There are so many things in life that we wait for. Kids and parents alike often can’t wait for Christmas to come; kids more than parents can’t wait for their next birthday. We wait expectantly for a child to be born and we often wait with mixed emotions about our mortality. Many wait in anticipation for their wedding day and some wait patiently for “the one” to come into their life. We wait in line at banks, grocery stores, doctors’ offices and for our turn to get on a plane for that well-deserved holiday. What is it in life that you wait for?
When you take the time to think about the incredibly powerful visions and imagery found in the book of Revelation that John records for us, you can’t help wonder or be curious about what God has planned for us. There is one particular passage in John’s writing that has stuck with me this past week, one that made me curious, excited and wanting while waiting. Found in Revelation 22:1-5, subtitled “Eden Restored” we get an glimpse into heaven. John describes what the angel showed him, “the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb… on each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” Can you imagine the beauty these words portray? Do you believe that one day this will be a reality? I do. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.
There is something else, something even greater than the crystal-clear rivers, trees and bountiful harvest of fruit that I find in this passage. Verse 4 of chapter 22 talks about you and I, it says, “They will see his face.” (read that quote again) To see His face means we will one day walk with God, our creator, just as Adam and Eve did. This incredible promise is a picture of restoration, a renewal of the intimate relationship our Heavenly Father intended to have with us. With his own breath, He created us so we could walk with Him and talk with Him, to be one with Him. If you are not on the edge of your seat in anticipation of this incredible promise, WAKE UP. God wants you to know that this is His greatest desire, a desire that I have put all my hope and trust in today. Through His Son, through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we will one day meet him face to face. So, will you wait with me? We have so much to look forward to.
What do you see when you look at this image? Some people will look and see five random black geometric shapes, others will look at the white spaces in-between the black and see four letters that spell the word LIFT (If you can’t see the letters, squint your eyes at the screen, it might help). Our complex minds are wired to interpret what our eyes see. Our unique perspectives, our experiences and environments can influence our “view” on many things.
The book of Revelations is much like the image above; we can look at the text and read one thing today and then something different the next day. Recently, after spending some time reflecting on the opening words in the seven letters to the seven churches, I “discovered” some new insights into how God reveals himself to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. The words of the letters by way of introduction identify Christ as the “first and the last”, “holy and true”, “the faithful and true witness”, the one “who died and came to life again”, “the Son of God whose eyes are like burning fire” and “the one who will rule over all”. I have not discovered anything new here, these things are written many times before in the other books of the bible. What I saw today through these words was the incredible connection between the Father and the Son. I was reminded about the incredible power and authority given to Jesus by His father to rule over all of creation.
Earlier in his Gospel letter, John writes the following words to portray the relationship between the Father and Son, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” (John 1:1-2) Christ, (the Word) from the beginning, was with His Father. The book of Revelation is a “revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show his servants what must soon take place” (Rev 1:1) Through the detailed imagery of Revelation I find a message of hope, hope for the complete ruin of evil & sin (taken on by Jesus Christ) and the promise of everlasting life for all God’s people. The opening words of Revelation encourage us to “read aloud the words of this prophecy”. Take some time to read through this incredible message, listen to the words that God has given to us through His Son Jesus Christ, be blessed as you take to heart what is written in it. (Rev 1:3)
“That one… wait, maybe that one”. Should I get the orange one or the red one? “Ok, I am getting this one… I think”, “Only one?” When confronted with only one choice from the rows and rows of sweets that line the shelves at the corner store, my kids, or any kid for that matter has a difficult decision to make. There are many factors at play that can influence the process of choosing. What’s kind are the others choosing? Do I try something new? Which one is the biggest? Which one will last the longest?
There are 40 chapters in the book of Exodus and found within the verses of each, there are incredible stories of the works and power of God in the lives of His people. The crossing of the sea, the provisions of water from a rock, manna and quail, the building of the Tabernacle to name a few. Today, it is the story of Moses that captures my attention as I read and reflect on how God reveals himself to us through his word. Often we have a hard time recognizing the work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament stories, the words or actions of the Spirit seem absent. What comes to mind when you think of the Holy Spirit? For me, I think about things like leading, guiding and even protecting. God, through the work of the Holy Spirit was leading and guiding the life of Moses right from the beginning of his existence on earth. The events surrounding his birth (the basket in the river, being reunited with his mother) are clear examples (for me) of the Holy Spirit working not just in His life but the lives of others. (His mother, sister and even Pharaoh’s daughter).
Romans 8:26 holds a powerful message that can give us confidence in knowing how the Holy spirit works in our lives. “the spirit helps us in our weakness… the Spirit himself intercedes for us.” There are times when we are completely overwhelmed by the sin and trials of life (weakness) that bring us to a place where we feel we no longer have control. I can’t help but think about the mother of Moses and the moments leading up to her decision of putting her small child into a basket and letting it go down the river. We read that things were out of her control, she did what she had to do to save that child. Through the power of God, through His Holy Spirit, He interceded in the life of Moses and his mother and brought him to a place where he flourished and did some amazing things for the Lord. The purpose of God’s word is to reveal himself to us, for us to find hope in His display of power and love that leads and directs our lives.