I keep a journal. It’s a practice that dates back to 1976. Thank you! youth pastors Jeff Hendly and Chuck Bernal for instilling the importance of daily time in God’s Word.
My journal of choice has changed over the years, but for some time now I have used a small moleskin. It’s a no frills approach: 30 lines, plain paper, no pictures or inspiring quotes. It usually lasts me about two months unless I am excessively wordy or recording a myriad of ideas.
A few months back I began writing out The Apostle’s Creed and Jude 1:3 on the first page of these journals. It fits perfectly and is a perfect reminder of what I believe and the faith for which I am urged to contend.
The Creed ties me to brothers and sisters in the faith. It gets me off pet doctrines and petty arguments and anchors me to the essentials.
Last year, in my personal time of worship (quiet time), I read through the Scriptures using the English Standard Version. This year, having never read The Message, Eugene Peterson’s exceptionally fine paraphrase, in it’s entirety, I chose it for my daily dive into the Word.
I’m near the end of my reading so part of my time is in Revelation. A couple of days ago I was in Revelation 19, one of my favorite passages in all the Word of God.
Then I saw Heaven open wide—and oh! a white horse and its Rider. The Rider, named Faithful and True, judges and makes war in pure righteousness. His eyes are a blaze of fire, on his head many crowns. He has a Name inscribed that’s known only to himself. He is dressed in a robe soaked with blood, and he is addressed as “Word of God.” The armies of Heaven, mounted on white horses and dressed in dazzling white linen, follow him. A sharp sword comes out of his mouth so he can subdue the nations, then rule them with a rod of iron. He treads the winepress of the raging wrath of God, the Sovereign-Strong. On his robe and thigh is written, King of kings, Lord of lords.
John saw what I need to see — daily! Christ the Victor!
The One all heaven admires:
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!” (Revelation 5:12 ESV)
The One every creature will acknowledge:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:12 ESV)
The One who will reign for ever and ever:
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15 ESV)
The One who will usher in a new heaven and new earth, reverse the curse, and wipe every tear from every eye:
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4 ESV)
Obviously, I have read Revelation 19 before, but on that day, just a couple days removed from this day, I saw afresh what I need to see every day: Not my wants and wishes, not my idea of how my life should turn out, not disappointing politicians or world squabbles, but the One riding that white horse . . . so stately, so magnificently, so victoriously, so Kingly!
You see, I believe it — the whole Apostle’s Creed — but seeing it, or more specifically seeing Him, has a way of re-orienting my day.
Yes, he cares about me, but it’s not about me.
Yes, he has clearly situated me in this time and place for a purpose, but that purpose serves His kingdom, not mine.
Yes, life is tough, but it is going to get so much better!
Yes, I believe it. But oh God, please, give me the vision to see it — the Rider on the white horse.