“John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
“Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.
“To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.'” Revelation 1:4-8
John’s brief greeting to the churches is chock full of Jesus Christ. John- his heart, his mind, his vision, his compulsion, his life aim- is also full of Jesus, and it is this Savior he adores, is fixed upon, and compelled to proclaim. The blessing of grace and peace to begin his letter is possible only from Jesus, whose name is the limitless Source of both.
The name of Jesus is no game, but the ever-present reality of our King who endures forever. (Psalm 135:13)
Him who is and who was and who is to come: Our Savior, eternally existent with the Father, sustains us to walk in His name forever. (Deuteronomy 33:27; Micah 4:5; John 1:1-2)
The faithful witness: Jesus is the exact image of the Father, and reveals Him to us by radiating His glory. (Hebrews 1:3)
The firstborn of the dead: Jesus rose from death to give us resurrection life and power. (Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 6:14)
The ruler of kings on earth: Sovereign God reigns over all things, and is trustworthy to fulfill His righteous purposes. (Psalm 57:2; Isaiah 14:24)
Him who loves us: He sets His affection on us, enabling us to love Him and others. (Deuteronomy 7:7-9; Isaiah 43:4; 1 John 4:16;19)
Him who has freed us from our sins by his blood: Once we are set free from the penalty, grip, and condemnation of sin, we are free indeed to serve. (John 8:36; Romans 8:1; 1 Peter 2:16)
Him who made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father: We are chosen to proclaim His excellencies to a dark world. (1 Peter 2:9)
The Alpha and the Omega: He who begins every good work- in us, those we love, and the world- will see themthrough to completion. He founds and finishes all faith. (Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 12:2)
The Almighty: There is nothing too difficult or wonderful God cannot do. (Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17)
In which name will I delight and trust today? Which identity will I wear and proclaim? The One who calls us by name is the One who backs that calling and salvation by the authority and power of His.
Resplendent Lord Jesus, may I daily take time to gaze at Your eyes of pure fire, cling to Your solid feet, and listen keenly to Your voice that roars like many waters to wash and catch me in its flow. May I never stop marveling at Your name that is above all others, so that, according to Your grace and dominion, it may be glorified in me. (Philippians 2:9-11; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12)