“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 1:4b-8
When John extends grace and peace to the seven churches in Asia, he makes much of their Giver and Source. These gifts pale in comparison to the infinite God, Spirit, and Jesus Christ from whom they proceed. John wants these believers to know the One who is the Giver of every good and perfect gift, the eternal Creator and Sustainer of life, the supreme Ruler of kings and nations, the perfect, benevolent Sovereign. He would tell much about His provisions, visions, and lessons, but it was He who was the protagonist, the lead actor, the solo star in effecting the grace and peace He bestowed. He always had been, was, and always would be supreme Lord. (Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:3; James 1:17)
When we hanker for goods or affection, and look for stability or peace or my-way resolution, it is natural to go after and be taken by the objects and favors and answers themselves. We want what we want in my time and this place and now. But we must never seek gifts apart from the Giver, nor dictate their how and when, nor think successes are self-achieved. We have nothing that has not come from God’s hand that upholds the universe and has provided from eternity past to future everything needed by man. (John 3:27; Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 4:7; Colossians 1:16-17)
How willing are we to push aside the stuff we seek to behold Him, enthroned? What needs to be cast away so we can bow before this self-existent One, the firstborn and risen faithful witness? The One who loved us so much He died to free us from all our sins, and their consequences and fallout, forever? In seeking Him, with thanksgiving, trust, and praise, we find the grace and peace we desire. It is in Him, His abiding, strong presence that indwells and surrounds and hems us in. (Psalm 139:5; Philippians 4:6-7; John 14:27)
He always has been and is the Ruler of all rulers, King of every king on earth through the ages. He is the only and true source of grace and peace. Behold Him in wonder! (John 1:14; 1 Timothy 1:17; 6:15; Revelation 19:16)
“Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”
Lord, may I always seek You above Your gifts, to Your praise.