The Power of Love

OPENING PRAYER

Majestic Lord, coming King, turn our heart to You without compromise.

 

Read: REVELATION 11:1-14

[1] I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers.  [2] But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months.  [3] And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”  [4] They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.”  [5] If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die.  [6] They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.  [7] Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.  [8] Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city-which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt-where also their Lord was crucified.  [9] For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial.  [10] The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.  [11] But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them.  [12] Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.  [13] At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.  [14] The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon.

 

Reflect: HOW DOES GOD BACK THE WORDS OF THESE PROPHETS?

Yesterday we saw that we were contracted, so to speak, to witness to our faith. Today these two prophets are given authority to speak, and through their words God’s power will bring change and renewal to others (6). We too will know the protection of God (5), like a ring of steel around us. But at a deeper level there will be suffering as we take upon ourselves the pattern and example of Jesus (7–10). We must expect wounds, for we follow a wounded Lord. The suffering is external. For many, it will bring wounded pride, discrimination and ridicule; for others, physical persecution. Yet whatever comes upon us, inside all is secure (Matt. 10:28). It is all worth it because in the purposes of God many will be brought to repentance and faith. John’s symbolic arithmetic (13) inverts Elijah’s story of 7,000 spared, a tiny remnant (1 Kings 19:18). Here 7,000 die, and the faithful majority are spared. The local church is the hope of the world. We could wish, of course, that none would die. God wishes the same (1 Tim. 2:4)! But our freedom to resist is another of his mysteries.

 

APPLY

Dare to believe that your words of witness can bring real change to someone else’s life.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Father, help us to see that You are more than we can begin to imagine.

 

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