Sunday, August 3, 2014

DAY 803 - Before The Dawn Comes (請按此處收聼廣東話Cantonese podcast click here)

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                               Today's Reading: Revelation 6:1-8

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Please click this link to read Revelation 6:1-8

Bible Study

     After the glorious scene of worshipping Jesus, praising and praying, suddenly it turns to the dark pictures of the four horsemen. What does that mean? 

Let's take a look at what Bishop N.T. Wright says ( ) :
     These four are the basic ills which humans inflict upon one another.  They charge off around the world, and must be allowed to do this in order that the saving message of the scroll can have its full effect…For too long, over the last century at least, mainline Western churches have healed the wounds of the human race lightly, declaring 'peace, peace' when there is no peace except at the superficial level.  We have been unwilling to look below the surface and see the dark forces at work.  But if God's new creation is to be brought to birth, the deepest ills of the old one must be exposed, allowed to come out, and be dealt with
     Obviously the four horsemen, and their riders, are symbols.  John does not expect that his readers will shortly look out of the window and see these sinister characters riding by on the streets of Ephesus or Smyrna.  But the sequence, too, is symbolic.  John does not suppose that conquest is followed by violence, violence by economic disaster, and economic disaster by widespread death.  They are connected, but not so tidily. 

N.T. Wright. Revelation for Everyone. Louisville,KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011, p.62.

      We may never be able to understand the symbolic meaning of these four horsemen. What have you got from this kind of dark time in human history? What has that to do with you?    

Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe":

Spiritual Journal

    The title I heard from Jesus today is: Before the dawn comes

    What I got from Jesus today is a comfort and assurance for us to understand and to accept the coming of world-wide disaster. Some people fit in some historical tragedy like the black death, the killing that Adolf Hitler and Stalin brought to this world and more guessing. The point is, we do not have to understand, we just have to be prepared. God allows those disasters to happen because the final healing and victory is coming. As it is in the old saying, "The darkest hour is before the coming of dawn." 

     To talk about preparing for those hours to come is easy. But, to be able to go through those sufferings when that kind of disaster comes is another matter. Jesus is reminding me now that the only way is to turn to Jesus, trust Him totally and allow Him to lead you to get through those valley of death. 

     Are you prepared? Are you ready?  
Dear Lord Jesus,
Prepare us in your own way so that when those time comes we will not lose heart and be able to follow you each day but not drifting away or to live in fear each day. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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