AMEN AND AMEN
Loving Lord, I pray for an unhindered view of Your majesty, and an assurance of Your power working in me.
Read REVELATION 22:1–21
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Near the Cross I’ll watch and wait, / hoping, trusting ever, / till I reach the golden strand, / just beyond the river” (Fanny Crosby, 1820–1915).
I recently buried a Christian lady from Papua New Guinea. She lived many years in Canberra city in Australia, but for her, her family chose to sing, “Shall we gather at the river, / where bright angel feet have trod, / with its crystal tide for ever / flowing by the throne of God” (Robert Lowry, 1826–1899). This beautiful hymn remains popular among indigenous Christians in Australia and the Pacific (they live predominately in small villages and rural areas). For them, a river speaks more clearly of eternal peace than a city. Some say human life began in a garden and ends in a city—but for me, the symbol of a river flows more deeply. This river is for the people of the world, for by it grows the tree of life with leaves “for the healing of the nations” (2). There is mystery here. John’s heaven has never been just for a faithful few, but for an infinite number (Rev. 7:9–17). Now I see dimly; one day I shall know (1 Cor. 13:12).
The Bible ends with both sternness and joy. We are reminded again that evil, its source having been destroyed, is “outside” (15). It cannot enter, for it no longer exists. We are warned about watering down this text or adding to it (18,19), but the ecstasy, the wonder, the joy break through. Here is God, the beginning and the end; here is Jesus, the bright morning star (Rev. 2:28; 2 Pet. 1:19); here is the water of life, here is the Spirit, calling us to come. The book which began with Jesus also ends with him, with deep longing for his coming and with the prayer that he will be with his people. The final word is ours to say: “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (20).
How are you preparing yourself for Christ’s second coming? How has this study helped you in your preparation?
Lord Jesus, gladly I give You my living and dying. You are the living water, the bright morning star. Envision me for eternity.
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