August 29, 2017

By the Word of Our Testimony

Revelation 12:1-12

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. . . .

—  Revelation 12:11

Our reading today gives us a powerful reminder that there is a great spiritual battle going on: the war against sin and Satan. The good news of God’s Word in Revelation 12 is that we will win the battle. We will triumph because God has made our salvation secure in Christ, and in his strength, by the power of his Spirit, he will see us through.

Violence and destruction in the world tempt us to despair. But God’s Word assures us we will prevail. How? First, we will triumph by the blood of the Lamb. As Ephesians 1:7-8 tells us, “In [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavishes on us.” Because Jesus has dealt with sin, in one sense the war is over.

But the battle will continue until the end of time. So we are called to be victorious by our testimony. By our words and lives we must consistently declare the truth that Jesus is Lord.

This will never be easy. In fact, we must be willing to sacrifice our lives, even as Jesus did. Yet, even in the face of death we can have hope, for we know that Jesus has defeated our final enemy, death itself: “Death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54).

In what ways can you stand firm in the battle against sin and the devil today? (See Ephesians 6:10-18.)

Dear Lord, you have won the battle of sin on the cross. May we always stand firm and give ourselves fully to the work of your kingdom. Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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