Devotions 2015

Revelation 19-22

December 6, 2016

Devotions 2015, Devotions December|

What does it say?

Revelation 19 is a glorious vision of the Second Coming of Christ accompanied by the church, symbolized here as his bride. The Antichrist and False Prophet are cast into a place of judgment called a lake of fire. The devil himself is bound in a place called the bottomless pit to be […]

Revelation 12-18

Devotions 2015, Devotions December|

What does it say?

John sees a vision of woman that gives birth to a child, is attacked by Devil and involved in a cosmic struggle that ends with the ultimate defeat of the Devil (Rev 12). A beast (living creature) appears from the sea that is a composite of the creatures representing Gentile world powers […]

Revelation 6-11

Devotions 2015, Devotions December|

What does it say?

John sees the Lamb open the seven-sealed scroll, unleashing a series of disasters, including conquest, war, famine, disease and the martyrdom of believers (6:1-11). The sixth seal brings a vision of the final Day of Judgment and the end of the world as we now know (6:11-17). Before the seventh seal is […]

Revelation 1-5

Devotions 2015, Devotions December|

What does it say?

Exiled on the island of Patmos, the Apostle John writes the Revelation of Jesus Christ between 90 and 95 AD. John receives this revelation through angelic mediation in a series of visions. John describes his vision of the resurrected Christ in a scene filled with symbolism (Rev 1). The second and third […]

2 and 3 John

Devotions 2015, Devotions December|

What does it say?

These two final letters of John reflect the same style and theme of his first epistle, our need to love God and each other. John is still an elder of the church in Ephesus and the lady to whom he writes is probably an idiomatic way to address another local church. If […]

1 John

Devotions 2015, Devotions December|

What does it say?

John’s first epistle focuses on God’s love and our need to reflect that love. John is both tender and strong as he writes to his children in the faith. He is probably the only of the original twelve apostles still alive at this time.

John contends that God is light and sent his […]

2 Peter, Jude

Devotions December|

What does it say?

Just as Paul’s second letter to Timothy represents his final instructions, 2 Peter is the last we hear from Peter, probably written shortly before his execution. There are many similarities between 2 Timothy and 2 Peter, and there are also many similarities between 2 Peter and the tiny epistle of Jude.

Peter opens […]

2 Timothy

Devotions 2015, Devotions December|

What does it say?

2 Timothy is the last and most intensely personal of Paul’s letters. Paul is a prisoner in Rome for the second time and knows that he will shortly be executed. It is probably the fall of 67 AD as he reaches out one final time to Timothy, his son in ministry, who […]

Heb 11-13

December 23, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

Hebrews 11 highlights the importance of faith. Without faith one cannot please God. The author of Hebrews gives a classic list of Old Testament figures that represent the essence of what it means to have faith. These faithful believers who have gone before us should stimulate us to […]

Heb 7-10

December 22, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

Hebrews 7 returns to expand upon the theme of Jesus as the High Priest and superior to the Levitical priesthood. The New Testament that God promised to the prophets has now been fulfilled in Christ, the Great High Priest and a the true tabernacle in the heavens, not […]

Heb 1-6

December 21, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

We don’t know who wrote Hebrews, though theories abound. More of a treatise than a letter, it’s clear that the author is a master of the Old Testament and probably writing primarily to other believers from a Jewish background before the temple is destroyed in 70 AD.

1 Peter

December 20, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

Tradition says that Peter is killed in Rome during the wave of persecution that began in 64 AD. Peter probably writes this letter from Rome not long after this persecution begins. The recipients are believers scattered in five Roman provinces in what is now Turkey.

Peter […]

Titus

December 19, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

Though not mentioned by name in Acts, Titus plays a key role on Paul’s missionary team. A Gentile, Titus is Paul’s disciple before Timothy. Paul uses him in the Jerusalem meeting (Acts 15) as an example of Gentiles coming to Christ. Just as Paul left Timothy in Ephesus, […]

1 Tim

December 18, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

1 and 2 Timothy along with Titus are often called the Pastoral Epistles due to the intensely personal relationship Paul has as mentor and colleague to both men and the practical nature of instruction. They are written late in his life. Paul is ministering in Greece and Asia […]

Philippians

December 17, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

Paul begins the Philippian church during his second missionary journey in 50 AD. He writes this letter as a prisoner in Rome probably between 61 and 63 AD.

Paul opens this brief letter with personal greetings and prayer for the church (1:1-12). The apostle updates the Philippians about […]

Ephesians

December 16, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

We learned a bit about the background of Ephesians in yesterday’s reading of Colossians and Philemon, companion books to Ephesians. An unusual feature of Ephesians is that it does not begin and end with the usual personal greetings. Only at the end does Paul mention that he is […]

Colossians, Philemon

December 15, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

Some 100 miles east of Ephesus and 11 miles from Laodicea (mentioned in Rev 3), Colossae is a small town in modern southwestern Turkey. There is no evidence Paul ever visited this city, but having spent considerable time in Ephesus, the Colossian church is fruit of the Gospel […]

Acts 27-28

December 14, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

Paul has long wanted to go to Rome, but he certainly never imagined his journey to be under these circumstances (Acts 27). Paul and other prisoners are charged to a centurion named Julius for the journey to Rome over the Mediterranean Sea. This trip begins in the fall […]

Acts 24-26

December 13, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

With Paul in Roman custody in Caesarea, the Jews send Tertulus to accuse him before the governor Felix (Acts 24). Paul gives his defense to Felix, who is waiting for a bribe to release Paul that never comes. Not wanting to antagonize the Jews, Felix keeps Paul under […]

Acts 20-23

December 12, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

Following the uproar in Ephesus, Paul begins a circuitous journey to Jerusalem that will ultimately end in Rome (Acts 20). From Miletus Paul sends for the leaders of the Ephesian church and pours out his heart to them in the only recorded message of Paul exclusively to believers. […]