Standing in the Midst of the Lampstands
“I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.” 
Evangelical churches today should be classified by-and-large as dysfunctional. I am not giving a pass to the statist churches—they largely departed from the Faith long ago. Liberal churches are irrelevant in influencing society for righteousness; they don’t truly count in the tally of Kingdom work. However, I am concerned that evangelical churches, seeking acceptance from the culture in which they exist, are quite prepared to compromise the Faith. For far too many of us who identify ourselves as Evangelicals, compromise with the world is acceptable—nay, even mandatory.
In making statements such as these, I don’t wish to appear harsh; however, professing Christians generally appear to be ignorant of the Word—they either are incapable of or unwilling either to define or to articulate what they profess to believe. It appears to be a general rule that professing Christians seek personal comfort; they long for something that will make them feel good about themselves. Tragically, too many professing Christians give little evidence that they understand why they were saved. I fault those of us who preach in great measure for this condition; we who occupy the sacred desk have often done an abysmal job of declaring the mind of God. Threatened by the unrighteous demands of spiritually dyspeptic parishioners, we who bear the name of Pastor are hesitant to declare the revealed will of God. Rushing from one committee meeting to the next and endeavouring to fulfil the expectations of personnel committees, we have little time for study of the Word and even less time for prayer. It is a mark of God’s grace and power that anyone is actually saved. Too often, if we are honest, we preachers must confess that God works among His people in spite of us, and not because of us.
Among modern churches, self-centred church members appear to be the rule. However, this is not what is presented in the Word of God. There, whenever we witness Christ and His churches, the will of the Master is always central. Jesus is in the midst of His people, observing their actions and grieving over their exaltation of the self. For far too many of our churches, the name could be changed to Ichabod Church, for the glory departed long ago [see 1 SAMUEL 4:21]. Though the people on the platform labour mightily to generate excitement, they always discover that there is a great difference between excitement and worship.
I am convinced that we who preach, to say nothing of those who listen each week, are in desperate need of recapturing a vision of the Master. In order to address this need, I invite you to consider the vision the Revelator presents when he was commissioned by the Ascended Master.
JOHN FIRST SAW SEVEN GOLDEN LAMPSTANDS — I am struck by the fact that when he turned, John’s eye was drawn to the seven golden lampstands. It was only after he had described the lampstands that he witnessed the Master standing in the midst of the lampstands. Shortly, the Revelator will inform readers that the seven golden lampstands represent the seven churches [REVELATION 1:20b]. The significance of this observation must not be overlooked. Underscore in your mind that before he sees the Risen Christ, John sees the churches. The world always sees the churches, identifying Christ with the body through which He is revealed. Christ is identified with His people! There is a reason that a church is identified as the Body of Christ.
When the world hears the voice of the Master, they will hear His voice emanating from the midst of the churches. The voice of the Master does not come from some spiritual section of a bookstore. Neither does the voice of the Saviour arise from some noisy March for Jesus or even from a rambunctious convocation of men shouting spiritual slogans in unison. The voice of the Master will be heard from the midst of His churches, for that is where He stands!
Before pursuing this thought farther, pause to consider one momentous truth—the message we proclaim, either with our voice or through the manner in which we live, is identified with the voice of Christ. If our lives speak of casual faith, or if our voice gives an uncertain sound, the world will not be drawn to the Person of the Master. If our lives reveal commitment to live to glorify the Master and if our message boldly proclaims His grace, the world will hear His voice. In this way, the people of God can be said to “adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour” [see TITUS 2:10].
Believers united in assemblies form the critical interface between Christ and the world. The tendency among North American Christians is to emphasise individual pursuit of the Master. To be certain, each believer is responsible to study the Word for himself or for herself, and each believer is responsible to be knowledgeable of all that has been delivered to us through the Word. Because we are charged with knowing the Word, each believer is charged to be a witness to the grace of Christ the Lord and to His power to save. Assuredly, the Great Commission is a Christian charge incumbent upon each individual who names the Name of Christ the Lord.
Nevertheless, those who are redeemed are responsible to unite with that assembly where the Spirit of God places him or her, participating there in advancing of the Kingdom of God. The purpose for uniting is outlined in the words Doctor Luke used to describe the activity of the first congregation. The believers having openly confessed the Christ through baptism “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved” [ACTS 2:42-47].
Those who are redeemed are commanded to be baptised, identifying in the death, burial and resurrection of the Master. They are to unite in assembly for the purpose of instruction in doctrine, for fellowship, for worship and for prayer. The people of God are gathered into churches where they may be instructed in the truths of God’s Word. As they are taught they will be building one another through sharing their lives and as they employ the gifts that God has entrusted to each believer for serving one another. Those gathered into churches will seek opportunity to worship and to unite to seek answers to their requests presented before the Master.
Above all else, those gathered in assemblies are to echo the voice of Master. Through His churches, the voice of the Living God is to be heard. What is the voice that is heard from your church? Much of what is heard from modern evangelicalism echoes society. However, a brief consideration of the history of God’s voice will be instructive for each of us as believers. The voice of the Lord through His prophets—and through those who today preach prophetically, the voice of the Lord through His churches—has a major impact on mankind.
Going back in your mind to the words of Isaiah, you will recall that the prophet heard a voice asking, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Hearing the voice, Isaiah cried out, “Here I am! Send me” [ISAIAH 6:8]. Because he heard the voice of the Lord and responded with alacrity, the power of God would be revealed throughout all history in the words he spoke and especially in the things he wrote. Someone hears the voice of the Lord through the life of His churches today, and that someone responds to change his world.
What Isaiah heard and his response anticipated the experience of Augustine. You may recall that Augustine in the garden at Milan heard a voice commanding him, “Tolle lege”—“Take and read.” That voice changed his life as he understood it to mean that he was to take up the Bible and read. That voice changed his life, and ensured the faith of millions in the centuries since that time. The words of Augustine reverberate across the centuries, and if you will, the voice that he heard likewise resonates to this day.
The preacher who will honour the Master will accept the implicit command in the statement given that anticipated the ministry of John the Baptiser:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
make his paths straight.’”
And the church that will honour the Master will not only insist that the voice of the pulpit echo the voice of the Master, but will themselves ensure that, as is true of the heavens, so for them,
“Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.”
What voice will we heed? Our world is filled with a multitude of babbling voices; each clamours for a hearing, each promises emancipation from evil and the dawn of a new era. The voice of politics promises deliverance and peace; but the voice errs. Others listen for the voice of economics, promising that if only we will invest in this commodity or purchase that bond, we will enjoy peace and plenty. Tragically, those listening to these voices are misled and doomed to disappointment. Jesus challenged, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul” [MATTHEW 16:26]? Others place their hope in the voice of education. Unfortunately, those voices muffle, trivialise, stifle and defy the voice of the Living God. How tragic should one heed the voice of education and lose her life. Education may tell of thousands of wonders, but it falters at the truth of abundant life in Christ the Lord. The voice of science promises much, and delivers little. Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, “Science can sharpen the fangs of ferocity as much as it can alleviate human pain.” Paul warns, “Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called ‘knowledge’” [1 TIMOTHY 6:20].
What is needed is the voice of God speaking to the heart of each individual; and that voice is heard through the Word of God declared from the pulpits of His churches and magnified through the lives of His people as they conduct their daily lives to the praise of His glory. Without that voice, the world must continue drunkenly teetering toward ruin and desolation. When a child is racing toward injury and calamity, a voice of authority halts him in his tracks. The world desperately needs the authoritative voice of God ringing out to halt it from plunging into destruction. This is the admonition of the Word of God: “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching” [ROMANS 10:14]?
What is desperately required is the voice of the Master delivered through a living church. God spoke the message of life in the Son of God—the forgiveness of sin and adoption into the Family of God; now, the churches are charged to be His voice declaring that life-giving message. The Master did not come to form a non-profit religious organisation. He didn’t establish a vibrant community that hums with religious sounds and is controlled by a calendar filled with activities. He didn’t organise a noisy march or start an advocacy group. He didn’t come primarily to start a soup kitchen or a clothes closet. He didn’t print brochures and tracts and charge out to change the world. Rather, we read that “He went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve … so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority” [MARK 3:13-15].
Did you get what is written? Jesus called to Himself “those whom He desired” and appointed them “to preach and have authority.” It is through men whom He appointed and who are conformed to His image that the voice of the Risen Son of God is heard today. The churches of our Lord are charged to ensure that those who declare the Word preach peace to those who are far off [see EPHESIANS 2:17]. Because mankind is far off, we need a voice that declares with authority that all who are far off can be brought near by the blood of Christ [see EPHESIANS 2:13]. Thankfully, that voice will be heard through the churches where the Son of God walks and where He lives among His holy people.
I must speak pointedly and plainly for you who listen. God calls those who preach, those who guide His churches through the message they deliver, to be men of faith, declaring not only the sound theology presented by our spiritual forebears, but also pointing to the presence of the Living Son of God in the midst of His churches. We who preach are not appointed to declare some mystical materialistic utopia. We are not appointed to be seduced by this dying culture. Neither are we appointed so that we can shrink in cowardice at the raging diatribes slung about by those who are comfortable in their dying condition. If we will be true, we must be willing to sacrifice—yes, even to die—for the privilege of being the voice of the Living Saviour!
One pastor relates that a man told him that he hoped he would die before the world he knows disappeared. Perhaps some who listen have felt that way; perhaps some have even expressed those identical sentiments. Surely, many of us have longed for the return of the Lord, and our motives are not always pure. That pastor’s comment was prescient—the poor man was dead already! He had faith in a god of the past and not in the Living God of all eternity. 
If you long for “the good old days,” is it because you are unaware that the Eternal God is in our midst and that His voice is heard as it is proclaimed among His churches and by His followers who declare that He is alive and who live for His glory. Learn from the wise man:
“Say not, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.”
Dear people, I do not know what tomorrow holds, but I am confident of Who holds tomorrow. With the Apostle, each of us can declare, “I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me” [2 TIMOTHY 1:12]. Without His presence, we are reduced to blind optimism or to hopeless pessimism that no longer hears His voice—a voice that brought worlds into existence, a voice that raises the dead, a voice that gives health and hope to all who hear it, a voice that conquers the gloom of the tomb. Whenever a church recognises His presence in the midst of the assembly, they will preach with boldness, knowing that “those who hear will live” [JOHN 5:25].
When the congregation listens for His voice, they will hear and rejoice. When the preacher hears the voice of the Master, he cannot help but echo what he hears. Woe, to that preacher who reads the Word of God and fails to hear the clarion voice of the Master declare, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” [MATTHEW 11:28-30].
How dreadful the condemnation pronounced by Jeremiah of those who bore the livery of the True and Living God, and yet had not heard His voice.
“I did not send the prophets,
yet they ran;
I did not speak to them,
yet they prophesied.
But if they had stood in my council,
then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
and they would have turned them from their evil way,
and from the evil of their deeds.”
[JEREMIAH 23:21, 22]
Too many of our churches are similar to the Church of Sardis. The Master rebuked them, “I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead” [REVELATION 3:1]. Of the preachers in a day long past, the Apostle wrote, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news’” [ROMANS 10:14, 15]!”
Then, he appended this sad, dreadful assessment: “They have not all obeyed the Gospel” [ROMANS 10:16]. That commentary was not merely for the preachers of that distant day, it applies equally to us who occupy the sacred desk in this day. Whenever we preachers fail to proclaim His message and fail to be His voice, we are no longer obedient to the Gospel. When the churches demand that the preacher proclaim the message of Christ and spend time in His presence rather than attempting to promote our personal kingdoms, then will be heard in our day, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight’”
JOHN WITNESSED THE AWESOME MAJESTY OF THE MASTER — Listen to John’s description of the One whom he saw. “In the midst of the lampstands [I saw] one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength” [REVELATION 1:13-16].
Our Master is awesome! There can be no other description of the Risen Lord except awe inspiring. The words He spoke to John was with a voice like a loud trumpet [REVELATION 1:10b]; and the Master comforted John with His mighty words—words that comfort all who hear them. “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades” [REVELATION 1:17, 18].
I would ask you to take a moment to reflect on the voice of the Lord. The Psalmist speaks of that powerful voice when he writes:
“Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.
“The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD, over many waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
“The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.
“The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;
the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
“The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth
and strips the forests bare,
and in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!’”
In another of the Psalmist, David speaks of the powerful voice of the Lord, the same voice John turned to see.
“O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God;
sing praises to the Lord, Selah
to him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens;
behold, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice.
Ascribe power to God,
whose majesty is over Israel,
and whose power is in the skies.
Awesome is God from his sanctuary;
the God of Israel—
he is the one who gives power and strength to his people.
Blessed be God!”
When Moses speaks of the LORD, he speaks of His might and awesome majesty. “The LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God” [DEUTERONOMY 10:17]. The same statement is made of the Lord God by John when he speaks of the judgement of Babylon during the Great Tribulation.
“For this reason her plagues will come in a single day,
death and mourning and famine,
and she will be burned up with fire;
for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.”
Focus on that final statement: “Mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.” With Israel, we who believe can testify, “The LORD your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God” [DEUTERONOMY 7:21].
We are speaking of Christ the Lord, our Master and our Saviour. His Name stands for hope for the hopeless, help for the helpless and a home for the homeless. He saves, sanctifies and satisfies. I’m talking about Jesus. He is able to give sight to blind eyes, hearing to deaf ears and strength to weakened arms. He never went to a funeral that he didn’t break up by bringing the corpse back to life. I’m talking about Jesus; do you know Him?
He gave His life as a sacrifice for our sin; going down into the grave He cleaned it out and made it a pleasant place to await the resurrection. He conquered death and destroyed him who held the power of death. He took the sting of death in Himself, and now He gives courage to the worried, rest to the weary and power to the weak. Do you know Him!
He ascended into the glory where He is now seated at the right hand of the Father. He hears His people when they cry to Him; He is the God who hears and answers prayer. You see, I’m talking about Jesus. He has promised to come again to take His people to be with Him. When He left this earth He promised, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going” [JOHN 14:1-4]. I’ve fixed my hope in Him, for He never disappointed anyone who looked to Him for life and His salvation is free, full and forever. Amen. Do you know Him? Do you know His Name? Have you heard His voice? He is God and He will save you now.
JOHN THEN NOTED THAT THE PASTORS ARE HELD IN THE HAND OF THE MASTER — John observes seven stars held in the right hand of the glorious Master. Shortly, the Revelator will identify these “stars” as “the angels of the seven churches” [REVELATION 1:20]. The term “angels” could throw us. Does it mean that each church has an angel assigned to oversee it? That could be the case, though there is no confirmation of such a concept to be found elsewhere in Scripture. A brief review of the Greek tongue is in order to determine what John meant when he identified the seven stars in the Master’s hand as “the angels of the seven churches.”
Many fine commentators contend that “the angels of the churches” are heavenly beings. They base their argument on the word itself, arguing that the word “angels” never refers to anything other than heavenly beings. However, I caution you that the Greek word ángelos may be translated “messenger.” For instance, in LUKE 7:24, that is the translation of the word ángelos. “When John’s messengers [ángèlon] had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?”
In fact, Jesus identified John as the messenger of God [LUKE 7:27]. This identification is applied to John as recorded also in MATTHEW 11:10 and MARK 1:2. The fulfilment of Malachi’s prophecy of a messenger who was to prepare the way before the Lord [see MALACHI 3:1] was fulfilled in John. So, John is the messenger, the ángelos of the Lord. Later, Jesus will send out “messengers [ángelos] ahead of Him” who were appointed to go into the Samaritan villages to prepare for His arrival [LUKE 9:52]. Similarly, Joshua is said to have sent out messengers who were received by Rahab [JAMES 2:25].
Those arguing that “the angels of the seven churches” are supernatural beings often present the argument that the angels are called “stars”—perhaps a reference to their luminous personage. However, note that when Jude warns of apostates who were insinuating themselves into the churches, he spoke of them as “wandering stars” [JUDE 13], just as these identified as the angels of the churches are identified as stars. Also, you will remember that Daniel states that soul-winners are destined to shine like the stars forever. Obviously, then, the term “stars” need not be restricted to heavenly, supernatural beings.
What is obvious is that the messengers of the churches (angels) appear to have authority; thus, the term likely refers to the pastors of the churches. This identification is strengthened when we note the letters that John is commanded to write. He is to write to the angel of the church in Ephesus [REVELATION 2:1], to the angel of the church in Smyrna [REVELATION 2:8], and also to the angels of the churches in Pergamum [REVELATION 2:12], in Thyatira [REVELATION 2:18], in Sardis [REVELATION 3:1], in Philadelphia [REVELATION 3:7] and in Laodicea [REVELATION 3:14]. These letters contain reprimands against the heads of several of these churches; and since angels are never said to be head of a church, it seems best to understand that the angels of the churches are the messengers, the pastors of the churches.
The Risen Master holds the pastors in His hands. He appoints whom He wills to pastoral oversight. He is author of the message they are to deliver. He gives the increase when they faithfully perform their duties. To the believers gathered as the Church in Ephesus, the Master promised, “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” [REVELATION 2:10]. It is a promise that echoes the argument that Paul made in his final letter to Timothy. The Apostle said, “I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” [2 TIMOTHY 4:6-8].
He who faithfully preaches the message must do so at the direction of the Risen Lord. This is why Paul warned Timothy, “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” [2 TIMOTHY 4:1-4].
Preaching is an impossible task if we depend upon our own ingenuity. The pulpit is no place for a novel message; the man of God must echo the message of heaven itself. He is not charged to entertain or to pander to the spirit of the age; his responsibility is to be faithful to the One who appointed him to his office. He is given the Word; and therein he is to study, listening for the voice of the Master and endeavouring to make the message plain to those who listen.
The preacher, held in the Master’s hand, is encouraged by the promise given to Paul in Ephesus. “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people” [ACTS 18:9, 10]. The preacher who understands that he is appointed and not hired can know that he is invincible until he has completed the service which God assigned. God does control His servant. The preacher does not have a job—he has an appointment. This is not a job; it is a calling.
Because he is held in the hand of the Master, each preacher must ensure that he speaks only what he is assigned to say. He must declare the whole counsel of God [see ACTS 20:27], and do so with boldness [see ACTS 4:29-31]. He must preach the message he is assigned, knowing that as he declares the truth of God, many will not endure sound teaching. Nevertheless, the man of God, because he is appointed by the Son of God, must “be sober-minded, endur[ing] suffering, do[ing] the work of an evangelist, fulfill[ing his] ministry” [2 TIMOTHY 4:5]. Above all else, he must ensure that his message is firmly grounded in the Word, guided by the Spirit of Christ, to accomplish all that the Master has desired of that message.
Many years ago, I read of a church building in Switzerland. Arrayed around the walls of the nave was statuary representing prophets, apostles and evangelists. Each of the statues held a scroll, or a staff, or a harp, or some appropriate accoutrement identifying the office represented. Each statue, however, pointed with the right hand to the pulpit; for from there, Jesus was to be proclaimed. That is as it should be. All the prophets, all the apostles, all the evangelists pointed to Jesus the Messiah. Likewise, each preacher is responsible to point those who listen to the Son of God, exalting Him and directing attention to Him.
This is according to the Lord’s own Word. Jesus said, “Now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you” [JOHN 16:5-15].
Do you know this Saviour? Do you recognise His presence among His churches? Do you witness the beauty of the Living Saviour in the midst of His people? Do you live with anticipation of the day when our eyes of faith shall see Him revealed in His glory? There shall shortly be a day when the Master will come “to be glorified in His saints, and to be marvelled at among all who have believed” [2 THESSALONIANS 1:10]. Among that mighty throng in which He will be glorified are you who have believed, because our testimony was believed. I pray that includes all who listen this day.
If somehow you are still outside the life of Christ the Lord, know that He died because of your sin and He was raised from the dead for your justification. Thus, the Word of God now calls you, saying, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is my Master,’ believing in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be set free. With the heart one believes and is made right with the Father, and with the mouth one confesses and is set free” [ROMANS 10:9, 10].
I pray you are included in that number who has believed. God calls each one, promising, “Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved” [ROMANS 10:13]. I pray that you have indeed seized this promise and that you now have the life He promises. Amen.
 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Bob L. Phillips, “The Voice,” Kairos Journal, http://www.kairosjournal.org/InsightDetail.aspx?InsightID=52&L=1, accessed 15 March 2012