Summary: This is a Thanksgiving sermon that explores the passage from Revelation reminding us of why we should be Thankful.
Revelation 1: 4b – 8 / A to Z
Intro: A very devout Christian woman went into a pet store. She saw a beautiful parrot that she offered to buy. The store owner hesitated saying that he couldn’t sell her that parrot because it had belonged to a sailor and cussed a blue streak. The woman insisted and bought the parrot. She took the parrot home and told the parrot that if it swore, she would place it in the freezer for 10 minutes to break him of the habit. The parrot began cussing and swearing. True to her word, the woman placed the parrot in the freezer for 10 minutes. When she took the bird from the freezer he said, “Pppplease llllady, . . . wwwwould yyyou tttell mmmme jjjjust one ttthing? Wwwwhat ddddid ttthat ttturkey dddo?
I. Obviously, the parrot did not appreciate the blessing that he had received by being purchased. As a preface to his book, John writes in VS. 3 “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy . . .”
A. The book of revelation begins with the word “blessed” It is literally translated “happy the one who” . . . and then goes on to tell why we who read this prophecy are blessed.
B. VS 4 GRACE – grace means all the splendor of the undeserved gifts of the wondrous love of God for humanity. Nothing we have earned; but, is freely given by God. We are blessed because of God’s grace.
C. VS. 4 and PEACE – the harmony that is restored between God and humanity through the death of Christ Jesus. --- All this comes from “Him who is, and who was, and who is to come . .”
II. John goes on to relate 3 titles that are given to Jesus. Titles are symbols of status and position. We give people titles like doctor, professor, reverend, honorable, senator, congressman, president, general, admiral, prince, king etc. Each title tells us something about the nature of that person.
A. VS. 5 – Faithful witness A witness is essentially a person who speaks from first-hand knowledge about something they have seen with their own eyes or heard with their own ears. Jesus is God’s witness.
B. VS. 5 first-born from the dead – PROTOTOKOS – refers to the first to be resurrected. It can also refer to the first-born son who inherits the father’s honor and power and all the father has.
C. Vs. 5 ruler of the kings of the earth – He is the Messiah, the promised one of God. Therefore there is nothing in life or in death of which Christ Jesus is not Lord. Everything from A to Z is subject to Christ Jesus.
III. John goes on to say what Jesus does for us and for all humanity.
A. In 1998 I was walking along the beach in the north of France. It was a beautiful evening with the sun setting and cool breezes blowing. I looked into Barbara’s eyes and knew for the first time that I was in love with her and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. VS. 6 Jesus loves us. The first Christ Jesus laid eyes on us, he loved us.
B. Vs. 5 and has freed us – Christ Jesus has set us free from our sins at the cost of His own blood on the cross.
C. VS. 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father. – In the OT only the priests had access to God in the Holy of Holies. Through Christ Jesus, we are true children of God and have complete access to the presence of God.
Conclu: The visiting pastor put a 50 cent piece in the offering plate as it passed before him. After the service, the head usher came to the visiting pastor and said that it was customary for the congregation to give the entire offering from the service to the visiting pastor. Remembering his meager gift, the Pastor was reminded that if he had given more, he would have received more. So it is with us. This Thanksgiving remember to be thankful for what you have to give and why you have it. . . . The Lord has already blessed you with A to Z.