Worthy to be praised.
Read along with me in Revelation chapter 5.
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Do I pray when I don’t need Him?
(Quick story to preface this chapter. Though it may seem off-topic, it will come together.) I’m sitting in the kitchen this morning staring at the new cabinets I just put in and feeling thankful. I’m thankful for more than just new cabinets because to be honest they are not new, just new to me. Thankful that I have a counter space again when in reality what I have is an old workbench from someone’s garage with paper shelving liner across the top to make for a clean and somewhat smooth space. I’m thankful for a place to sit, I’m thankful for a little bit more organization, and I’m thankful for a place to put all of the many pill bottles that one’s covered every inch of usable space in this half-garage-half-kitchen-with-no-sink.
As I look to my left at the messy garage that doubles as my cooking space, you may wonder why I’m thankful. Ive spent the past two years cooking every meal on a hot plate in this garage and carrying all my dishes upstairs to someone else's kitchen to do the dishes. I’m sure there are many others who would be happy with and thankful for much less. For those of us who grew up spoiled by every day conveniences, we may not think about those who pray daily for them. When we sleep on our comfy beds we forget about those who sleep on the floor. When we watch our favorite TV shows we forget about those who have no power, no homes, and no food. In fact, many of us may even forget to pray when life seems to be going well. It has become a common problem among believers that those who are struggling the most in life are the closest to God. Maybe that’s because when our lives are falling apart we feel we need Him more. The truth is, little sparrows, we need him every minute of every day no matter the situation. When there is food on the table, we need Him just as much as when there’s none. When there’s heat coming from the stove, when there’s health in our families lives, when there’s money in the bank, we still need Him! It’s in those times we should remember to pray thanksgiving for those #blessings. It’s in those times we should remember the sacrifice Jesus made to save us from ourselves and our selfish desires.
If you find yourself climbing out of one of those deep muddy holes that seem to show up in the middle of your path without warning, be thankful that the worst is behind you. Do not focus on what other problems lie ahead but praise him for bringing you out of those trials. Be thankful for the mud that sticks to your boots because it’s that dirt, those stains, they are reminders that we need Him EVERYDAY, not just on the bad ones!
“And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.” And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.”
Now that may seem like a long way off track from this chapter, but as you remember the point of this blog is to get you thinking about every day application of the Scriptures. Chapter 5 of revelation focuses on the worthiness of Christ. When John is filled with sorrow over the lack of worthy persons to open the scroll, Jesus enters described as a lamb “as though it had been slain.“ He is the only one #worthy to open the scroll because He is God, and because of His sacrifice for our sin. No sacrifice would have been enough to atone for sin unless it were perfect and the only perfect being is God. As our Savior, he has redeemed us. He is our protector. When we pray He is our mediator. When we stand before God one day He will be there to claim us as His children.
“Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.””
In verse eight, those who are present in heaven fell down before the lamb and saying to him. It says that each of the twenty-four elders was holding “a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the Saints.” Do you see how important our prayers are? We were created for fellowship with God. He desires our conversation and He deserves our praise.
“Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!””
“Blessing and honor and glory and power be to him who sits on the throne, and to the lamb, forever and ever!“ Notice that the previous verse mentions "creatures in heaven, on the earth, under the earth, and in the sea." It is clear that we were all created with the knowledge of God and one day everything living creature will acknowledge Him as God, even those who deny His existence.
“Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.”
It is my prayer today, little sparrows, that we will always remember to praise him for the blessings in our lives no matter how small. When times are good, when life is full, remember to thank him for those good moments. When life is hard, when the things we love and enjoy disappear or threatened, praise him for the good times that have past and look ahead for what new blessings might be in your path. today you may be thankful for a brand-new car to get you to do your great new job. Tomorrow you may be thankful for a piece of bread to get you through the day. Last always keep perspective on #Thanksgiving remember it isn’t the size of the blessing that matters, it’s remembering that we are blessed by Him in that we are saved. He cares about us, and He will care for us. It may not always be in the way that we want but he is there.
Have a blessed day, little sparrows!