A Window into the Worship to Come

by Shirley Ralston
This devotion was originally published at Thrive Ministry

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com
“And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song, saying:
‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.’”

Revelation 5:8-10
When we moved from the United States to the Middle East, I expected to have some restrictions placed on my religious freedoms. There were a few, but they didn’t hinder the thriving international church in my new home. Our city turned out to be a melting pot, one that included Christians from all over the world. Every Friday, hotel ballrooms all across the Emirates became a place of worship for believers from many different countries. 

My American worship experience had been rather homogenous. Worship now looked more like the redeemed people of every tribe, nation, and tongue described by the Apostle John in Revelation 5:8-10. Week after week, I participated in a foreshadowing of this passage, a time still to come when the heavenly hosts will worship the Lamb as they sing about the saved from all the nations on earth. Believers who are made to be “a kingdom and priests to serve our God.”(v. 10) 

Worshiping with God’s people, wherever you are serving in the world, is a window into the future. It will clarify your view of God’s eternal plan in a real and practical way. Maybe it will also give you a better perspective on your role in His plan as you share His saving message with others. Why? Because in John’s vision, the Gospel, “You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood” and the fruit of its spread through global work, “from every tribe and language and people and nation”(v. 9), reveal a future where you will have been a vital link in the chain. 

Be encouraged. In this prophetic passage, you are present in two places: in the multitude of the redeemed and in the people you touch with the Gospel who will then be standing alongside you.  

“We will have all eternity to celebrate our victories, but only a few short hours to win them.”  ―Amy Carmichael 
Lord Jesus, You are worthy of all blessing and honor and glory. When we gather together for worship, you give us a glimpse of what the multitudes will be like on a much grander scale when you return. We look forward to who will be there worshiping with us on that day because of the saving message you have given us to convey. Amen. 
The peoples of the world are mentioned several times in the book of Revelation (5:9, 7:9, 10:11, 11:9, 13:7, 14:6, 17:15). What do you think John’s reaction would have been to the broad diversity in people’s ethnicities that his first-century eyes had never seen?

About texpatfaith

I'm a returned Christian expat living in Texas after several years residing in the Middle East and the South Pacific. I have the great privilege of writing about my experiences through the eyes of my faith, and to know and love my brothers and sisters serving in Christ's name all over the world. I have a special heart for the missionary community whom I now serve through the Missionary Care Team at my church. I am a writer, researcher, teacher, and archaeology enthusiast who also loves peering into the heavens any chance I get - but most importantly I am a wife, mother and grandmother who loves the Lord. "The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman." Elisabeth Elliott Shirley Ralston (MA Christian Education, Dallas Theological Seminary)
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