word

Revelation 1:9–20 

I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

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Jesus Is Coming Again

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Reading the Word

Revelation 1:4–8 (ESV)

4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Understanding the Word

John writes his letter to the seven churches in Asia, which we will learn more about shortly. He greets them with a Trinitarian formula making mention of the Father (the one who is and was and is to come), the Spirit (the seven spirits who are before his throne), and the Son (Jesus Christ the faithful witness).

John tells us that Jesus, who saves from sin, is going to return and all people will see him.

Applying the Word

Jesus is coming again! How should that make us feel? For some it should be an encouragement. It means that serving Christ is not in vain. Some days the difficulty of being a follower of Jesus can wear a person down, but do not give up. Jesus is coming again soon and you will see him!

For others, the thought of Jesus coming again serves as a warning. What are you spending your time and resources on? Will you be ashamed or embarrassed when he returns? You too will see him.

Let us prepare for the Lord’s return by submitting ourselves to his will today.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Revelation

Reading the Word

Revelation 1:1–3 (ESV)

1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.

Understanding the Word

As an introduction to the Book of Revelation, we are told that John has received revelation from Jesus Christ through an angelic messenger. This is the only book in the New Testament that promises a blessing on the one who reads it, receives it, and obeys it.

Applying the Word

The Book of Revelation is often met in one of two ways: great eagerness or great timidity. Many are eager because they want to look into the future. So why are some reluctant?

I believe many are reluctant because the book is not an easy one to fully grasp. One only needs to look at the many divergent interpretations of the book through the years to see that this is true. However, if this is the only book that has the promise of blessing for those who would read it and apply it, we must understand that we are encouraged to work at it. We should not run from it, but we should seek to come to an understanding so that we may find comfort and so that we may testify to the truth we find. May God grant us understanding as we read this book in the days ahead.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

The One Who Is Able

Jude 25 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Jude 24–25 (ESV)

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Understanding the Word

How can a person walk with God and not stumble in a world filled with evil? If we were left to do it on our own, we could not. Thankfully, we have not been left to do it alone. Jesus Christ keeps us from stumbling and presents us blameless before God.

Applying the Word

What a great Savior we have! Jesus Christ not only died as a sacrifice for our sins, but he keeps us to the very end. It is by grace that we are saved through Christ and it is by grace that we are kept as well. Glory to God for such a wonderful salvation! May he receive all worship, adoration, power, and praise because he is worthy!

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Jude 14-23

Shaped by the Word publishes devotional content daily Monday through Friday. However, I will post suggested readings on Saturdays and Sundays. Here is the reading for Sunday, November 19:

Reading the Word

Jude 14–23 (ESV)

14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage. 17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Jude 5-13

Shaped by the Word publishes devotional content daily Monday through Friday. However, I will post suggested readings on Saturdays and Sundays. Here is the reading for Saturday, November 18:

Reading the Word

Jude 5–13 (ESV)

5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. 8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. 9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. 12 These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Perverting Grace

Jude

Reading the Word

Jude 1–4 (ESV)

1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: 2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. 3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Understanding the Word

Jude addresses an issue among a group of believers where grace was being perverted. They were using grace as an excuse to indulge in sinful passions and please their own desires. In doing so, Jude warns that they were denying Jesus Christ.

Applying the Word

The gospel message is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has offered himself as a sacrifice for sinners that they might be free from their bondage to sin. Some would have this to mean that since our sins (past, present, and future) have been dealt with at the cross, then we can do whatever we want. We are free from condemnation. This is not what Scripture tells us.

Jesus died to set us free from bondage to sin. He did not free us to continue to serve sin. The grace we have received is a grace that leads us to God. It brings forgiveness and new life to the believer. The desire of the believer is to serve Christ in everything we do. We no longer live for ourselves, but for the one who saved us through his death and resurrection.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Who Will You Follow?

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Reading the Word

3 John 9–15 (ESV)

9 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10 So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. 11 Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true. 13 I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. 15 Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, each by name.

Understanding the Word

After commending the church for supporting fellow workers in the gospel, John now condemns Diotrephes for his lack of support. Diotrephes liked the position of authority and refused to acknowledge the authority of the apostles. John then mentions Demetrius as one who has received a good report and as one to emulate.

Applying the Word

Unfortunately, authority can be abused and often is. It even occurs in churches. Many times a leader will refuse to do what is good and right and biblical because it will result in a loss of control or a loss of power or it will mean that they do not get their way.

We all stand under the authority of the word of God. No church leader is exempt from this. And we are all called to serve one another, not use whatever power or authority or influence we have to serve ourselves. May we do all for the glory of God and to proclaim the gospel message.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Supporting Fellow Workers

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Reading the Word

3 John 5–8 (ESV)

5 Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, 6 who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. 7 For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.

Understanding the Word

In these verses, John commends the church for supporting fellow Christians who were faithfully proclaiming the true gospel message. It is a good thing for believers to support other believers and share in the work of spreading the truth.

Applying the Word

In a world that values autonomy, the church is a constant reminder that we are called to community. First, we are called to be a part of a local church where we can learn and grow while also using our God-given gifts and abilities to serve others.

Second, we are called not only to be a part of a local church, but also to realize that all true churches are joined together in the same task: the ministry of the gospel. As part of a world-wide fellowship made up of believers from every nation, we all have a vested interest in the spread of the gospel in all places. This is why it is so important for churches and individuals that have an excess to support other believers who have a need. When we do, we become fellow workers for the truth.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Walking in Truth

Dad Son Walking Family Father Child Happy

Reading the Word

3 John 1–4 (ESV)

1 The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. 2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Understanding the Word

In all three of his letters, John has made knowing the truth a central issue. The truth he speaks of is the truth regarding the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. False teachers make the error of denying either that Jesus was truly a man or that he was truly God. Both of these truths are necessary for the gospel message to be Good News. John tells us that he has no greater joy than to know that others are walking in the truth.

Applying the Word

What brings you the greatest joy? Is it a prized possession? Is it a favorite vacation place? Is it a favorite food? Is it the truth of God’s word?

As a parent of young children, my greatest desire is to see my children grow up in the knowledge of God’s word and then to see them walk in it. I pray that God will help me to instill in them the truth of his word through times of teaching and how I live my life in front of them. I would trade all of my possessions, vacations, and favorite foods for that.

As a pastor, I desire the same for every individual who is a part of our church family. Nothing brings me greater joy than to see others coming to an understanding of the truth and then living it out in their lives. Praise God for the life-changing truth of the gospel!

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!