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Lent 2016 Devotional—Ash Wednesday

Lent 2016 Devotional—Ash Wednesday

WORSHIP SONG ONE

Cover of Lent 2015 Devotional Book from Water from RockRevelation 1:5b-7

To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Look! He is coming with the clouds;
every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail.
So it is to be.
Amen.

ASH WEDNESDAY

See the bottom of this post for how to use this daily devotional

PRAY

READ ALOUD Revelation 1:5b-7 (above)

REFLECT

The apostle John can’t contain himself! He’s got to worship God! He is just beginning to write The Revelation and he bursts into song: “To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood…” Though John is a prisoner on a remote desert island we find him singing! We find him worshipping!

With the repetition of “us” in John’s song we today are included in the victory song of God’s people: Jesus loves “us”, freed “us”, and made “us” to be “a kingdom, priests serving His God and Father”. All that Jesus has accomplished, He has accomplished for “us”. He has made us “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). We are the beneficiaries of Christ’s life, death, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of the Father in glory.

Banished to the Island of Patmos, John is enthralled by the Savior “who loves us.” Note here the present tense of Jesus’ love: he “loves us” right now, in this moment! Yes, Jesus has loved us from eternity past, with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). He set His heart on us and loved us before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). On Calvary’s cross He “loved us and gave himself for us” (Galatians 2:20). But John sings of the Savior’s love for us right now, right where we are.

Brennan Manning is a Christian writer who has struggled with alcoholism, guilt, doubt and heartbreak. Yet, transformed by Jesus’ love, Manning writes: “Once you come to know the love of Jesus Christ, nothing else in the world will seem as beautiful and desirable.” (Abba’s Child) It is little wonder that the apostle Paul prayed for all believers to know the riches of “the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19). We can be assured that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

Karl Barth was one of the most brilliant figures of the twentieth century; he was even featured on the cover of Time magazine. His Church Dogmatics took more than 30 years to complete and is more than six million words long. It is reported that during a lecture tour of the United States in 1962 Barth was asked if he could summarize in a few words his life’s work in theology. Barth thought for a moment and said: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

In addition to writing the book of The Revelation, the apostle John also wrote the fourth Gospel bearing his name. In that Gospel John only refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 19:26; 21:7). What an incredible identity Jesus gave to John and Jesus gives to us. We are the ones Jesus loves right now, and right here. “To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

READ ALOUD Revelation 1:5b-7

WORSHIP

HOW TO USE THIS DAILY DEVOTIONAL

This daily Lenten devotional takes up eight songs of worship from The Revelation. It is significant that this is the only book in the Bible promising a blessing on those who read it, specifically: “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy” (Revelation 1:3 NRSV). Each section of this devotional presents a song for your audible reading, reflection and worship. Each day you will:

  • PRAY asking God to bless this time you devote to Him
  • READ ALOUD the worship song and text for the day
  • REFLECT on the daily reading
  • READ ALOUD again the worship song and text for the day
  • WORSHIP God each day in a way that is meaningful for you. The way in which you worship might vary day to day. Depending on the day, you might choose to talk with God about what you are thinking and feeling about the song, or meditate on the worship song, or intercede for others, or sing, or be silent before God. Ask God to guide you.

We pray that God use these worship songs of The Revelation to reveal His glory to you and bless you as you center your life in Him.

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