Sermon Overview & Prayer: "From OZ to Awe"
Revelation 5 – PRAYER POINTS
From Oz to Awe – CJ Mahaney
These written prayers are intended to fuel your meditation on this passage and your enjoyment of God in prayer.
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
“We live in a culture where there is a serious absence of appropriate awe. The Book of Revelation wages war on the reductionism that chokes awe.” (Dennis Johnson)
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, Lord of Glory, I stand in awe of your presence for being a God who sits on the throne with myriads upon myriads of angels singing your praise. You are worthy of all of the worship that happens day and night before you. I am grateful that you have revealed your glory to me and invite me to join in on the worship of your throne. Hallelujah!
The drama of Revelation begins to unfold as John sees something new and significant. His attention is drawn to a sealed scroll in the right hand of the One seated on the throne. Why is John suddenly weeping loudly? His tears are informed by the sudden realization that if the scroll's seals cannot be broken then God’s glorious plans and purposes for His people will never be consummated.
“Perhaps he feared momentarily that even the Lord Jesus has been found unworthy.” (Greg Beale)
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, as Spurgeon says, “Let the thought of what life would be like without you enhance your preciousness.” If I didn’t have Jesus, I would weep loudly because there would be no one to rescue me from my sin. There would be no hope. Thanks be to You for sending your Son to rescue me and to bring me to worship before your throne. I am undone by your grace.
John expects to see a magnificent, conquering lion but instead sees a Lamb. John beholds the risen Christ with His crucifixion scars—an eternal reminder that He loved us and gave Himself for us. Jesus’ display of power was a display of sacrifice.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, forevermore, your scars will remind me to weep no more because you have conquered my enemies for my sake. I pray that the reality that you have set your love on me forever and have sacrificed yourself for my life would be on my mind consistently throughout today such that I would truly be in awe of your great love.
Notice that Jesus is standing in the center because He has appropriately become the center of everything.
PRAYER: Holy Spirit, would you give me supernatural vision to see that Christ is at the center of everything today. My trials, hardships, hurts, losses and everything else have all been given hope because Jesus’ love for me will conquer these things completely. Help me to apply this truth to whatever you have planned for me this day.
“The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” This assures the original readers, and us, that prayers for deliverance from unrighteous suffering are being heard in heaven.
PRAYER: Father, thank you that you hear my prayers and are answering them through your plan of redemption. Nothing that I pray today will fail to make it to your throne of grace. Thank you for this truth: when I call, you will answer me.
This Revelation song, a song for the Lamb of God, will never get old. We will never tire of singing it; it will never cease to affect us. It will endure throughout eternity! Christ appropriately receives the unrestrained praise of heaven because his death ransomed, redeemed, and liberated us from slavery to sin and purchased us for God.
PRAYER: Oh Lord, thank you that regardless of when my emotions wane or become dull, there is a new song for me to sing in praise of Christ and His work. I pray that this week I would accept the invitation to join in with the rest of the redeemed, gathered before your throne, and worship you because of the wondrous love you have shown me.
This vision comforts and strengthens those who are suffering and convicts and provokes those who are prospering.
PRAYER: Holy Spirit, this week I pray that you would help me consider one way to apply this passage. If I am undergoing a trial, I pray that you would help me meditate on the truth that God is my comfort and will one day right every wrong. If I need conviction, I pray that you would help me take steps to bring about repentance. Help me, Holy Spirit, to turn away from worshipping lesser things and gain a full awareness of the awe that is around your throne forever. Amen.
OVERVIEW OF THE SERMON:
In Revelation 5, John tells us the drama that unfolds in the scene set in chapter 4. He sees a scroll of unparallelled significance: a comprehensive book containing the post-resurrection plan for judgement and redemption. No one is worthy to open the scroll. but then the Lion of Judah, appearing as a slain lamb, is found worthy to open the scroll because of his work of redemption through the cross. All of heaven and earth erupts in praise and worship of the lamb who was slain and their creator on his throne, a heavenly celebration which we are invited to join.
- CJ said that Revelation “creates genuine awe in the hearts of the humble.” How has Revelation 5 created God-glorifying awe in your heart this week?
- Jesus is the conquering Lion of Judah and he appears in glory as a slain lamb. What do we learn from this?
- This vision would be an encouragement to the suffering church in Smyrna and would convict and provoke the church in Laodicea. How has the Spirit used this vision to challenge or strengthen you?
- As the worship of the Lamb takes place, the elders are holding bowls of incense which Revelation says is the prayers of the saints. How does this picture influence your thoughts of your prayer life?
- CJ said chapter 5 reveals the one who knocks at the door in chapter 3. It is his invitation to join with all creation in glorifying the lamb who was slain. How does this inform your view of the gathered church on Sundays?
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