The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. – Revelation 1.1-3
The book of Revelation is one of those books which is full of mystery and imagery and difficult teachings. I will be the first to admit that I don’t even come close to understanding all of the images and symbols and mysteries. I am glad that one day I will get to know it all.
But there are many things that are very clear and which have clear applications for the church today. This is one of those passages.
Blessed is he who read these words and hears the words of this prophecy and keeps them. Though these words are specific to the book of Revelation they are a clear reminder of the need for God’s people to do more than just read and hear God’s word.
God’s word, in Revelation and elsewhere, is there for more than just our reading. We read God’s word and we keep it in our hearts and we do it. It isn’t like a history book or a good novel. We don’t really have a ‘take it or leave it’ option. Our blessing does not come from just a casual reading to tick it off our daily ready list. God blesses when we read it, take it in our hearts and lives, and do it.