I was absolutely delighted when I saw that Eugene Peterson had written a new book with the Revelation as its theme. I have long respected this incredible servant of God and have used his transliteration of the Word, The Message, as a resource for both teaching and understanding the Bible. This Hallelujah Banquet is a collection of some of his former sermons and messages that address the behavior of the 7 churches and the invitation to the Hallelujah Banquet. The book is both purposeful and powerful. It gives additional insight into the last days at a time when it is truly needed.
Here are a few take-aways and quotes. (EP in parenthesis and dark print denotes a direct quote from the book.)
The Church in Ephesus – If we do not love, (Which is what human beings do best.) then nothing else we do is adequate to replace it. “For love is not what we do after we get the other things done, if we have any energy left over. Love is what we do, period.” (EP)
The Church in Smyrna – We must get over the “I” disease. One of the worst effects of suffering is the sense of isolation that it brings. We feel that in our pain we are cut off from God and from all friends. (EP)
The Church in Pergamum – Truth is more than telling it. It’s all about living it! Christ is our comprehensive, personal truth to be expressed in gestures, actions, and conversations when no one is watching. (EP)
The Church in Thyatira – We (and they) live in a Jezebel culture. Success is totally separated from God at all cost! While many believers seem to want to retreat from society, there is no way to be a Christian except in the world. (EP)
The Church in Sardis – Playing spills out when we are being ourselves. Praying spills out when we are being more than ourselves. (EP)
The Church in Philadelphia – We must stand up to the lies, indifference and evil that is all around us, always taking God’s side in our lives! He gives us the best He has. He also gets the best out of us. He saves us. He also sends us. He cares for us, but He also challenges us. (EP)
The Church in Laodicea – We live in a lukewarm culture. We have so much that we cannot see everything around us (jobs, stuff, successes, families) has taken over what God has done and is doing for us. We are more influenced by the culture than the Cross. Luke-warmness is a human trait. It happens when prosperity takes over life. (EP)
One final quote and something to think on:
If you want to swear, you have to learn a new word in every language. If you want to say, “Praise God,” one word will do that all over the world: hallelujah. (EP)
This book was filled with new revelations. (A bit of a word play, if you don’t mind.) I highly recommend it. It will be available for purchase on January 26, 2021. You can pre-order it here.
Blessings to you and yours!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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For the very glory You have given to Me I have given them so that they will be joined together as one and experience the same unity that we enjoy. You live fully in Me and now I live fully in them so that they will experience perfect unity, and the world will be convinced that You have sent Me, for they will see that You love each one of them with the same passionate love that you have for Me. John 17:22-23 TPT
I have given them the glory that you gave Me, that they be one as We are one – – I in them and You in Me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me. John 17:22-23 NIV
I read these words and thought of how divided this world is and that it does not need to be so. There are some very powerful truths in God’s Word. If we are claiming to be God’s children then every verse, every word, every breath, of the Bible is ours to claim. With that thought in mind take a look at what He’s given us:
- Jesus gives us God’s Glory! Wow! Phill Tripp says this about God’s Glory – the glory of God isn’t defined in his Word; no, his glory is so grand that it splashes across every page of his book. And, the doctrine of God’s glory encompasses the greatness, beauty, and perfection of all that he is.
- We are one (unified) because of His glory in us.
- Jesus was talking about the rift between the Jews and His followers. He came to seek and save the lost no matter what their denomination.
- Jesus wants us to know how much we are loved by showing us that the relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is ours.
We are unified because Christ lives in us. That ‘connection’ is unbreakable when we ask forgiveness for our sins and believe that Jesus is the One and Only Son of God and our personal Savior.
Click on the picture at the lift and worship with me. Oh, the Glory of His Presence.
Blessings to you and yours!
All scripture used in this post is connected to Bible Gateway.
The picture at the top is God’s Glory written in Arabic script.
- God does not want us to be timid or cowardly. He does not want us to fear. In fact, He will never, get that, never, give us a fear-filled spirit. Did you know He says don’t fear 365 times in the NIV translation? That’s one for every day of the year. I think if we look at other ways to say it the number is probably much higher.
- God gives us His power, His love, and His mind. When we are given a precious gift aren’t we expected to use it?
- As a child of God, we have His power within us because the Holy Spirit lives in us. With this incredible power, we can overcome anything the evil one throws at us.
- We are given the love of Jesus at the moment of our salvation. We are not to keep it hidden but we are to share it, live it, model it, and give it constantly.
- Sound judgment is transliterated in the Amplified Bible as a calm and well-balanced mind with discipline and self-control. So if I have been given sound judgment then when I must judge God has created my mind to have all these characteristics. So, then, I can be totally assured I am acting and reacting in the way God wants.
One of the verses I memorized many years ago, during a time of extreme stress was Isaiah 54:17. God has given us His power, His love, and sound judgment so that every weapon and every word that the evil one wants to use against us is blocked. Our God is certainly an Awesome God.
Blessings to you and yours!
As he entered one village, ten men approached Him, but they kept their distance, for they were lepers. They shouted to Him, “Mighty Lord, our wonderful Master! Won’t You have mercy on us and heal us?”
When Jesus stopped to look at them, He spoke these words: “Go to be examined by the Jewish priests.”
They set off, and they were healed while walking along the way. One of them, when he discovered that he was completely healed, turned back to find Jesus, shouting out joyous praises and glorifying God. Luke 17:12-15 TPT
Don’t you love it when the Word speaks a message into your heart that wasn’t there before? Well, that’s exactly what happened to me when I was reading the Bible this morning. Let’s look at this a little more closely.
- There was probably nothing worse to a Jew in the 1st Century than to be both a Samaritan and a leper. Why? You were held in contempt because of past history and the disease. (Samaritans are the result of the marriages between the invading Assyrians and Jewish women.)
- Even though 10 wanted Jesus’ healing only 9 could complete what Jesus told them to do. The Samaritan could not and probably would not go to ‘be examined by the Jewish priests’.
- The lepers obeyed immediately and set off for the Temple. Interestingly, they were healed along the way. Is it because of their willingness to follow Jesus’ command right away that they were healed along the way?
- Most, if not all, of Jesus’ healings to this point had been in the moment. This healing miracle required action before it could be accomplished. Whether immediate or future when Jesus calls/commands we must act immediately.
- The Samaritan was the only one who returned to praise and thank Jesus. He certainly received the greater reward.
Blessings to you and yours!
All quoted scripture passages are from Bible Gateway.