The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
~ Luke 12:22-27
Blessed is the one who reads . . . and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written. Revelation 1:3
Today, a Sunday, people everywhere will gather in all kinds of settings to worship the Lord as God’s people. Scripture will be read, sermons heard, and songs sung. I hope you will have an opportunity to be part of a gathered worshiping church today. The church, the worldwide body of Christ, is dear to God’s heart, and God promises to bless all who come to him to read and hear his life-giving Word.
The book of Revelation, the concluding book of the Bible, opens with this promise of blessing to the Lord’s worshiping communities: “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy. . ..” The blessing begins with the person(s) reading Scripture for the congregation. Perhaps you have been asked to read the Bible today in your church or maybe you will be reading the Bible in the privacy of your home. Be encouraged by Jesus’ promise to bless you in the reading of his Word!
Jesus also promises to bless all who hear the Scripture and “take to heart what is written in it.” One thing I have learned as a pastor is how hard it can be to sit in the pew. We listen with our ears (most of the time), but good listening requires more. Taking the Word to heart happens when the Spirit moves to engage, challenge, and change us. This is not “easy listening,” but it is good listening. It is good to be on the receiving end of blessing from God. May we take it to heart and live!