DAILY BIBLE READINGS
WEEK 8: THE ULTIMATE OLD BECOMES NEW
Monday, September 25 – Revelation 21:1-5
The old has passed away. The new has come. Over the past seven weeks, we have discussed this truth as it relates to us as individuals and as a church body. This week we will consider the ultimate old becomes new. We will read through the last vision of Revelation of the new heaven and earth. The old earth has passed away. Behold, the new heaven and earth have come.
I remember on my wedding day watching my beautiful bride walk down the aisle of Lebanon Baptist Church in Frisco, TX toward me as a room full of our family and friends watched. Adorned with a tiara and wearing white, LeeAnn walked down the center aisle of the church as a picture of beauty and grace. Our wedding day was the beginning of our forever together.
It’s no accident that a wedding day is the metaphor for this vision in Revelation 21. The new heaven and earth comes down for us as a bride walks to her husband. Given to us by God, this new heaven and earth is the beginning of our forever with God. God will be among us and because of that, there will be no crying or pain. Crying and pain are part of the old earth. Those things have passed away. The old becomes new.
Tuesday, September 26 – Revelation 21:6-8
Have you looked at home prices lately? Everything costs more than you’d expect. So, it’s surprising when you find something that is reasonably priced. And, of course, it would be unheard of to find a home to live in for me.
However, in the new heaven and earth, God has allowed us to have a home at no cost to us. God gives us a new place as a gift when we endure through the problems of this life. As his children, God provides for us this future place. God gives from the spring of the water of life without cost.
God does the unheard of. He gives us something that we did not earn, deserve, or pay for. Access to the new heaven and new earth is not for everyone. In fact, without God’s help, no one will enter the new heaven and earth. I mean, given the list in verse 8, at the very least, all of us are liars. However, with God’s help, we can overcome because of the grace of Jesus and have eternal life with God, our Father.
The cost of a home in the new heaven and earth is more than any of us could ever afford. Thanks be to God for paying for our eternal forever with his blood on the cross.
Wednesday, September 27 – Revelation 21:9-21
The New Jerusalem is greater than anything we have ever seen. When you measure the size of a city, you measure its area. Area is a two-dimensional measurement: length times width. However, the New Jerusalem is so great that its measurement includes height. The height of a city is not something that has ever been measured before. But the New Jerusalem is so much better than anything from this old earth that an additional dimension must be measured.
The city is more beautiful than we can even comprehend. It is as colorful as every jewel shining in the brightest light. It is adorned with every precious stone. Its riches are untold.
Aren’t you so glad that you get to be part of this new heaven and earth? As children of God, our place is secure. Because we have made the decision to die to our selves and live a new life in Christ, our true citizenship is in this new place. Do you know anyone whose destiny is not this wonderful place? Take the time to pray for those who you know who are not Christians. There’s room for everyone in the New Jerusalem. After all, it’s measured in three dimensions, not just two!
Thursday, September 28 – Revelation 21:22-27
The gates are never shut. And there is always peace in the New Jerusalem. There can only be peace. All evil has been destroyed for good. What amazing hope this would have been for the original hearers of Revelation. Those first century Christians were always meeting under the threat of persecution and violence. They had to keep the doors locked and hide in order to avoid imprisonment or worse. A future hope where the gates of the New Jerusalem were never shut was the motivation they needed to persevere and endure.
I remember a day earlier this year that was more peaceful than most. We were on vacation in April. We had a beach day on our cruise that April, and it was pretty much perfect. The weather was nice, we had shade. We played on the beach, relaxed, and had everything taken care of for us by cruise line employees. It was truly a day of bliss.
But you know, there was still sand. And the chicken at lunch was kinda dry. And I did still have to stay alert to make sure the kids stayed safe on the beach.
Even our “perfect” days on earth have problems. Peaceful moments are shattered by stress even on our best days. However, in the New Jerusalem, peace will reign forever and ever. Nothing will ruin our heavenly perfection. Night will never come. God will be present with us forever. And there will always be peace in the New Jerusalem.
Friday, September 29 – Revelation 22:1-7
Other than a few mentions in Proverbs, the Tree of Life is only mentioned in the first couple chapters of Genesis in the Garden of Eden and here in Revelation 22. When one eats from the Tree of Life, they are able to live forever. The Tree of Life produces our provisions for eternity. I envision us sitting and standing by the Tree of Life, which is on both sides of the river flowing from the throne of God. We will forever worship God who takes care of us for eternity. We will worship the Lord and reign with him forever and ever.
Our passage today ends with the words of the Lord saying, “I am coming quickly.” The future will be here soon. We have been eagerly awaiting when the old becomes new since Jesus ascended into heaven. We have the opportunity to be transformed from old to new because what Jesus did the first time he was on the earth. We eagerly await the time when Jesus returns and transforms the entire earth from old to new. We await the glorious time when every knee in heaven, on earth, and under the earth will bow at the name of Jesus (Phil 2:9). One day, the old will become new.
Yes, one day we will enjoy being around the throne of God forever, eating from the Tree of Life. But we do not have to wait for that day to worship God. We can worship God today and every day while we await the New Jerusalem. As new creations, we have recentered our attention on God. Every time we choose to worship God, we experience a little taste of what awaits us in the New Jerusalem. May you have the opportunity today to experience a little taste of the New Jerusalem.
Saturday- Sunday – September 30 – October 1 – Revelation 22:16-21
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