Revelation – Jesus is Coming Back!
I am a diffuser. Yes, I confess to having, not one, but two diffusers going in my home most of the time. When I fill them with drops of fragrant oils that promote healing calm and cleansing for our home, it stirs my heart to pray. I pray for lost family members who have turned their backs on God. I pray for dear friends who have joined God in His work in other countries, and I thank God for all He has done, is doing and will do in each of our journeys on earth.
Our next passage gives us a “revelation” to what happens to those prayers! Hallelujah! The 24 elders fall before the throne of God with gold bowlfuls of our prayers as incense! Yes, our prayers drift to heaven “as a fragrant offering” when said with a holy, authentic heart. God looks at the heart that utters the prayer first.
There are many biblical passages that tell us our repentant, sacrificial, holy prayers are “a pleasing aroma to the Lord.” John tells us that He not only HEARS us but keeps our prayers safe in His Kingdom until Jesus comes!
Background: In the Old Testament, God commanded the priests of Israel to continually burn aromatic incense — made from a blend of five exotic spices — on the golden altar inside the Holy of Holies. Israel was also required to sacrifice certain types of animals to atone for their sins. But, again, it wasn’t the aroma from the sacrifices that pleased God as much as what it represented: repentance, clean souls, changed lives (Leviticus 1:9, 13; 2:2; 23:18). If performed properly, these sacrifices were “a pleasing aroma to the Lord” (Numbers 15:3).
I have favorite aromas that I diffuse in my home. Some remind me of precious memories. Some bring me pure joy, while other aromas promote gratitude for life. God loves the aromas of our repentant hearts and our prayers for others. He also loves the aroma of our witness of His salvation. In 2 Corinthians 2:14–16, the apostle Paul charges Christians to spread “the fragrance of the knowledge of [Jesus Christ] everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.”
I would imagine that God’s favorite, most fragrant aroma is our love, knowing and realizing His love for us. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). The greatest act of love ever performed was when Jesus voluntarily offered up his life for the sins of his people, suffering untold emotional, spiritual, and physical pain on a Roman cross.
“It was the will of the Lord to crush him” (Isaiah 53:10), but Christ gave up his life willingly (John 10:18); and in being crushed, Christ’s loving sacrifice gave off the sweetest, most sacred of fragrances (Ephesians 5:2), for Christ’s death is able to “make many to be accounted righteous” (Isaiah 53:11).
NO WONDER the praises are unending in heaven for the ONLY ONE who is able to open the scroll and read it. It is Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Conqueror, King, and Savior. Only Jesus is worthy! Read and be blessed….
Revelation 5, The Message
The Lion Is a Lamb
1-2 I saw a scroll in the right hand of the One Seated on the Throne. It was written on both sides, fastened with seven seals. I also saw a powerful Angel, calling out in a voice like thunder, “Is there anyone who can open the scroll, who can break its seals?”
3 There was no one—no one in Heaven, no one on earth, no one from the underworld—able to break open the scroll and read it.
4-5 I wept and wept and wept that no one was found able to open the scroll, able to read it. One of the Elders said, “Don’t weep. Look—the Lion from Tribe Judah, the Root of David’s Tree, has conquered. He can open the scroll, can rip through the seven seals.”
6-10 So I looked, and there, surrounded by Throne, Animals, and Elders, was a Lamb, slaughtered but standing tall. Seven horns he had, and seven eyes, the Seven Spirits of God sent into all the earth. He came to the One Seated on the Throne and took the scroll from his right hand. The moment he took the scroll, the Four Animals and Twenty-four Elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb. Each had a harp and each had a bowl, a gold bowl filled with incense, the prayers of God’s holy people. And they sang a new song:
Worthy! Take the scroll, open its seals.
Slain! Paying in blood, you bought men and women,
Bought them back from all over the earth,
Bought them back for God.
Then you made them a Kingdom, Priests for our God,
Priest-kings to rule over the earth.
11-14 I looked again. I heard a company of Angels around the Throne, the Animals, and the Elders—ten thousand times ten thousand their number, thousand after thousand after thousand in full song:
The slain Lamb is worthy!
Take the power, the wealth, the wisdom, the strength!
Take the honor, the glory, the blessing!
Then I heard every creature in Heaven and earth, in underworld and sea, join in, all voices in all places, singing:
To the One on the Throne! To the Lamb!
The blessing, the honor, the glory, the strength,
For age after age after age.
The Four Animals called out, “Oh, Yes!” The Elders fell to their knees and worshiped.
FROM PRAYERS TO PRAISE…!
“To the One on the Throne! To the Lamb!
The blessing, the honor, the glory, the strength,
For age after age after age.”
Our prayers held and laid before the throne of God…wow.
How fragrant are our prayers?
Are they holy and honest?
What is the aroma of our praise to God?
I’m humbled at the thought.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You have stirred our hearts once more with your revelation of Jesus and His return. For right now, may our prayers be full of repentance, gratitude with petitions for the salvation of others. Help us to center our minds on you. May we look full into your beautiful face. May our aromas be pleasing to you. Even today.
In Jesus Name, Amen