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The Sweet Smell Of Our Prayers

IncenseRevelation 7:9–8:13

By now you’ve probably heard that the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012 – just a couple of days from now.  I’m not exactly sure why, but it appears that many think the world will end on that day because that calendar ends on that day.  That sounds like some fuzzy thinking to me.  I’ve had a lot of calendars over my many years and they all had one thing in common; they all end at some point – most in December.  Couldn’t the Mayan’s simply have run out of room on their round stone for any more dates?  Maybe the thing was getting a little big and they thought to themselves “Man, if we make this any bigger we’re going to have a hard time carting it around.”  Well friend, I’m pretty sure I’ll be here on the 22nd.  The only caveat I’ll place on this assumption is the rapture of God’s Church or some accident.

Reading what I had to say yesterday, you may have come to the conclusion that I scoff at the notion that the church will be raptured before the Tribulation.  Brothers, many of the Bible commentators whom I so greatly admire take this view and I am sincere when I say I hope they are correct.  In fact, I am probably more aware of this point of view than any other because I do respect them so much.  Were I to work my way through the other points of view on this subject, I would very likely find many objections to them as well.

So, scoff is not the word.  It would be more appropriate to say that I am undecided or unconvinced by any one point of view.  Boy, talk about straddling the fence!  I just can’t commit here guys because every theory seems to fill in the holes in our knowledge with some large leaps across the unknown.  I can’t say positively, however, that I’ve looked in to every theory out there, so you may know something I don’t and can more easily take a side than I.  That said, I sure hope we Christians aren’t around for the Tribulation and if we are I hope it isn’t for much of it.  Life here on this Earth is going to get extremely nasty.

In today’s passage we get a look at what it will be like when we finally do get to stand before our Creator and Savior.  We will not stop in praising His name, and I know that just doing that will cause me to feel more joy than I ever thought possible.  That, however, is not all that we will enjoy once we are there.  We will serve Him and He will shelter us.  There will be no more hunger or thirst or even sunburn or heat exhaustion!  Whatever pain and suffering we once experienced will be forever gone.  God Himself will wipe every tear from our eyes.  We’ll get even more description of what it will be like to live in God’s presence as we progress in Revelation but this beginning would be good enough for me!

At this point Christ opens the seventh and final seal which reveals seven angels with seven trumpets.  When those trumpets sound boy the World is really going to be hurting, but before we get to that part of our reading, we see another angel with a golden censer who offers a great deal of incense to go along with the prayers of the saints.  This is important guys.  Here we see a picture of how God views the prayers of His children.  You see, our prayers are like a sweet aroma to God.  I can’t remember the movie, but I remember watching a scene where an upper crust lady was scrunched between a couple of filthy bums; the great unwashed as it were.  She made an awful face and crinkled her nose like she smelled something horribly rotten.  The next time the camera went back to her she had a bottle of perfume out of her purse and she was sprinkling the bums liberally.

Let me tell you guys, to God our world stinks to high Heaven, and so do most of our deeds, but our prayers – now there is some sweet smelling perfume.  Have you ever stopped to think about how much God enjoys hearing from you in prayer?  I have one daughter and she still lives with me, but there will be a day when she moves out.  Let me tell you as much as I’m looking forward to seeing that girl grow up, I will subsequently cherish every phone call, email, letter, and visit I get from her.  I will enjoy hearing her talk about that which is important to her; about her joys and sorrows, her struggles and triumphs and how I can help her.  If I’m not being too presumptuous, I think that’s how God feels about our prayers.  How often do you talk to your Heavenly Father?  He’d like to hear from you, and the sooner, and the more often, the better.

Have a blessed day!

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

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