Daily Devotions: December 31, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Revelation chapter 22

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

Jesus said, “Behold, I am coming soon.” The book of Revelation closes with a promise that Jesus is coming again. The return of Christ should motivate us to be faithful to the Lord. It should also motivate us to tell others about Christ and how they can be saved. In the second coming there is a promise of heaven. Knowing that we are going to live in heaven someday ought to make a difference in our lives today. The thought of heaven invokes in us a greater ambition for purity. It invokes an attitude of endurance knowing that one day our struggle with sin will be over. The second coming should inspire God’s church to a greater commitment to missions and evangelism. God knows of our suffering, service, and sacrifice. Whatever we do for the Lord will not be in vain. God will richly reward our labor. The Revelation not only concludes with a promise, but also it closes with an invitation. Verse 17 says, “Let him who is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” The great invitation Jesus gave was, “Come unto Me.” He invites sinners to come and have their sins forgiven, burdens lifted, and their tired souls rested. He says, “Surely I come quickly.” And the church says, “Amen. Even so, Come, Lord Jesus.”

Prayer: “Precious Lord Jesus, we are looking and praying for Your return. May the truth of heaven and Your return motivate Your church to a greater commitment to missions and evangelism. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions: December 30, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Revelation chapter 21

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

Jesus said, “Behold, I make all things new.” God has promised to create a new heaven and a new earth. Old things will pass away. There will be no more sorrow. All tears shall be wiped away. There will be no more sickness. All disease and death will be no more. There will be no more sadness. All these things will be gone forever. There will be no more sin. Everything is made new! Those who are saved will live in a new and glorified state in this new creation forever. There will be a new city. It is the holy city, New Jerusalem the city of God descending out of heaven. Warren Wiersbe writes of this city, “The eternal city is not only the home of the bride; it is the bride! A city is not buildings; it is people.” The city of God is a perfect city. Unlike the major cities of this world the city of God is a holy place. It is also the dwelling place of God. In the Old Testament God dwelt in the Temple. In the New Testament God dwells in His church. In eternity God will dwell with His people in the holy city. The heavenly city is a real place, just as real as where you live. It is a prepared place for a prepared people. The most pertinent question ever asked is, “Do you know for certain that when you die you will go to heaven?”

Prayer: “Lord Jesus, we long for the day when the heavenly city shall come down out of heaven adorned as the bride of Christ, and You make all things new. For the glory of Jesus we pray. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions: December 29, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Revelation chapter 20

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

In the the Model Prayer we pray, “Thy kingdom come.” Jesus is going to return to earth and reign for one thousand years. Satan will be bound for one thousand years and confined to the bottomless pit. At the end of Christ’s millennial reign Satan will be loosed for a short period. At this time the devil will lead one final revolt against God. This final battle will be brief and Satan will be cast into the eternal lake of fire. After this John saw the Great White Throne Judgment where all of lost humanity will stand before God. Only unbelievers will be at this judgment. Anyone whose name is not found in the Book of Life will be thrown into the eternal lake of fire. This is the second death. God is Holy and just and He must punish sin. He is also loving and merciful and is willing to forgive. Jesus Christ took our punishment on the cross so that we would not have to spend eternity separated from God in hell. If we repent of sin and place our trust in Christ we are saved and our names are written in the Lambs Book of Life!

Prayer: “Lord Jesus, we praise You that You are holy and just and that the devil will one day be thrown into the eternal lake of fire. We praise You that You are merciful and willing to save sinners. As we ponder on the truth of the reality of hell may we become more fervent in missions and evangelism. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions: December 25, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Revelation chapter 18

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

Babylon represents the world system of the beast in the end times. It is the political and economic influence of Satan’s future empire and of those who reject Jesus Christ. Those who do not know the Lord in this future world system will seek to satisfy their desires in it. “But worldly things never permanently satisfy or last.” (Warren Wiersbe) The love of worldly things is a form of idolatry, a terrible sin that leads to much misery. Paul instructed Timothy, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” (1 Timothy 6:6-11). The book of Revelation shows us the future state of those who love pleasures and possessions, and certainly helps us put Christmas in its proper perspective. The absolute greatest gift any of us could possibly receive is to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Without Christ there is no Christmas.

Prayer: “Dear Father, we rejoice that You are in control and that You will overthrow all evil. We thank You for the victory we have today through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions: December 26. 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Revelation chapter 19

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

The problem of sin that began in the garden of Eden is growing and progressing until it finally culminates in total war against God. God in His sovereignty permits humans and demons to do evil until finally when sin is at its worse God will defeat His enemies. Jesus Christ is Lord of lords and King of kings. He will conquer Satan’s world system and the nations that rise up against God. God’s will on earth will be done as it is in heaven, and Jesus Christ will reign upon the earth. Heaven will celebrate in songs of praise to God. The great Conqueror Jesus Christ will rule! We can join in the heavenly song by praising the righteous Judge for His great power and justice. As one songwriter put it, “I’ve read the back of the book and we win.” We may lose a few skirmishes along the way, but Jesus has already won the war! Make sure that you are on the winning team.

Prayer: “Dear God, we praise You that You conquer every enemy, that You are Just and Holy and that Your judgement is pure. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions: December 23, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Revelation chapter 16

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

Terrible judgements are coming to the earth. Seven angels will pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath leading up to the battle of Armageddon on that great judgment day. Awful diseases, contaminated water systems, an enormous hailstorm, and the worse earthquake the world has ever seen will befall those who dwell upon the earth. In these conditions one would think that people would turn to God, but it doesn’t happen. Though there are some who will be saved during the Great Tribulation, most will not. Repeatedly, we are told that they do not repent and turn to God and give Him glory. Instead, they curse God in their affliction. Why is it that many people live without God in their life and love sin? These people fail to see that the One who made them is also the One who loves them. He has given us His Son Jesus Christ, born in a lowly manger and who was willing to take the punishment for our sins. God’s wrath was poured out upon Jesus Christ on the cross so that we could escape the coming wrath of God. When we place our faith in Christ we are instantaneously transformed into God’s dear children, and we never have to fear punishment for we are no longer under God’s wrath.

Prayer: “Dear Heavenly Father, we pray for the countless people in the world who don’t know Christ. Use us to share the love of Christ and may You bring someone into our path today. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions: December 22, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Revelation chapter 15

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

In their final state the Tribulation saints will celebrate victory over the beast. They will sing the song of Moses, a song that celebrates the exodus. The exodus is picture of Christ and typifies our spiritual deliverance through His blood. We are delivered from evil through Christ and we have complete victory through His death, burial, and resurrection. It is a great encouragement to us to see these future saints victorious over the beast and his system, for we too can overcome the world and Satan’s evil influence. We must look to the blood of the Lamb for deliverance. Jesus Christ was given to us by the Father so that we might love Him. We can join the heavenly singing and lift our hearts in praise to God. There will be lots of singing in heaven. God has put a song in our hearts and that song is Jesus!

Prayer: “Dear Father, we thank You for the victory we have in Jesus Christ, and for the song of celebration You have placed in our hearts. All glory, honor and praise be unto Jesus Christ forever. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions: December 19, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Revelation chapter 14

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

Revelation chapter 14 records John’s vision of the 144,000 singing before the throne of God. They are singing a new song. Their song is their testimony, and only the 144,000 can sing it. They share a unique experience during a unique period in history, and their song gives testimony to the faithfulness of God. It is good to know that what is sadness now will be gladness then. Our sorrows will become songs. We can sing in glory, but we can also sing now. God puts a song in our hearts. We sing our best to God when our songs are personal. When a song is true to our testimony it brings glory to God. Also, we sing our best to God when our hearts are pure. These redeemed saints are of a special kind, separated from all that is ungodly. They are morally upright and honest. They do not practice sexual sin nor do they engage in the telling of lies. They are a holy people. Let the church learn from these future saints. The 144,000 are passionate about sharing the Gospel.  Their one pursuit is following the Lamb of God. They are pure and set apart for the Lord. Finally, they are privileged to stand before the throne of God and sing for the glory of God.

Prayer: “Jesus, we come before Your Presence with singing. Fill our hearts with song. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions: December 18, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Revelation chapter 13

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

The unholy trinity Satan, the Antichrist, and the beast will be unleashed upon the earth during the Great Tribulation. God will permit the Antichrist  to oppress and make war against God’s people. The Tribulation saints will face persecution, arrest, and some will even face death. These saints will be faithful to Christ no matter what. They will refuse the mark of the beast and therefore will not be able to buy or sell. They will show great courage and faith in God in spite of persecution. Their testimony should inspire us. If these saints can be faithful to the Lord during the most difficult days on earth, then we too can be faithful in our situation. As we read Revelation and see it unfold before our eyes, we are comforted that God is on the throne. No matter what evil arises Jesus Christ is sovereign and He is working all things together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

Prayer: “Lord Jesus, let us be a light in a dark place. For Your glory. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions: December 16, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Revelation chapter 11

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

The Great Tribulation period will last seven years. It is divided into two- three and a half year periods. The seven year Tribulation period marks the most horrific time on earth. The second three and a half years will be worse than the first. The Jews will be under intense persecution. The Antichrist will be in full power. The world will be in utter chaos, the absolute worse it has ever been. It is then that God raises up the two witnesses. The two witnesses are two of the most powerful preachers who ever lived, who have been called by God during the darkest days on earth.  These two men have characteristics like that of Moses and Elijah. Whether it is actually Moses and Elijah or not these two men have been granted power to preach God’s message. They are invincible at first but when their mission is complete they will be killed by the beast. Their bodies will lie in the street for three days. The whole world will watch and even rejoice over the death of these two preachers. It will be a world so hostile to the Gospel that it hates and even rejoices at the death of God’s holy men. God vindicates His servants, as He always does, and He raises them from the dead. God’s swift hand of judgement will put a stop to hell celebrating the tragic death of these two preachers, and will result in many Jews getting saved and who will give glory to the God of heaven!

Prayer: “Dear Father in heaven, thank You for the two witnesses You will raise up during the Tribulation, may You raise us up today to be faithful witness for You. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron