Focal Passage: Revelation 4:1-11
John Piper tells a story of when he preached about the holiness of God without giving any application. He usually tries to be practical in his preaching, but on this occasion he wanted to see if portraying the greatness of God would meet the needs of his people.
He says, “I didn’t realize that not long before this Sunday one of the young families of our church discovered that their child was being sexually abused by a close relative. It was incredibly traumatic. They were there that Sunday morning and sat under the message. I wonder how many advisers to us pastors today would have said: ‘Pastor Piper, can’t you see your people are hurting? Can’t you come down out of the heavens and get practical? Don’t you realize what kind of people sit in front of you on Sunday?’ Some weeks later I learned the story. The husband took me aside one Sunday after a service. ‘John,’ he said, ‘these have been the hardest months of our lives. Do you know what has gotten me through? The vision of the greatness of God’s holiness that you gave me the first week of January. It has been the rock we could stand on.’”
Jesus knew what the persecuted Christians in the first century needed was a glimpse of the greatness and holiness of God.
They didn’t just need practical steps for various circumstances of life. More than that, they needed to understand that God is majestically seated on His throne and holds the unfolding history of the world firmly in His hands. They don’t have to fear their adversaries. They just need to rest in the comfort of their glorious Father.
Today in America resistance to God’s Word seems to be increasing, and there are lots of questions about what impact this will have on our churches. Rest in the fact that no court and no government can remove God from His throne! Let’s join in heaven’s celebration and worship our thrice holy, almighty God. He created all things, and all things exist to accomplish His unstoppable plan.