by Dan Weyerhaeuser, Senior Pastor
Good job opening God’s Word again this morning! As you do, realize that through the watches of the night, your Father has not slumbered or slept, but watched over you with care. Thank Him, and thank Him for this chance to meet with Him Who is your life!
Take a few minutes to get focused upon Him.
Just before Jesus’ ascension to heaven (Acts 1:6-9), the disciples knew that God planned to “restore the Kingdom of Israel.” Many places in the Old Testament say as much. He had taught them to pray, “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Their only question seemed to be “When will it happen?” What they did not think to ask was, “What will it be like?” since God’s coming Kingdom includes ethnic Israelites who have become Christians, but also the whole world.
Revelation is the story of Jesus’ bringing the Kingdom of God to earth. Read Revelation 21:1-4, three times slowly.
We are looking at the moment in the future when Jesus establishes the Kingdom of God.
V. 1 John sees “a new heaven and a new earth.” As you read through these verses, what do you learn about them?
“The sea” is a metaphor in the Bible for the never resting, tumultuously rebellious hearts of people against God (eg: Ps 65:7-8). What significance is there to “the sea being no more?” Jesus is with you, talk with Him about this.
In Revelation John describes the things in the future with pictures. At times, John wants to describe multiple things about the same person or object. So he will use more than one picture. (“Behold the lion of Judah…. I looked and saw a lamb, looking as if it had been slain” are both pictures of Jesus in Rev 5:5-6). Here, the city of “New Jerusalem” is also a “bride.” This is us, the church, John sees in the future, and God’s plan for her. How do you feel about what you see? Talk with Jesus about this.
V. 4 What effect will the Jesus’ rule have upon all that is wrong with our world? Talk with Him about this.
Read v. 5. What response do you have to Him for Who He is and what He will do?
In the verses that follow, it is clear that Jesus welcomes those who “thirst” for heaven, and who “conquer” unbelief and doubt in their life. What does it look like when you “thirst” and “conquer.” Ask Jesus’ help to do this.
As you conclude: What is one truth about God from these texts you can take through your day? How can you remember it?
Can you think of two people you will see today who don’t yet know the returning Christ? Take a moment and pray for both of them, that God’s Spirit would give them new birth. Then watch for how He brings you two together!