Revelation 13

Read Revelation 13.

In this chapter, an enemy of God described as “the beast” emerged and began to blaspheme God (vv. 1b, 5-6) and receive the worship of unbelievers on earth (vv. 4, 8). This beast went to war successfully against believers in God (v. 7). God allowed this persecution of his children (vv. 9-10) and John commented, “This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people (v. 10c)”

Although we do not–thankfully–receive the kind of testing and persecution that is described in this chapter, the Bible promised us that we would be tested and even persecuted if we believe in Christ and live obediently to them in this life. The comment of John that this kind persecution “calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people” is true of any believer under trial and persecution. Persecution is an attempt by Satan to separate us and our faith. He wants us to turn our backs on following Jesus and follow him along with the rest of the world.

But the time of testing is limited. Here in Revelation 13, it was limited to forty-two months (v. 5). This is why “patient endurance” is part of our response. If we continue to follow Christ despite the opposition, the opposition eventually will end. And part of endurance is “faithfulness” (v. 10)–remaining committed to follow Christ regardless of the pain or personal cost that comes with it.

Do you feel like your Christian life is under attack? Do you face critics and scoffers who try to shame you for your faith and your desire to live a holy life? Do you struggle with internal questions and doubts that cause you to question whether our faith is true?

Endure and be faithful. God is with you and will empower you when you lean on him for help. He will also limit the test to what you can bear if you are patient and endure it.

Galatians 6

Read Galatians 6.

Here in Galatians 6, Paul begins to describe what “walking in the Spirit” (5:16) looks like. One who walks in the Spirit will:

  • do what he or she can to gently restore a sinning brother (vv. 1-2).
  • live in humility (vv. 3-4)
  • will support his or her teacher financially (v. 6).

Verses 7-10 explain why we should do these things. Paul cites the law of the farm, reminding us that if we sow corn, we’ll reap corn. If we sow soy beans, we’ll reap soy beans. Similarly, in our spiritual life, we will reap what we sow.

We have the help and power of the Spirit of God. He leads us away from a sinful life and develops in us the fruit of the Spirit (5:16-26). But these results are not automatic. As believers we have the power and leadership of the spirit to become holy but those things are activated in our lives by obedience to Christ and his word.

When we disobey God’s word, we are sowing sinful seeds in our life and, if they are not uprooted, they will produce what sin produces—pain, death, destruction (v. 8a). When we obey God’s word we are sowing spiritual seeds in our life and those seeds will produce what the Spirit produces—eternal life (v. 8).

But growth takes patience. Sowing sinful seeds give us the immediate satisfaction that sin offers, the dopamine hit of pleasure that the sin nature craves. But we usually fail to realize that a destructive plant is being nurtured as well. One act of sin can be destructive, but usually is simply pleasurable. When we repeat this disobedience, we are sowing a crop of evil that will eventually emerge from the ground, grow to maturity, and destroy us. That is the unseen growth that sin brings in our life that we usually ignore because we love the initial burst of pleasure that sin provides.

Likewise, growth in the Spirit takes time. One day’s Bible reading, one season of deep worship and intercessory prayer, one day of serving the Lord in our church, one week’s tithe—none of these things produces an immediate tree of holiness. But, when we repeat these activities because we love God and are following the desires of the Spirit and obeying God’s word, over time these yield holiness in our lives.

As you read the scriptures thoughtfully each day in this Bible reading-program, you are sowing the seeds of God’s word in your life. Keep going, keep reading, keep thinking about these truths and how they apply to your life. Growth takes time and fruit doesn’t show up immediately, but the promise of God’s word is that the Spirit works in us and through as we follow him in obedience.

Maybe as you’ve thought about this, the Spirit has convicted you of some sinful practice you’ve been cultivating in your life. Repent and remove it now before it starts bearing fruit in your life. Maybe He has convicted you that you’re neglecting some area of the Christian life. The time has come to start sowing seeds of righteousness in that area.

Do it! Remember: “…at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (v. 9b).

Revelation 13

Today’s reading is Revelation 13.

In this chapter, an enemy of God described as “the beast” emerged and began to blaspheme God (vv. 1b, 5-6) and receive the worship of unbelievers on earth (vv. 4, 8). This beast went to war successfully against believers in God (v. 7). God allowed this persecution of his children (vv. 9-10) and John commented, “This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people (v. 10c)”

Although we do not–thankfully–receive the kind of testing and persecution that is described in this chapter, the Bible promised us that we would be tested and even persecuted if we believe in Christ and live obediently to them in this life. The comment of John that this kind persecution “calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people” is true of any believer under trial and persecution. Persecution is an attempt by Satan to separate us and our faith. He wants us to turn our backs on following Jesus and follow him along with the rest of the world.

But the time of testing is limited. Here in Revelation 13, it was limited to forty-two months (v. 5). This is why “patient endurance” is part of our response. If we continue to follow Christ despite the opposition, the opposition eventually will end. And part of endurance is “faithfulness” (v. 10)–remaining committed to follow Christ regardless of the pain or personal cost that comes with it.

Do you feel like your Christian life is under attack? Do you face critics and scoffers who try to shame you for your faith and your desire to live a holy life? Do you struggle with internal questions and doubts that cause you to question whether our faith is true?

Endure and be faithful. God is with you and will empower you when you lean on him for help. He will also limit the test to what you can bear if you are patient and endure it.