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These Are They

Daily Reading: Revelation 6-7


Scripture Focus: These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7.14)


Devotional Thought: I was amused by Nike's recent ad for the opening game of the NFL season - and the backlash - that featured Colin Kaepernick saying, "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything." Most of the backlash, was actually wondering just what Kaepernick had sacrificed, in his much-publicized kneeling for the National Anthem. (I guess every person's sacrifice is costly to him/herself in ways immeasurable by others.)


That, along with today's scripture, got me to thinking, "What am I sacrificing for Jesus?"


In Revelation, John saw "a great multitude that no one could number ... crying out with a loud voice, 'Salvation belongs to our God!'" John was amazed at the multitude's vociferous praise. His question, "Who are these people?” was answered by an angel: "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation."


The passage seems to indicate that all those who have been blood-washed have come "out of the great tribulation." I wonder how we live up to that description. Again, "What am I sacrificing for Jesus?"


Jesus said that since he was ridiculed, his followers would be ridiculed too; since he was misunderstood, his followers would be misunderstood too; since he was persecuted, his followers would be persecuted too; since he was rejected, his followers would be rejected, too. The student is not above the teacher.


But, we want to make Christianity a means to peace, prosperity, and popularity. Paul's sentiment that he "filled up in his body that which was lacking in the sufferings of Christ" is foreign to us. We don't want to have anything to do with tribulation, with suffering, with sacrifice. Or, we make our inconveniences seem like great sacrifices.


Are you coming out of great tribulation? Again, "What am I sacrificing for Jesus?"


Prayer: Lord, thank you for sacrificing everything for me. Help me to believe in you, even if it means sacrificing everything for you. My desire is to be completely yours, no matter what the cost. Amen.


Psalm of the Day: Psalm 107.33-38

33 He turns rivers into a desert,

springs of water into thirsty ground,

34 a fruitful land into a salty waste,

because of the evil of its inhabitants.

35 He turns a desert into pools of water,

a parched land into springs of water.

36 And there he lets the hungry dwell,

and they establish a city to live in;

37 they sow fields and plant vineyards

and get a fruitful yield.

38 By his blessing they multiply greatly,

and he does not let their livestock diminish.

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