Today’s Reading: Revelation 22
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Key Verse: Revelation 22:12
And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.
Jim and Kathy Cantelon write today’s 100 Words segment (originally published in Crossroads’ Day Unto Day devotional series)…
Bernard of Clairvaux wrote:
“Jesus the very thought of Thee
With Sweetness fills my breast,
But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest!
Jesus our only joy be Thou
As Thou our prize wilt be:
Jesus, be Thou our glory now,
And through eternity.”
This concluding chapter of Revelation is one of invitation. After giving a few more details about the new Jerusalem (verses 1-5), the vision crystalizes into the expectation of Christ’s return (verses 7, 12, 20) and the awesome offer to “whoever wishes” to “take the free gift of the water of life” (verse 17). It is a great invitation, and it is still possible to say “Yes” to God.
“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’” is the climactic statement of all Scripture. God has invited you! God has invited me! We can come to the wedding banquet. We can come to the new Jerusalem.
We can come because the Lord Jesus is coming…soon! The whole impetus of Revelation, and of history, is focused on that coming. His re-entry into space and time is the absolute pinnacle of the Church’s great hope.
As I wrote in my book, Theology for Non-Theologians,
“Suddenly the most sublime words of all come rolling out of the heavenlies. A divine invitation just for you…the whole point of the Bible suddenly becomes clear. A cry from deep within the heart explodes out on us, ‘Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!’”
Indeed, “Thou our prize wilt be…”
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I have heard Your invitation to drink of that “pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” I am drinking now as I meditate on today’s reading. I am experiencing an inner “washing of water by the Word” (Ephesians 5:26b). It is an absolute necessity for life that I drink from Your “pure river” every day, without fail. I pray that I will not dehydrate spiritually, becoming a shrivelled up soul who fails to keep on drinking consistently! I ask for this blessing in the Name of Jesus Who cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come unto Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37, 38). Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I have two supplemental readings to suggest. Is it possible for a 21st century person to enter the mind space of Jewish people, who for over 600 years had been waiting for the Messiah (Ezekiel’s time to the time of Jesus)? I’ve tried to imagine the people who were worshipping God in the Temple and hearing the priests read the required Scripture on “The great day of the feast.” Read Ezekiel 47:1-12. Then read what Jesus did and said. He would have interrupted the liturgy with His loud cry! Read John 7:37-39! The priest had read of the living waters flowing out from under the doors of the Temple, and to the Jewish mind there was no mistaking the fact that Jesus, Himself, claimed to be those very waters prophesied about by Ezekiel.
Revelation 22:17a says, “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘COME!'” That’s us. We, who believe in Jesus, are His bride! Make no mistake, you and I are to offer, in the power of the Spirit, that greatest invitation ever heard by human ears. Let’s get to it!!! Amen???
Also I cannot finish my personal words about the last chapter in the New Testament without referring to the last words of the Old Testament. In Malachi 4:6b God says, “Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse!” God did strike the earth with a curse. It is written in Galatians 3:13, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’ – see Deuteronomy 21:23). Because of the cross (the tree), the New Testament ends with the words of Jesus, “Surely I am coming quickly!” and we can respond, “Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!!!” And John gives us his final benediction, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (Messiah) be with you all. Amen!!!” (the last two verses of the Bible).
Yours because it’s all about Jesus Who said, “I am the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16b),
P.S. My most heartfelt thanks to all who have helped me complete this two-year journey through the Bible. Today is my son Ron’s birthday. He has formatted each day’s blog and I’ve simply filled in the blanks. Ann, Ron’s wife, has read each blog before it is posted for accuracy, punctuation, etc. It’s also their daughter, Andrea Patterson’s birthday. She has recently obtained her PhD in immuno-oncology, with studies in the field of cancer research and immunology, particularly in blood-related cancers. Happy birthdays from a very proud Dad, Grandfather, and from my sweetheart Norma-Jean, a proud Mom and Grandmother.
Over the next four days, until we start the next two-year reading period, I’ll be thanking others by name who have helped. The biggest thanks goes to God and to His people who’ve participated, reading with me daily for two whole years (or who have started along the way). Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!!!