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The Last Survivor

by Skip Heitzig |
This past Tuesday, we celebrated Veteran's Day here in America. It used to be called Armistice Day, to honor the end of World War I, and it's still called that in many parts of the world. Surprisingly, there are still a handful of living veterans from that conflict. Of the ten men who have been verified as serving during World War I, only one American, Frank W. Buckles, remains.

Buckles, who drove an ambulance in France, is now 107 years old, and he's been quoted as saying, "When you start to die…don't." It's a poignant statement, when you consider that ten years ago there were 600 surviving veterans of World War I and now there are only ten. Since these men are all between 107 and 112, very soon all of them will be gone.

In the latter part of the first century, John was the last survivor of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. He was a prisoner on Patmos, a volcanic island in the Aegean Sea. "The disciple whom Jesus loved" had been part of Jesus' inner circle. He had leaned on Jesus at the Last Supper. He was with Him at the Transfiguration, and at Gethsemane. He was the only disciple present at the cross, and he was first disciple to reach the tomb after the Resurrection. And it was John who believed first.

Yet, here he was, an elderly man being persecuted for Jesus Christ. He was isolated and alone, yet he didn't become bitter. In fact, God still wanted to use him. He received a vision of the risen Christ with a message to the believers, and he wrote it down around the year 90 A.D. as the Book of Revelation. He was a suffering Christian, writing to suffering Christians, and he wrote to encourage them.

Maybe you are suffering today. Maybe you're in a job you hate, or a difficult, unfulfilling relationship. Or perhaps you're in a hospital bed, isolated from people. You're thinking, "I can't get out, and I'm not being encouraged."

Here's my word to you, faithful servant of Jesus Christ: Remember, you are never alone. Jesus said, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20). And Hebrews 13:5 says, "For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'"

God hasn't forgotten you. He still has a purpose for you, and He wants you to be encouraged. You might be in an "isle of Patmos" situation today--you might be the last survivor--but God has brought you there to reveal Himself to you. Meditate on those verses, and receive encouragement from the Lord.

In His strong love,

Skip Heitzig

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The Daily God Book: Through the Bible in 365 Days

The Daily God Book: Through the Bible in 365 DaysThe Daily God Book: Through the Bible in 365 Days is an innovative devotional by Skip Heitzig. In it, you'll find unique insights on key stories and chapters throughout the Bible, along with points to consider as you read.

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