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Worthy Is the Lord

(Revelation 4)

Lesson 7 -- second quarter 2007
April 15, 2007

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2007

He alone is worthy.

The Lamb is worthy!

He was slain for our redemption. He was slain for our cleansing. He was slain for our peace. He was slain for our healing. He was slain. For me. For you. For us.

The Lamb is worthy!

To Him belongs power. The Lamb has power to control, to govern, to conquer. He also has power to heal, to bless, to free, to strengthen. His power is unequaled, unrivaled, unlimited. May His power be over us, in us, and through us.

The Lamb is worthy!

To Him belong riches. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. And the fish in a thousand lakes. And the minerals in a thousand mines. And all the wealth of a thousand galaxies. He also owns the riches of mercy, grace, and longsuffering. He will supply all my need, all your need, and all our need.

The Lamb is worthy!

To Him belongs wisdom. Wisdom that confuses the "wise" and enlightens the simple. Wisdom for planning the universe, for executing the process of redemption, and for arranging the workings of life. Wisdom so complete that it cannot be instructed. Wisdom so simple and direct that even a child can know it. Wisdom so exquisite that it confounds the wise of this world. Wisdom so high and so hidden that the powers of darkness can neither know it nor thwart it. Wisdom for our lives.

The Lamb is worthy!

To Him belongs strength. Strength to calm the storm, to cast out demons, and to make water rise to the tip of a giant sequoia. Strength to make the sun stop, and even go backward. Strength to raise the dead -- physically or spiritually or both. Strength to protect, to provide, and to guide. Strength for our encouragement, for our correction, and for anything and everything else we need. And I know He watches over me.

The Lamb is worthy!

To Him also belong honor, glory, and blessing. But I'll not write three more puny little paragraphs skirting the edges of His worthiness.

"...Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing" (Revelation 5:12). The Lamb was slain, so the Lamb is worthy.

Let the kingdoms of this world have their national holidays and solemn remembrances. We have the Lord's Supper! Let them have their kings and heroes, we have the Lamb! After their kings and heroes lose their luster, and after their holidays and remembrances cease to move them, we'll still be singing the praises of the Lamb Who is worthy!

The next time you observe of the Lord's Supper, include this awareness. And I'm sure you will thus partake in a worthy manner.

As you remember what the Lord did for you, remember the glory that was set before Him. Then remember that the servant is not greater than his Lord. Then set your face toward Him and redirect your steps after His.

Because the Lamb is worthy!

My life is not mine to live for myself. Neither is your life yours to live for yourself. Listen: "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created" (Revelation 4:11). Let me remember that the next time I'm tempted to pursue my own pleasure. Let me remember that the next time I wonder what to do with my life.

Why should Jesus be preeminent?

Do you know what preeminent means? One dictionary defines the term as "superior to or notable above all others; outstanding." In other words, to be preeminent is to be "more" or "better" than anything else. For example, if something is beautiful, the preeminent would be more beautiful; if someone is excellent in inventiveness, the preeminent would be more inventive; if someone has authority and power, the preeminent would have more authority and power.

Jesus should be preeminent because He is preeminent. Ultimately, "every knee shall bow." But why?

He created everything. In the final analysis, everything that exists is his handiwork. (True, many things have gone to waste.) The witness of John 1:3 declares clearly, "without him was not any thing made that was made." And Revelation 4:11 resonates with this praise and acclamation: "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things." Since when should the created by more or better than the Creator? Of course He is preeminent!

Everything was created for Him. Jesus is the reason for the existence of all things. Their foremost purpose for being is Him and Him alone. The conclusion of Revelation 4:11 leaves no doubt: "for thy pleasure they are and were created." When something or someone exists for the pleasure and purposes of another, who is more or better? Of course He is preeminent!

He is before all things. Can you name one thing that came before Jesus? Since He made all things, how could any of those things be before Him? So if their order of existence is after Him, why should they be before Him in any other way? At one point in His earthly ministry, Jesus commented to the Father about having been with Him "before the world was" (John 17:5). And in the first chapter of Revelation, Jesus speaks of Himself as Alpha, the beginning and the first. That being the case, how could anything after Him be more or better than He? Of course He is preeminent!

He holds everything together. "By him all things consist" means exactly that. Without Jesus, everything would come apart. What a mess that would be. What havoc; what chaos! What thing or being, that is so dependent on Him for its continued existence, would dare think itself somehow more or better than He? Of course He is preeminent!

Is He in your life?

Having established the preeminence of Christ, we need to decide whether we shall accept and yield to Him in his preeminence. In other words, is Jesus preeminent in your life and in mine? If not, then why not? After reading the previous section, does it make sense that we should be preeminent instead of He? No. If we say that He is preeminent in our lives, what does that mean?

Having Christ preeminent in my life should have some very practical, very visible results. What ought those to be? Here are two verse fragments to guide your thinking and discussing of this very important truth: "For in him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28) and "I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20).

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