Monday, July 26, 2010 Revelation 10
The purpose of this mighty angel is clear: to announce the final judgments on earth. What do you suppose his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land mean in contrast to the seal and trumpet judgments? What is the “mystery of God” (7; see also Romans 11:25-36, 16:25-27, and Ephesians 1:9-14)? John was stopped from revealing certain parts of his vision. Why? John is instructed to eat the scroll. It was sweet in his mouth, but bitter in his stomach. How has God’s word been both sweet and sour to you in your life?
Tuesday, July 27, 2010 Revelation 11
What is John commanded to do in this passage? Why? Who will be measured, or protected, and why? What do the two indestructible witnesses represent? The beast from the pit makes war on the witnesses and kills them (7), but they are resurrected. What results from their death and their resurrection? What do you learn from this passage about being a witness? What part of living out your faith and witnessing to others has been toughest for you? Why? The seventh trumpet reveals that the kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord. What does that tell you about God’s power? Verses 15-18 tell us of God’s sovereignty. God will judge evil, reward faithfulness, and rule forever. Does this bring you hope or fear in your life right now?
Wednesday, July 28, 2010 Revelation 12
Some scholars believe that the woman represents God’s faithful believers who have been awaiting the arrival of the Messiah, and the crown of 12 stars represents the 12 tribes of Israel, the nation that gave birth to the Messiah. The large red dragon has been interpreted as Satan, and the stars that fell to earth have been interpreted as the angels who fell with Satan. What do you learn here about conflict between the Christian church and demonic evil? When has Satan seemed very real to you? How do you overcome the powers of evil (12:11)? What do you need to become stronger for spiritual battle? (Also see Ephesians 6:11). We need not fear if we truly serve God, who alone brings us victory (Romans 8:34-39). Spend some time in prayer.
Thursday, July 29, 2010 Revelation 13
Chapter 13 introduces us to two evil accomplices of Satan: the beast of the sea (1) and the beast of the earth (11). What is the source of power for these two beasts? “The whole earth” worships the beasts. What impact do each of these beasts have on Christians? How should they respond? Why? How are true government and true religion connected by these two beasts? What are some of the “beasts,” or idols, in your life? What tests your allegiance to God? How do we recognize false prophets? Pray that God would give you wisdom and discernment in these matters.
Friday, July 30, 2010 Revelation 14
Following chapters 12 and 13, what comfort do you find in verses 1-5? What do the sights, sounds and emotions in these verses make you feel? Who is the Lamb, and who are the people following him? What is the essence of the eternal gospel proclaimed by the angel? What response is called for? By contrast, what message does the angel of doom spread (8)? Verses 14-16 present an image of judgment. Christ is separating the faithful from the unfaithful, just like a farmer harvesting his crops. This is a time of joy for Christians; it tells us that Christians should not fear the last judgment. Are you awaiting or fearing Christ’s return? Why? This is the day to be sure your values are right in line with God’s values. Decide today to produce fruit that will last forever.
Saturday, July 31, 2010 Revelation 15
The seven last plagues are also called the seven bowl judgments. Why does John say these are the last plagues? Compare Moses’ song of deliverance from Egypt (Exodus 15: 1-18) with the song sung by those delivered from the beast (3-4). In verse 8, John sees the temple filled with the power and the glory of God. How does this passage make you feel? What mighty and great deeds has God done in your life for which you desire to praise him and thank him? Spend some time doing just that.
Sunday, August 1, 2010 Psalm 49
This psalm reminds us of the futility of worldliness: riches, pride, fame. You cannot take your possessions with you when you die, and they cannot buy you forgiveness. This psalm is echoed in Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 6:25-34. How do both teachings challenge your current lifestyle and your priorities? How can you avoid being like the “beasts?”