Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your Word.
– Psalm 119:18 TLB
“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
– Mark 10:15 NIV
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
– Revelation 1:8 NIV
The following post is written by Fred Gossic. He is my present Sunday school teacher, the co-leader (with his wife) of our church’s prayer team, and a good friend. He wrote this as a monthly devotion for the prayer team members. The prayer list is confidential, but I have his permission to copy his devotion.
About eleven years ago, a children’s worship program called Worship and Wonder was started at [our church]. Usually beginning after the Children’s Message on Sunday mornings, youngsters from Kindergarten age through fifth grade are taken to a classroom downstairs. They listen as a Bible story is read to them and then they use a box of “props” (wooden figures, animals, tents, etc.) to recreate the story on a blanket covered with sand. After they finish, they may ask questions about the story and their “re-creation,” but are only given a partial answer so that they may wonder about the story and think about God and His love for them. In this way, the children are taught to worship God through their wonder of Him and about Him. It seems as though Jesus is telling folks (in Mark 10:15) to worship and wonder like a child in order to enter His kingdom.
In our Sunday school class, we’ve been studying and discussing the Book of Revelation since April of last year. As I was preparing for a class some time ago and was reading one of the passages describing an amazing image or vision that the Apostle John was shown, it struck me that much of what we read in Revelation can only be viewed with worship and wonder. The descriptions of the images that John saw are so fantastic and marvelous and defy understanding or explanation. However, this book is part of God’s written word to us and is there for a reason. John writes in chapter 1, verse 4 that we are blessed if we read “the words of this prophecy” and blessed if we “hear it and take to heart what is written in it.”
What is “written in it?” Since much of the book is comprised of vivid imagery and visions, about the only thing we can do is to accept it as God’s word and view it as His plan to ultimately conquer evil and reward those who have trusted in His Son for salvation. It is so awesome and wonderful to read that even in God’s seal judgments (chapters 6 & 8) and trumpet judgments (chapters 8, 9, and 11) which He will unleash upon the earth during the Tribulation period, His mercy is evident! Only portions of His creation (people included) are affected or destroyed by these judgments. It’s like He’s giving folks a chance to repent and turn to Him for forgiveness and eternal life, so He’s preserving a smaller and smaller “remnant” after each judgment. He is all-knowing and knows who will ultimately believe Him and those who won’t.
The Book of Revelation is difficult to read and understand. It begins with Christ proclaiming that He is “the Alpha and the Omega” and telling John not to be afraid. It ends with evil conquered and a description of Heaven (the new Jerusalem), our eternal home, and Jesus Christ telling us that “(He) is coming soon.” In between are inexplicable images and visions that challenge our senses and understanding, all of which are parts of God’s plan to accomplish His will in the end times. Can’t explain it or understand it? No problem – just pick up your Bible, open it to the Book of Revelation, and read it with a childlike wonder, all the while worshipping the LORD and His majesty!