Two Minutes in the Bible through Revelation


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Grace and Peace

Grace and peace to you… from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

Grace and peace are gifts from God that every human heart craves. Grace for sustaining strength during sickness and peace in the process. Grace for continued forgiveness in a challenging relationship and peace that produces patience. Grace for ongoing gratitude and peace when things don’t go our way. Grace for generous giving and peace in God’s faithful provision. A heart governed by grace and peace is a heart filled with the Lord’s love. Grace and peace come from Jesus.

John is secluded in exile, and his Lord had ascended to heaven decades earlier. Yet in some ways, John sees Jesus more clearly in this vision than he did when they were together. Jesus Christ is the faithful witness who gives His children grace and peace. How? In His words and His actions, Jesus revealed who God is—the loving heavenly Father. Jesus’s sonship gave His story veracity, so He stated the facts with humble authority. Jesus testifies to truth, and His reassuring words extend grace and peace.

“The reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (John 18:37).

Grace and peace come to those who believe Jesus is the firstborn from the dead. Others, like Lazarus, died and were brought back to life, but they died again. Jesus Christ is the only one whose body was transformed in resurrection power, never to experience death again. Faith in the resurrection is essential if we are to receive the Lord’s grace and peace. We cannot remove the supernatural from Jesus and just keep the natural. Trust in Christ’s resurrection is the key that unlocks the treasure chest of riches found in His grace and peace. Those who would embrace Jesus must embrace His miracles. These hugs from heaven warm our hearts by His loving care.

Tranquility comes to hearts that trust in Christ as their Lord. Crown Him conqueror over death, and you will enjoy His grace and peace while dying. Crown Him Lord over fear, and you will receive His grace and peace while afraid. Crown Him all-wise King and learn how to make the best decisions. Crown Him Lord over sin and apply His grace and peace when in need of forgiveness. Whatever we face, Christ has already faced—and has overcome. Thus, we come to the One who is full of grace and peace!

“[To those] who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance” (1 Peter 1:2).

Whom or what do I need to entrust to Jesus? Have I received His grace and peace?

Related Readings
Psalm 89:27; Isaiah 55:4; Romans 1:7; 1 Timothy 6:15; 2 John 3

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible® through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Liberated by Love

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.

As a 19-year-old freshman in college, I was shackled by my sins. I felt chained to my past pain, held captive by my present guilt, and fearful of the future consequences of my misdeeds. Fortunately, I was introduced to the love of God by a godly family whose evangelism was love—love for each other and for me. They invited me to church, where I understood for the first time the seriousness of my sins and the abundance of God’s grace. I trusted in Jesus to save me.

The blood of Christ on the cross not only washes away the stain of our sins; it also breaks the bondage of sin’s control over our being. Our lustful thoughts become thoughts of true love. Our desire for more money transforms into quiet generosity. The Holy Spirit tames our angry outbursts into a spirit of gentle patience. Jesus loved us, loves us, and will love us. Our exalted Christ in heaven loves us now, just as He loved us when living as a humble servant on earth. Each nail driven into the cross resounded emancipation. His shed blood liberates us.

“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ… cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:14).

Are you held back by a besetting sin? If so, release it to the love of Jesus. His loving forgiveness will heal your malady and replace it with His righteous strength. Sin is an affront to Almighty God not only because of His holiness but also because of His great love. Rejecting divine love says the fleeting affections of one’s little idols are enough. Accepting divine love ensures we will always desire eternity’s embrace. Your compassionate Lord looks down in empathy and extends His love to you. Will you let go of your trinkets and trust Jesus? His love liberates.

Live in ongoing worshipful celebration of Christ’s love, as if you were in a postwar victory parade. Jesus has overcome sin, Satan, and death. We are more than conquerors because Jesus has conquered, is conquering, and will conqueror. He rode a lowly donkey on the road to forgiveness, but He will emerge from heaven mounted on a mighty stallion, ready to judge. The victorious love of Christ flows from hearts full of Him. Believe in and receive the love of Jesus.

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

What distorted love of mine needs Christ’s perfect love? What controlling sin do I need to be freed of?

Related Readings
Romans 5:8-9; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 1:7; 5:2; 1 Peter 1:18-20

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible® through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Kings and Priest

[He] has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

A humbling thought: By faith in Jesus, He makes us kings, queens, and priests. We are to reign with Him in His future kingdom, but also we reign with Christ now. We have dominion over ourselves and the world around us. When we bow to our Master Jesus, He empowers us to master the good and the bad in our lives. Jesus became the Son of Man so we could become sons and daughters of the Most High. Christ became like us so we could grow into His likeness.

What does it mean for us to have dominion over ourselves? We can overcome unrighteousness. We are no longer slaves to sin since our righteous Savior overcame death. We rule over sin because our Ruler won the fight against evil forces. When we live in defeat, we are like prisoners of war who remain in the enemy camp even though the prison doors are unlocked and wide open. Not only have we been set free from sin, self, and Satan; now we rule over them. We are royalty!

“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).

Why has Jesus made His followers priests? He made us priests because He was the great High Priest who sacrificed Himself for our sins (Hebrews 9:11-12). Our priesthood means we have direct access to our heavenly Father. We lift up our offerings of praise, thanksgiving, and repentance to Him. We bring our sacrifices to God since Christ sacrificed His life for us. Every follower of Jesus is a priest who daily surrenders and points people to Jesus. Priests mediate for God.

How can you use your royal priesthood for the advancement of God’s kingdom? Prayerfully develop your professional platform. Mold your culture after the gospel of Christ through excellent work, collaboration, and compassion. Maybe you engage insiders in the faith and outsiders in Bible study, prayer, or fun outings. It may mean becoming more involved in your children’s education to have increased influence over their spiritual and material roles in the world. Invite friends to church so they can learn how to have a friend in Jesus. A royal priesthood governs with grace.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).
How can I better govern my life for God? With whom can I share the gospel of Jesus?

Related Readings
Exodus 19:6; Isaiah 62:12; John 16:33; Colossians 1:12-14; Hebrews 4:14-16

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Tribulation in Christ

I, John, your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patient endurance which are in Jesus…

Followers of Jesus travel along paths of inevitable tribulation (trouble). As citizens of God’s kingdom, our life in Christ invites trials. Jesus is very clear: In Him we will suffer persecution. Those who embrace the world are not a threat to the world, but those who are ruled by Christ will rule with Christ—not just later, but now. Righteous rulers are cause for the unrighteous to be uncomfortable, and adversaries of Jesus seek to discredit His followers. Since Jesus suffered unjust accusations, we can expect the same. Tribulations test our faithfulness.

John writes as a fellow partaker of suffering for Christ’s sake. He had matured beyond his early days of seeking kingdom power for selfish motives, and after submitting to King Jesus, he had become a Spirit-filled servant of the Lord. Exiled by his persecutors to isolation and virtual martyrdom, he remained true to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Since by faith he sided with his Savior, John had all he needed. The best adversity is an adversity not wasted on fear.

“If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you” (1 Peter 4:14).

What blessings are behind your tribulation? Perhaps unfair allegations are drawing you closer to Christ. Persecution flushes out false faith and validates genuine trust in God. Because of your bold belief in Jesus, you may be labeled narrow-minded—even bigoted—but you know in your heart that God’s love motivates you. Integrity may cost you; if so, remain humble, knowing you suffer reproach for the sake of the gospel. Christ’s followers are partakers of Christ’s suffering. Blessings come when we suffer for His sake.
How can we patiently endure tribulation as active citizens in God’s kingdom? One way is to support fellow followers of Jesus who have been exiled for their faith. We can become a refuge of help, healing, and hope. Soldiers of the faith need our assistance when they are wounded by the world. During persecution we stay faithful to the Word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ—His death for our sin and His resurrection. Persecution is our chance as true believers to overcome untruths with our love.

“You will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering” (2 Thessalonians 1:5).
How can I patiently endure trials? Who is suffering persecution today, and how can I help that person?

Related Readings
John 15:21; Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 1:5; 1 Peter 5:1,10; Revelation 2:10

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible® through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Unified Around Jesus

I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man… the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
REVELATION 1:12-13,20

Our Christmas candlelight church service is a highlight of our year. Those who have come to faith in Christ over the past 12 months light their candles first. Brilliant lights, each reflecting the salvation of a once darkened soul, sets the worship center aglow. Joyful applause erupts celebrating the Light of Life giving eternal and abundant life to new babes in Christ. Worshipfully, the rest of us who follow Jesus quietly light our candles in honor of our Lord. Unified faith in Christ is a compelling testimony for Him.

The Romans exiled the apostle John to the island of Patmos because of his faith. Now, like Daniel, he has become a prophet. The Lord speaks to him through visions of what had been, what is now, and what is to come. It is sobering and encouraging to see Jesus Christ in all His glory and authority calling churches to be a unified light for Him. Jesus commissioned John to write these prophetic words on a scroll and to send them to the seven churches. John knew if the cross of Jesus was lifted up in our lives and in our churches, all humanity would be drawn to Him.

“When I am lifted up from the earth, then all of humanity will be drawn to Me” (John 12:32 VOICE).

The world is not moved by a church that looks like the world. What moves the world toward Jesus is a church that looks like another world: one that embraces the cross and the resurrection of Jesus through a community of believers who sacrifice and suffer for their Savior’s sake and for each other. In the same way global allies come together to combat a common enemy, so diverse followers of Jesus unify to come against evil forces. Faith unified by Jesus lifts Him up.

Is your faith isolated or engaged? Do you collaborate with other Jesus followers to work together to take the gospel to the world? Christians inclusive of other Christians have more influence with non-Christians. We unite, trusting Jesus as our resurrected Lord and Savior. Perhaps God is calling out His church to repent of proud exclusivity—to not be of the world, but to engage darkness while united by the brilliant light of Christ’s gospel.

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

What group of Christians can I work with to make society a better place?

Related Readings
Luke 9:49-50; Acts 26:17-18; Colossians 1:12-14; 1 John 1:6; 2:19

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible® through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Life-or-Death Situation

I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

We all live in a life-or-death situation. For the elderly, aged by life’s elements, death is more imminent. For others, life is just beginning—youthful possibilities pulsate with enviable energy. Still others enter a new reality while battling a terminal illness. The truth is, we are all terminal; but for some, the window in this life is quickly closing. Only as we prepare for death are we really ready for life—and we all need the Lord of Life, Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the Living One. He is the Lord over the living and the dead. The Word (Jesus) became flesh to live among us, and He died to live through us. Faith, without the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is only a shell of salvation—not real, but hollow heresy. Jesus holds the keys of death, and He will transform our earthly bodies so they will be like His glorified body (Philippians 3:21). Because Christ is the first and the last, we trust Him in life and in death. We rely on the One who offers us grace for an abundant life and a victorious death.

“Just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:21).

Is death constantly calling on you or a loved one? If so, you have a friend in Jesus to walk with you through the shadows of death’s door. Here in your darkest hour is the loving light of your Lord. Let Him guide you by His grace to a good place. God’s good place is full of peace and assurance. If you bare your heart and soul, the Holy Spirit will bear your burdens. The prospects of death call forth the prospects of your faith and hope in Christ.

How can we make the most of our lives? Start by engaging Christ as the Lord of your life. Your submission to our Savior Jesus gives you the freedom to enjoy His life expressed through your life. Submission to God means we get under His mission. What is God’s mission? To make disciples and to love people—especially those who are difficult to love. In life or death we come alive when we surrender to the Living One: Jesus Christ!

“These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again” (Revelation 2:8).
Whom do I know that needs to know Jesus as their living Lord?

Related Readings
Acts 2:24; Romans 6:4; 1 Corinthians 15:43-53

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Motivation from Revelation

Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.

Sometimes I scratch my head while seeking to understand practical applications for my life from the prophetic book of Revelation. The figurative imagery and symbolism can be confusing, even overwhelming. But the more I interpret Scripture with Scripture—and the more I pray over the futuristic words in this last book of the Bible—the more I take to heart God’s promises. As I reflect on the perseverance and love of the exiled and elderly disciple John, he challenges me to endure hardships and love radically. Revelation provides a godly motivation!

Verse 19 of chapter 1 gives us a three-part outline of the entire book of Revelation. The first section tells us what John has seen, which is the exalted Christ described in chapter 1. The second section explains “what is now,” as John addresses the condition of the seven churches of Asia in chapters 2 and 3. The third and last section of Revelation includes chapters 4 to 22, which cover “what will take place later”—the second coming of Jesus and His millennial reign. Revelation motivates us to focus on Christ glorified and His bride, the church.

“The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16 NKJV).

Life today tends to trump life tomorrow, making it difficult to be motivated by events way off in the future. But what if respecting the future could clarify our present circumstances and give us hope to endure? Hope is heaven’s remedy for needy souls. Hope in God for peace—not in the troubles of this world. Hope in God for security—not in unreliable economies. Hope in God for forgiveness—not in unmerciful people. Revelation can motivate a life of abundance right now!

We are also compelled to praise the Lord in the glory of His holy majesty when we experience the radical worship graphically and emotionally depicted in Revelation. Here we see Almighty God worshipped for His resounding victory over the enemy. We worship the King of kings and the Lord of lords—not the kings of earth who lord their power and wealth over their citizens. We are motivated to worship because one day we will bow in worship at the Lamb’s marriage supper!

“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!” (Revelation 19:6-7).
Record in your journal the promises you are trusting God to fulfill.

Related Readings
Genesis 24:48; Isaiah 49:23; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Revelation 15:4

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Servants of Light

These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands.

My two favorite times of day are sunrise and sunset. The beautiful ball of fire enflames my faith. The warm glow and revealing light reminds me of the gentle, all-encompassing love of my Creator. He reassures me in the morning: “I’m with you today.” He gives me rest in the evening, saying, “You can rest in Me.” I once lived in darkness—aimless, afraid, and arrogant. But now I live in the light—purposeful, peaceful, and humbled. My allegiance shifted from the master of darkness to the Master of light—the Lord Jesus.
The resurrected Christ walks among the churches providing spiritual direction. He also holds in His right hand the messengers or leaders of the local gathering of believers to direct and protect them. Yes, our Savior and Lord is the source of the churches’ power and influence. As the Leader of leaders, He guides them in His will and reveals to them His wisdom. Jesus is absent from us physically but present in the Spirit—as well as in the spirit of His followers.

“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world” (John 1:9).

As Christians we live as light beams of the Lord. Light is invisible, but it has a visible source—the sun. Our light of salvation is invisible, but it points to the visible source of the light—the Son. In a believer’s life, any ray of hope, any illumination of wisdom, and any beam of belief comes from the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is our power source. Are you in a dark place—unsure, afraid? Trust in the Lord of light—Jesus.
God’s messengers, the leaders in our churches, have the light of Christ to lead them, so they may gently and lovingly shepherd God’s people. We should pray for our pastors and leaders to keep their wicks trimmed in prayer and Bible study, so their lights may burn brightly for the Lord. May all who are servants of the light serve our leaders as well so their sheep will trust in the Lord of light—Jesus!

“As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:4-5).
What area of darkness in my life needs the Lord’s loving light? How can I be a light of love to point others to Jesus?

Related Readings
Psalm 4:6-8; John 12:36; Ephesians 5:8-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:5-11

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible® through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Faith Overcomes

To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.

Sometimes I question my faith. Is God really loving and just? If so, why is there so much injustice and hatred on the planet? Is my life really making a difference, or am I just another voice crying in the wilderness? Yet when I ask questions, the Holy Spirit gives me answers. He reminds me through Scripture what Christ has done, is doing, and will do. Trusting in Jesus means engaging your doubt with truth. Trust and truth resist giving up. As they move forward, faith eventually overcomes my doubts.

John reminds the churches that Christ has restored the Garden of Eden. Jesus’s death and resurrection made a way beyond the flaming angel, who blocked the entrance into Paradise (Genesis 3:23-24). He replaced it with, “The one who believes in me will live” (John 11:25). The Tree of Life is accessible to those who embrace Christ as their life, and for them, heaven is top of mind. Our faith on earth overcomes because Jesus overcame life and death and made a way for eternal life. Trust in Jesus eventually wins, for He is already victorious.

“This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).

Are you overwhelmed by life? Do you feel stuck in a no-win situation? If so, have faith. The Lord has not brought you this far to abandon you. God has not given up on you, so don’t give up on Him. Our experiences on earth are corrupted, but one day in heaven they will be incorruptible. We see glimpses of God’s glory in the face of a cooing infant, in a cascading waterfall, and in the words of a forgiving friend. Look for God in life’s small things and watch your faith grow.

Exercised faith is an overcoming faith. As a healthy body needs resistance and rest, so our faith grows stronger when stretched and challenged. Everyday life is an exercise of faith in Jesus. Will hard times harden or soften our hearts? Will good times grow our generosity or feed our greed? Our faith overcomes when we persevere in a job where we feel underpaid and underappreciated. Our faith overcomes when God’s grace is sufficient for our painful circumstances. Our faith overcomes when we remain faithful to Jesus. Trust conquers this world as it anticipates the next.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
What life situation requires me to have an aggressive trust in the Lord?

Related Readings
John 15:18-21; Romans 8:37; 1 John 4:4; Revelation 2:26; 21:7

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Immunity from Eternal Death

Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

My friend Regina went to be with the Lord. God did not heal her body, but He did release her soul to be with Him—forever. Cancer and death did not win, for once she breathed her last breath she awakened, victorious, in the presence of her Savior, Jesus Christ. For followers of Jesus, death is an immediate transition to be with Jesus. Regina greatly loved people. Faithful until her death, she was called home to worship Jesus in person!

Eternal death is forever separation from God—the Creator of life. Those who die without faith in Christ’s death for sin’s forgiveness and His resurrection for life eternal will find themselves banished from the Lord’s presence. For believers in Jesus, eternal life is forever celebrated with Him. We better understand the love of God, having humbled ourselves in the fear of Him. There is a second death for those who die lost in their sins, but immunity for the saved—one death that transitions into eternal life.

“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

Our faithfulness to the point of death is worthy of a victor’s crown from Jesus. Any reward from Jesus is good. In humble worship and praise we place whatever rewards we receive at the feet of Jesus in honor of the One who won the victory for us. Faithfulness in this life is rewarded in the next. Just as an inheritance is given to those who can be trusted, so Christ gives an inheritance to those of His children He can trust with His rewards.

The quality of our conduct and character does not get us to heaven—faith in Christ does that. However, once we are in heaven, we will be rewarded according to our faithfulness on earth. Our humble service alongside our Savior in this life means we will humbly reign with Him in the next. Jesus prepares an eternal dwelling place for those who are prepared to be with Him. We shun sin now, preparing to live in a sinless society in eternity. We love all people now in preparation for loving and worshipping beside all people groups for eternity. Heaven is our immunity from hell.

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (Matthew 25:46).
Is my faith real and personal or only a facade—a cultural experience?

Related Readings
Psalm 16:11; Galatians 6:8; 1 John 5:11,13,20; Revelation 20:6,14; 21:8

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Results of Faithfulness

To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it.

Faith in Jesus is our starting point with Him. As infant believers, we are totally dependent on adult believers to disciple us in the faith. We look to the more mature as models of faithful followers of Christ. We grow and mature, but not without drifting, doubting, and resisting along the way. We begin with faith in Jesus, we grow into faithfulness to Him, we enjoy the fruit of being with Jesus, and we are rewarded by Him. Our part is to remain faithful.

John wrote to the church in Pergamum, which struggled with unfaithfulness. Idolatry and sexual immorality infiltrated the local gathering of believers in Jesus. Sin infected the body of Christ, threatening its long-term health and stunting its short-term influence for God. Christ can change the culture, but this church shunned the Lord’s Spirit and struggled to be “salt and light.”

“It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it” (3 John 1:3).

The fruit of faithfulness is the manna (Exodus 16:33) of God’s supernatural provision. Jesus satisfies our soul with heavenly manna—His Word. As food and water sustain the human body, Scripture sustains the soul. Additionally, our heavenly Father renames us with a name in accordance with our identity in Christ. Cephas became Peter. He would be a rock of faith to build the church. James and John became the Sons of Thunder who boldly proclaimed the gospel. Your new name will be a commentary on your victorious life in the Lord.

Has faithfulness to Jesus become difficult for you? If so, take a step back and breathe in the fresh air of faith. Instead of praying only at a set time, let your life become full of prayer. The results of your faithfulness may not come to fruition immediately, but it’s worth the wait. Your eternal rewards from Christ come when you go to be with Him. You won’t grasp their significance until the day you possess and experience them. God rewards the faithful with His timeless love!

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).

Where in my life do I need to remain faithful to Christ and His Word?

Related Readings
Proverbs 2:8; 2 Timothy 2:13; Hebrews 10:23; 11:11

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Accelerated Development

I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.

On vacation we like to ride bikes as a family. We take a leisurely ride on the sidewalk within view of the beach, or we enjoy the shade of live oaks that stand at attention like soldiers, Spanish moss draped over their limbs. The bikes operate smoothly as long as they move forward. But at a standstill they are wobbly at best—and totally useless when pedaling backward. Our life in Christ is similar. As long as we move forward in faith and love, we grow in grace. If we maintain a spiritual status quo, we fall or digress. Moving with God accelerates our growth in Him.

The church in Thyatira had digressed in their good deeds for Christ. They started out strong for the Lord, but their intolerance for sin devolved into tolerance for sexual immorality and idolatry. In an attempt to become relevant in the latest craze of the culture, the church became spiritually irrelevant. God blesses the surrounding culture through a church intolerant of what’s wrong and tolerant of what’s right. Is your church only remembered for its past glory days, or is it praised today for God’s glory?

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

Does your faith reflect arrested or accelerated development? Did you start out strong and stay that way, or have you lost your spiritual momentum? Virtue must follow repentance of sin; otherwise, folly will soon fill the spiritual vacuum. Think of yourself as a vessel of Christ’s service. Replace bad habits with intentional soul care and transformative heart disciplines.
Do more with the Lord—you will not be bored. Anyone can be average, so don’t be just anyone. Be someone for God! A fully developed life in Christ is the most fulfilling life. More of Jesus means becoming more like Jesus—and doing more with Jesus. Accelerate your spiritual development.

“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing” (2 Thessalonians 1:3).
How can I engage life with the Lord and accelerate the development of my faith?

Related Readings
1 Samuel 2:26; 1 Thessalonians 4:10; 1 Peter 2:2; Revelation 2:24

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Access to Power

He who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations.

Several years ago a tornado ripped through the small town where I grew up. Everything in its path was uprooted and destroyed. For a period of time my in-laws were powerless—until we were able to find a generator and personally deliver it to their home. In a similar fashion, my life can be in disarray from sin’s destruction. I feel powerless against forces outside my control, but God gives me access to His power. Grace is His generator, and it empowers my life during chaotic times.

John wrote to Christians who were dismissed and suppressed for their beliefs and their behavior. Humanly speaking, they were powerless in the face of an overreaching government and a hostile culture. However, the Holy Spirit, speaking through the pen of the apostle, reminded this influential minority—a band of believers in Christ—to remain faithful in their love for the Lord Jesus. The Holy Spirit’s power supersedes society’s criticism and apathy toward God. We diligently serve until the sunset of life, anticipating the morning star of our Savior’s glory!

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

Do you feel powerless against a problem or a person? You may feel hopeless—even helpless—but your heavenly Father has the power to energize your faith in your fragile condition. The Spirit specializes in taking the weak and making them strong. An ailing condition qualifies you to be a recipient of God’s grace. Satan tries to short-circuit your trust with his destructive lies, saying, “Your spouse doesn’t really care. No one loves you.” Or, “There are no solutions, and you will always be frustrated.” But Jesus has answers. He says, “Remain in My love, and I will empower you with My wisdom.”

Seek the Lord’s wisdom in His Word. Truth is our flu shot against the virus of sickly thinking. Empowered by God’s grace we are positioned to serve for the benefit of others. Our life on earth is a test in the faithful management of the Spirit’s blessings, so we can be entrusted with more favor in eternity. The Lord’s power, used for His glory, electrifies all of us who are citizens of the kingdom. The world will one day bow down to the One who gave away all power. So be bold, not shy, about accessing the gospel’s power of God unto salvation!

“The Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Whom can I empower with my influence, support, and love?

Related Readings
Psalm 2:8; Isaiah 10:33; Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:18

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Almost-Dead Church

I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

Sadly, I have visited churches that once preached the gospel but are now closed, boarded up, and deserted. I have attended churches that are still open but spiritually anemic—only shells of cold religion with a handful of attendees. I have been to half-full churches in big, beautiful buildings. They are endowed with man’s wealth—but not with heavenly riches. They are spiritually bankrupt. Thank God that many churches are still alive. Better to be a living church that disturbs the world than a dead church that is ignored by the world. Christ gives life to His bride, the church!

The church at Sardis was spiritually asleep. John’s dramatic letter was a wake-up call. God’s spokesman called out the local church for its conformity to the culture and society’s mores. The Christian community as a whole—instead of being a vessel of transforming grace—had lost its influence on the world. Moral distinctiveness had eroded into moral relativity. The Sardis church once had a reputation for faithfulness but now was found faithless. Like a separated couple once admired for their model marriage, the church struggled with separation from God.

“This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you’ ” (Ephesians 5:14).

How can we, as sincere followers of Jesus, be a solution to a slumbering church? One way is to lead our church to pray. Before the workday begins, perhaps a few members can gather at the church to seek God. Ask Him for hearts to walk in humility, mercy, and justice. Intercede for the church’s leaders to grow in their love for the Lord, their families, the faithful, and the lost. Pray all who name the name of Christ to experience an awakening of the Holy Spirit’s fire.

The same fire of God that fell in answer to Elijah’s prayers is the fire from heaven that will startle our souls to attention. The Holy Spirit’s fire that immersed the masses at Pentecost and saved thousands is proof of the gospel’s life-changing nature. The Spirit’s influence burns brightest where Christians worship unashamedly, witness freely, and thoroughly repent of their sin. Like a comatose body that suddenly becomes conscious, our almost-dead churches will be revived when we as individual believers come alive. Ask Jesus to breathe His Spirit on His bride.

“Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ ” (John 20:21-22).
How can I support the prayer effort at our church?

Related Readings
Isaiah 26:19; 60:1; Malachi 4:2; John 5:25; Romans 13:11; 1 Timothy 5:6

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible® through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Walk in Humility

They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.

The Christian life is a step-by-step walk of faith on the path of humility. The goal is not to get ahead of God with fleshly footsteps or to lag behind in fear. A walk with Jesus leads to a talk with Jesus through prayer. It is beautiful to know the Lord longs to linger in lockstep with the ones He loves.
We walk in humility because this is the cadence of Christ. Our heavenly Father does not want to see us sprinting through life without the Spirit’s power. On the contrary, He smiles when He sees His servants waiting to accompany Him toward the next opportunity. A walk of humility takes the time to recognize surrounding relationships: the needs, wants, and dreams of others.

“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride” (Daniel 4:37 NASB).

Are your steps pleasing to the Lord? Are you walking with or away from Jesus? Each step is important because it builds on a sequence of wisdom or foolishness. Each step of obedience reveals another footprint in God’s will. You may not understand where the final step will take you, but you can be confident in the One who has directed it. Humility walks with the One who has already won and who reigns forever in heaven—Jesus!

“Does he not see my ways and count my every step?” (Job 31:4).

Humility grows amid the company of God and other believers. When you love others, you trust others. A proud person walks alone, but a community keeps you accountable and humble. Humility demands that we surrender our autonomy and voluntarily submit to wise counsel. Thus, when you walk with God, the light of His love exposes and disposes of the dark deeds of pride. As you walk in humility, grace sustains you!

“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love” (Ephesians 4:1-2 NASB).
What ways is the Lord humbling my heart to walk in obedience with Him?

Related Readings
Proverbs 3:34; Isaiah 13:11; Micah 6:8; Matthew 23:12

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Patient Endurance

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial.

My high school studies were not my best effort. Many times I would wait until the last minute and spend late nights memorizing information. Yes, I could repeat a lot of facts, but I comprehended very little. My college undergraduate and graduate days were much different. Rita and I married after our freshman year, and as a husband, I felt responsible for excelling in my education. Some professors rewarded those who patiently worked hard, who took to heart the lectures and completed the homework exercises. The disciplined learners were exempt from the final exam.

Christ commended the church at Philadelphia for keeping His commands and for their patient endurance. Yes, only one of the seven Asian churches rose above the world’s expectations; they imperfectly but wholeheartedly followed Jesus. This local body of believers hid God’s word in their hearts so they would not be ashamed and feel the need to hide from their compassionate Creator. Their persistence in patiently following the Lord strengthened their endurance. God provides a way out of temptation, and He offers grace to carry us through trials. He commends perseverance.

“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:36).

Is your church branded by the community as a place that loves the Lord? Does your church clearly express its love for people? Evidence of love may include sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with passion and compassion, sleeping at the bedside of someone struggling to survive an illness, caring for a foster child who yearns for a parent with capacity to care, clothing the homeless, or feeding the hungry. A loving church looks for ways to meet human needs in the name of Jesus.

Those who endure in the faith make it a priority to know, understand, and obey the commands of Christ. Quiet perseverance is a mark of the Master. A disciple full of the Spirit provides a safe place for those whose hearts hurt. In their presence you feel no need to parse your words—only to say your piece and trust the kind listener to lovingly remove the chaff from the wheat. Christ commends patient kindness that endures hard dialogue. Those who persevere in faith are exempt from eternal punishment.

“If this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment” (2 Peter 2:9).
Where can I serve in my church? How can I quietly and kindly love others?

Related Readings
Psalm 37:33; Matthew 24:14; 1 John 3:23; Revelation 6:10

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible® through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Keep Faith in Jesus

I am coming quickly. Hold tight what you have, so that no one will take your crown [by leading you to renounce the faith].

I’m a former 10K runner and a one-time half marathoner (13.1 miles). I trained for the longer race with a friend. We enjoyed the camaraderie and provided needed accountability for each other. The preparation for the half marathon was hard but fulfilling. On race day we were in our best shape. The weather, though a chilly 35 degrees, was sunny with a brilliant blue sky. There was only one problem: I was very sick with the flu. The first ten miles went fast. The last three miles were as slow as molasses, but my friend waited and helped me finish well.

Jesus reminds the church and individual believers to keep their faith in Him. Christ instructed His followers to hold on to the hope of His return, not allowing individual naysayers or the cynical culture to cause them to renounce their reliance on God. The race of faith requires preparation, perseverance, and faithful friends who can help us finish well. The victor’s crown is not royalty, but a wreath of righteousness given by the Righteous One—Jesus. Yes, when we faithfully hang on to Jesus, we experience the anticipation of His eternal joy!

“Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9 NKJV).

We know in our heads that God’s peace protects us from anxious thoughts, but only when we take this to heart do we live by faith and not in fear. We also know that God is sovereign, so since the Lord is in control, do we as followers of Jesus really need to emotionally hyperventilate over the world’s chaotic condition? Some Christians seem no different from non-Christians in their fearful predictions of depression and despair. Faith hopes in God.

Rather than gutting it out with God on your own, remember that Christians are better together. As we run our race of faith, some will stumble and need one or several of us to help them up. Perhaps we will need to mend them before they step back onto the track. If weary, we must stop, rest, and hydrate our souls. Those who run the race of faith together have a higher probability of finishing well. Keep your faith in Jesus strong by looking forward to the crown.

“The Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).
Who would benefit from my help and encouragement?

Related Readings
1 Corinthians 9:25; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 1 Peter 1:13; Revelation 2:10

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible® through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Stability and Security

The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God.

Uncertainty is a certainty of life. Economic uncertainty. Political uncertainty. Financial uncertainty. Relational uncertainty. Physical uncertainty. Those who focus on life’s uncertainties are certain to be preoccupied by fear and anxiety. Being consumed by uncertainty is like traveling on extremely winding roads while sitting in the backseat of a car; you begin to feel the nausea of emotional motion sickness. Has uncertainty caused fear to overcome your faith?

The Lord describes an eternal environment of stability and security—a place with no fear because all of the citizens of God’s city are redeemed by Jesus the Lamb. The city of God is governed by King Jesus, who keeps all His promises. His promises of no more sin, sorrow, or suffering are secure. His guarantee of our resurrection and reigning with Him stabilizes our soul. We are rock-solid pillars of faith who worship the Lord in His temple. Emotional stability and spiritual security accompany those who travel with Jesus.

“The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever” (Isaiah 32:17).

Perhaps a relationship has your stomach in knots. Uncertainty, foolish choices, and selfish motivations may have overcome what started out as a safe and secure union. Difficult conversations can lead to conflict and confusion. When these things happen, seek your heavenly Father for humility. He can help your heart to grow in grace and wisdom. Be honest with a mentor or trained counselor who can coach you through this emotional “pain cycle” and into a “peace cycle.” Learn skills like effective confession and repentance to create ongoing forgiveness and healing.

Look to the Lord’s assurance of what He has for you now and throughout eternity. Life on earth offers little hope or help, so build a foundation of trust in your heavenly Father. Move out of the backseat of unbelief (marked by emotional motion sickness) and sit up front in the passenger seat of trust with Christ as your chauffeur. Though sometimes dim and misty, the eyes of faith see your final destination—and it is good because God is good. Submit daily to the Holy Spirit’s cleansing and filling. He infuses a soul with stability and security. There’s victory in Jesus.

“Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Whom can I seek for wise counsel to deal with relational conflict?

Related Readings
Job 11:18; 2 Timothy 1:10; Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 4:4; 5:4; Revelation 21:7

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible® through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Cultural Christianity

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!

Cultural Christianity has a form of godliness but no faith in Christ. There is a resemblance to righteousness, but not an authentic heart change. Because the culture may understand the tenets of Christianity, a citizen may think their birthright into that society makes them a Christian. However, understanding without conversion is just head knowledge. Familiarity does breed contempt when cultural Christianity replaces personal faith with a general feel-good faith.

Jesus describes the convenience of being lukewarm. If it’s convenient, I’ll say I am a Christian; if it’s not convenient, I’ll act as if I’m not a Christian. This is the motto of men and women who use Christianity to further self-interest. Joy is the reaction of those who first hear about Jesus, but when their emotional foundation is tested, they fall away—faithless. They may say the right words, even attend church, but their heart is far from God. A convenient Christian is a counterfeit who lacks true belief and conviction.

“Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away” (Luke 8:13).

Have you been genuinely converted to Christ? Have you humbled your heart like a little child and embraced Jesus Christ as the resurrected Lord and Savior of your life? Your individual conversion to Christ is a significant source of strength for your church, community, and family.

You become salt and light for a society in search of its soul. Preachers, lawyers, judges, students, mechanics, coaches, teachers, homemakers, executives, artists, and athletes who love Jesus begin to influence friends for Jesus. Converted Christians change the culture for Christ.

Cultural Christians blend into the culture. Converted Christians influence the culture. The apron strings of your parents’ faith cannot make you right with Almighty God. Your beliefs cannot be a barnacle on the cruise ship of someone else’s conversion. Personal conversion is your only qualifier for heaven after death and abundant life on earth. Cultural Christians are only an imitation of real intimacy and salvation in Jesus. Repent, therefore, and be converted to Christ.

“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19 NKJV).
Do I need to escape the comfort of cultural Christianity? Have I accepted the transforming power of being an authentic convert of Christ?

Related Readings
Psalm 51:13; Acts 9:1-6; 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:13-14; 1 Timothy 3:6

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible® through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
Repulsive to the Lord

Because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

Institutions of God can lose their intimacy with God. Like the marble floor of a stoic cathedral, the culture of a once vibrant ministry can become cold and hard. Indeed, Christ calls out His church to make a clear commitment to His commands and not waffle like a reluctant bride or groom at the altar. A community of faith can fossilize when it isn’t faithful to the tenets of the truth.
Lukewarm disciples are repulsive to the Lord.

Is your faith on fire, or is it simmering under the influence of sin? There is no room for neutrality toward religion rooted in Christ. Are you for Him or against Him? Apathy is a vote against Him. Passivity to prayer and public worship is lukewarm leadership for your home. Thus, use the beginning of the New Year to attend church with your family. Join a friend in a yearlong Bible reading plan, or sign up for a mission to serve the poor.

“This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on my side, you’re the enemy; if you’re not helping, you’re making things worse” (Luke 11:23 MSG).

We may want to make everyone happy, but how can we at the expense of disappointing our heavenly Father? We should be wary of companions who cool our commitment to Christ. Our red-hot hearts of righteousness ought to rub off on those unsure of their salvation. Our humility and compassionate care should be like kerosene to another’s flickering flame of faith. Our combustible love explodes another’s faith in God.

Therefore, come out of the closet with your commitment to Christ. Do not be ashamed of the gospel, but instead proclaim it. Because you have been given so much, you can give much! Be bold in your faith without being obnoxious. The cross of Christ carries its own offense. Look to your heavenly Father to fuel your faith and to the Holy Spirit to ignite it. Burn hot and bright for God’s Son Jesus Christ!

“Elijah went before the people and said, ‘How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him’ ” (1 Kings 18:21).
What passion of mine can the Spirit enflame in my heart to mirror God’s passions?

Related Readings
Joshua 24:15; Psalm 119:113; Matthew 6:24; Romans 12:11

Boyd Bailey, Two Minutes in the Bible through Revelation: A 90-Day Devotional
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