the book of life


All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. [Revelation 13:8 NIV]


I once heard the phrase: 'you are what you worship'. I think that is true. In a sense worship is all about life priorities. You spend your time, money and energies doing the things that are most important to you. Jesus put it this way: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth ... store up for yourselves treasures in heaven ... For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

When one is born from above they receive a new heart filled with new priorities. Pleasing God becomes central in their lives. Love becomes their modus operandi. The focus of their lives becomes storing up heavenly treasure instead of the earthly variety. They have a new life reflective of being in the Lamb’s book of life. A new life filled with worshiping God and making his work their priority.

Awaken our hearts Lord that we might become more like you today.


... this devotion is part of a series from the book of Revelation

the silence of the damned


Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Anointed One have come. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who relentlessly accuses them day and night before our God, has been cast down and silenced. [Revelation 12:10 VOICE]

We live in a culture of guilt and shame. So many accusers believing the worst about us. Spewing hatred and lies they tempt us to join them in accusing. These who elevate themselves by accusing others seem to be children of the one who is damned. These keep others down when they fall.

This verse tells us that such ones will be silenced when salvation comes. Transformed brothers and sisters no longer shame and accuse. Those who have been born from above will silence accusations with encouraging and affirming words. Such is the way of the kingdom of our God.

Fill us with love Lord. That we might silence those who accuse our brothers and sisters.


... this devotion is part of a series from the book of Revelation

revelation as a satirical poem


The dragon became angry ... and went away to do battle against ... the ones who keep God’s commandments and hold on to the testimony about Jesus. [Revelation 12:17 ISV]


I recently read about a different way to read the book of Revelation. The view sees it as a satirical poem targeted at those who worshipped Domitian, the Roman emperor from 81 to 96. John's apocalyptic story seems to track with some of the events of Domitian's reign. The emperor regularly began his speeches commending his followers for what they were doing right and rebuking for what they did wrong. He demanded his subjects to worshipfully chant 'you are lord' in his presence. John's writing seem to be a direct mockery, rebuttal and condemnation of Domitian's reign and claim of being a god.

Yet Revelation is much more than satire. In it Jesus is revealed as King of kings and Lord of lords. Rulers like Domitian, and their claims of divinity, are put in perspective. John writes to us of a King that subverts the plans of despots and tyrants. A Lord who considers the cries and prayers of people who suffer at the hands of malevolent dictators. John tells us of a time when all will be made right and divine justice will prevail. The book of Revelation speaks to the worst and best of humanity. Of people who bow down to oppressors. And ones who do not bow when faced with death.

I find John's story to be a fitting and beautiful end to, and summation of, the bible.

Help us Lord to keep your commandments and hold fast to our testimony about Jesus.


... this devotion is part of a series from the book of Revelation

they did not love their lives


They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives even in the face of death. [Revelation 12:11 TLV]

I love how this verse likens the way that the saints overcame to the way that Jesus overcame. It reminds me of the time when Jesus taught his disciples that to be his followers they must deny what they want and do what God wants. To find your life you must first lose it. It is a kingdom principle.

The word testimony speaks to me about the power of our words when they are validated by our actions. In reality people testify to what they actually know by experience. If they know a loving God they will, most likely, be a loving person. If their image of God is not loving then they may not love.

Yet sometimes our new hearts are simply not strong enough to testify to the love of God. Those times help us to realize the importance of nourishing, exercising and strengthening our hearts. That we might overcome our earthly desires and our love of earthly things. To lose that we might gain.

Thank you Lord for the example that you have given us. May our lives testify to that example.


... this devotion is part of a series from the book of Revelation

the kingdom of the heart


The seventh Angel trumpeted. A crescendo of voices in Heaven sang out, The kingdom of the world is now the Kingdom of our God and his Messiah! He will rule forever and ever! [Revelation 11:15 MSG]

This verse speaks to me of two kingdoms at odds with each other. One is ruled by earthly flesh and one by heavenly spirit. My heart groans for the day when this worldly kingdom is engulfed by the divine kingdom. I join my voice with those in heaven as I patiently wait for that day.

Until that day I believe that we can, day by day, usher in the reign of God. One heart at a time. One action at a time. One prayer at a time. In reality, for those who have been born from above, the divine kingdom has already come. These have hearts that are a part of the heavenly kingdom.

Help us Lord to, with our hearts, live out your kingdom.


... this devotion is part of a series from the book of Revelation

the prophetic heart


The seven thunders told me, “Again you must speak what God has revealed in front of many people, nations, languages, and kings.” [Revelation 10:11 NOG]

Spiritually speaking, I grew up in an atmosphere of charismatic prophetic revelation. Many people, including myself, spoke prophetic words at church. In retrospect it was a surreal experience. I have mixed feelings about those days. The words that I spoke were sometimes divinely inspired.

These days I think that prophecy is probably best expressed in the context everyday life. The verse indicates that we should "speak what God has revealed" to us. I love that! God has revealed many things to us. In our conversations with friends we can share those revelations with them.

In reality, prophecy is not something that is revealed to our brain but to our new heart. Our new, born again, heart is prophetic. When we speak from the new heart we are communicating prophetically. So the issue for us becomes disciplining ourselves to speak from our prophetic heart.

Help me Lord to nourish and exercise my heart that it will become strong.


... this devotion is part of a series from the book of Revelation

my new heart gave me a new perspective


The people who survived these plagues still did not turn to me ... [Revelation 9:20 GW]

Trials, troubles and suffering are an odd phenomenon. For some they cause a turning to God. For others they have the opposite effect. I can relate to both. Here is a bit of my story.

I was 22 and newly married when my young wife went blind. She was blind for over three years. Though I was raised in the church, I really do not ever remember turning to God in prayer. Instead I turned to booze. It helped to numb the pain and the disappointment of Ellen's blindness.

Three years later God came into Ellen's life and healed one of her eyes. Our lives began to dramatically change with the return of her eyesight. My life changed the following year as I submitted my life to Jesus. As I turned to God I began to get a new perspective on past pains.

Fast forward fourteen years. Ellen had heart and kidney failure that took her life four years later. During that time, and in the years since, I have found it so helpful to turn to God. To release my pain to him. To cast my cares towards him in prayer. My new heart gave me a new perspective.

Open the eyes of our hearts Lord that we might turn to you when things go wrong.


... this devotion is part of a series from the book of Revelation