The Bare Soul - November 7, 2010
Worthy is the Lamb

Revelation 5:11-12 - Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing."

To understand the worth of something is often to comprehend who is deserving of its value. My parents instructed me as a child to appreciate what I received from both their hand and that of others. They taught me the value of working for something that I wanted, and saving until the time I could afford to pay for it with cash. This was an invaluable lesson that I believe is lacking with many today. The endemic idea in our present society to "buy now and pay later" has trained generations in how not to understand the value of costly investments. Rather than purchase a vehicle that is within their budget, many would rather sign a contract for the "easy payment plan". This sort of instant gratification has dumbed-down any idea of the value of their so-called possession. Truly, they own nothing in this regard but have become the lender's slave (Proverbs 22:7).

In the redemptive sense, Jesus Christ paid every installment for our salvation. We can all experience His forgiveness if we will but accept His finished work on Calvary. However, not everyone sees the gift of salvation in the same way. This is easy to understand as we see how people treat their salvation. If it is something they only pull out on Sundays to make a good showing to their fellow parishioners, then it is probably something they don't value much. Many believe a certain way because their parents believed a certain creed. Some might only believe because they hope for a "get out of hell free" card that they can show to the Savior on that last day. (Many who are counting on this "fire insurance" may be disappointed when that final day comes.) As the hymn states, Jesus paid it all ... but how many of us really believe ... all to Him we owe? Do we really understand the worth of His sacrifice? Scripture tells us that one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:11). "Every" implies both saved and unsaved will bow the knee in abject adoration to Jesus Christ's Lordship. However, there will also be a group as our lead verse states where a multitude will be around the throne extolling Christ as King. The scripture in Revelation 5:12 tells us that their proclamation is not one done in a whisper, but that it is full of a "loud voice". Praise be to God that heaven will be full of loud rejoicing concerning the Lamb and His Father! Paul tells us in II Timothy 1:7 that God has not given us a spirit of timidity but of power. However, this confidence and power comes at a price that only we can pay. True, Christ paid for our eternal security through His blood, but there is still something He requires from us.

We will only truly understand the worth of Christ's sacrifice through revelation. First of all, to the depth of understanding of what He saved us from will equal our degree of appreciation regarding His priceless gift. Jesus told a simple parable to Simon the Pharisee regarding to what degree redemption will be embraced in Luke 7:30-40. The harlot who understood the depth of Jesus' love for her and others was overcome with expressive sorrow as she bathed His feet with her tears, wiping them with her hair. Jesus very poignantly told Simon that those who are forgiven much will love much. Of course, the reality is that we have all been forgiven much. However, some of our sins are more blatant and glaring than others. The woman understood through a point of revelation that there was no way she could redeem herself -- that only the Lord through His mercy could touch her and eliminate her guilt and sin. The key to her transformation most simply stated was revelation of herself and equally that of Jesus the Redeemer. She had come to a point of realization and unfortunately Simon had not regarding his own sin. Though unstated, Jesus' message to Simon was to gain revelation of his own sinfulness so that he could also receive forgiveness. This is what we all must possess to approach Jesus and His salvation -- a heart of wisdom and understanding that only comes through a revelation of who we are and who He is. Solomon states: For if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:3-5)

We will never have perfect vision on this side of eternity regarding what Christ has done for us by shedding His blood. As those loudly proclaim Jesus' worthiness around the throne of God, someday we too will have "heavenly vision" regarding what He did for humankind. However, we must still continue to pray and to seek His understanding on this side of Glory to begin to comprehend His indescribable gift. Some will not care, and will continue to live lives that are self-gratifying throughout the week hoping that their presence in church on Sunday gets them a free pass to heaven. However, heaven may be somewhat boring and "loud" for these that have avoided Jesus here on earth. For those that choose instead to seek His face in this lifetime, these will continue to be amazed at what He reveals. Jesus surely paid all the installments on our salvation, but He also wants us to continue to seek Him and worship Him for the price He paid. Instant gratification is something the Lord never promised us. What He did say is that if we continue to long after and pursue Him in our temporal home that He would reveal Himself in all His glory in that eternal home to come. All He desires is that we would accept Him for who He is and to look to ourselves for what He desires to do within us. He WILL reveal Himself to us if we will but ask. Only then will we start to see that He truly is worthy to be praised both now and forevermore.

Lord Jesus, we long for the day to stand with myriads of the faithful and to sing Your praises with a loud voice proclaiming, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing". But allow us to join that heavenly throng even now. Give us revelation of who we are and what You have done. Help us to see Your glorious gift in all its splendor. For we pray this in Your name and for Your glory, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

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