John, to the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
— Revelation 1:4-5

John is writing a letter, so he begins here with a greeting. Though he is writing to seven churches in the Roman province of Asia (present-day Turkey), this letter is not limited to those seven churches. Written under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God, this letter is meant for the entire church of Jesus Christ. The church is made aware of God’s grace in Christ to strengthen its faith in times of challenge and hardship, including physical persecution that will come its way. God has provided Jesus as the Savior, “the ruler of the kings of the earth.” Knowing this helps us to put all things into perspective as history unfolds. John greets his readers with grace and peace from the God who is, was, and always will be—in the name of Jesus, the Christ (Messiah). Jesus is the faithful witness to all that God provides for the church. Jesus alone is the “firstborn from the dead,” and he is the exalted King over all kings (see also Colossians 1:15-20; Psalm 89:27), whether they be emperors, monarchs, presidents, prime ministers, CEOs, or chairs of the board. To Jesus, “who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,” belong all glory, power, and praise forever!

Lord and God, thank you for helping us know you as our Savior and King. May we rest in you alone and honor you each day. Amen.

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