Almighty God. You are the Lord and giver of life. I marvel at Your gift of life to me in Jesus Christ.
Read REVELATION 22:1-21
 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb  down the middle of the great street of the city. 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.  No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.  They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.  There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.  The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”  “Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.”  I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me.  But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”  Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near.  Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.”  “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.  “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.  Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.  “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”  The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.  I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.  And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.  He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat “promise” does Jesus repeat here?
There’s wonderful circularity here: compare the scene to Genesis 2, its river and its fruit-bearing trees. We are back at the start, yet much more alert to the glory of God as it shines out in this glorious new city.
There is also circularity in the completion of this prophetic letter. This revelation is not, primarily, one about the end of the world, or a “history in reverse” of the end-times. It is the revelation of Jesus Christ (1:1)—finally and ultimately about him, the “Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (13).
So why does John, perhaps the man who lived closest to Jesus find himself on his face, not before Jesus, but before the messenger angel (8)?
This is one final, salutary reminder that what is ultimately at stake is worship. The human heart is an idol factory, and we are prone to worship counterfeit gods. It seems we will always be attracted to spectacle over service and messengers over the message. Let us be on guard!
At the closure of this epic revelation of Jesus, determine today to worship God and God alone (9). Do so now.
Lord Jesus, the First and Last, I worship You now and forever! Keep my heart always true to You.
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