Grapes on the Vine, God's Abundant Provision for His People

A daily devotion for February 27th

Don't Be Afraid

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Revelation 1:17-18

These are wonderful words of reassurance to us who have to live in a frightening time in our own lives. Let us consider them as being spoken to us by the risen Lord, as they were spoken to John on that day of world trouble in the 1st century. Jesus said, Don't be afraid. I think this is what we need to hear in these days when many Christians are very much afraid. Surely nothing is less glorifying to God than a fearful Christian. Jesus was always saying, Fear not to his frightened disciples. The Gospels record that every time they were in trouble, they expressed themselves in manifestations of fear, anxiety, worry, and panic, but the Lord always came along at the right moment and said, Fear not as he says here to John.

What Jesus meant was, first, Don't be afraid of me because John was afraid. Seeing the Lord Jesus risen and glorified was a frightening sight. All the prophets and apostles and saints who have seen God in glory have always fallen down in fear and trembling before him. But Jesus reassures John, saying, Don't be afraid. By this he means that God is our friend, not our enemy; he is for us, not against us. In Romans 8, the Apostle Paul says, If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31). The writer of Hebrews puts it, …be content with such things as ye have: for he has said, I will never ever, never ever leave thee nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5 KJV). Now that is the great promise which Jesus makes here to John.

Jesus says there are two reasons why we are not to be afraid: First, he says, I am the first and the last. I am the living one. That means that he is at the beginning and at the end of everything in everybody's life, and the living one, all the way in between. He is always with us. I am the first and the last. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the A and the Z of life. I am the beginning and the ending and the living one. The present tense is used all the way through. Jesus is the One who goes with us through everything. How many of the saints have been helped from time to time by remembering that, in the midst of their troubles, the Lord was with them! Those reassuring words are intended to comfort those who feel alone, and who want somebody to stand with them through a time of trouble. We look to each other for that, but oftentimes human beings fail. But Jesus will not fail. This is his word to us, Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One.

Jesus, you are the Living One, the first and the last. I praise you that you are alive today, and even though I may fail, you never will.

Life Application

In what current circumstances in your life do you need to remind yourself that Jesus is the Living One and will never fail you?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

Who's Minding the Store

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