In today’s world, people just quit so easily. Whether it be a marriage, job, family, ministry, or just a gym membership, etc. when they lose interest, whether through boredom, seemingly irreversible differences, or extreme challenges, they just move on and seek something new.
We are in a New Year, 2021, and every year people make new resolutions, this can be good, but it often leads to shame and disappointment when one falls short. It seems easier to try something new rather than fix what is broken but it doesn’t lead to anything that lasts.
The things that last are the things that we build on each year, builders examine the previous year and see where they fell short and make adjustments to improve on them so that things continue to develop for the better in the different aspects of their life. Even severe trying times can actually be stepping stones to deeper intimacy. When people suffer together they can either be drawn closer or further apart. Kingdom-minded believers use adversity to deepen their walk with God and the fellow disciples around them.
Our God is the Master Builder, He never quits, He never fails! We need to have this in mind as we read Revelations 21 regarding a New Earth and a New Heaven. The word new in Greek does not mean new as we think, it is more similar to the word renew. If God has to start all over it means He failed, no, it is not a new Earth or new Heaven, it is Earth and Heaven completely renewed, restored back to the original plan and purpose, as it was in the garden of Eden before sin.
It says in Acts 3:21 “that Jesus is seated in Heaven until the restoration of all things.” We are in the age of this work, ministry is all about restoration. Look at our mission statement, People Restored And Inspired Serving Everywhere. We who are restored to God are now in the restoration business with God. He is here with us Spiritually but at the next age, He will be with us physically. The Lord will come to complete the work we have continued as we transition from the age of grace to the age of eternal reign.
We all have experienced the unfaithfulness and lies of others, even from our own family members and friends, but one thing we know is our God is as written in Revelations 21:5 “faithful and true.” What He promises will come to pass! There is a better day coming and the time is soon. Well, isn’t it over two thousand years since this was written, that doesn’t seem soon, well, in light of eternity, it does, and we are called to live as if stepping into the next age could be today.
In the majority of Revelations, we have seen a dark picture of the fall of this world described as Babylon but here in the last two chapters we get a glimpse into the beautiful restoration of this world, with the Heavenly Jerusalem descending as we step into the eternal reign we will have with Christ.
In the eternal age, there will no longer as promised in verses 3-4 be any tears for He will wipe them away, death will no longer exist, grief, crying, and pain will cease. Yet in this present age, we can have a foretaste of what is to come.
“And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.” - Romans 8:23
Through Holy Spirit God is with us, and though things are not yet complete, we can still press into intimacy and have Him wipe our tears, comfort us, and renew us in His presence right here, right now!
2021 is a year to press in for RENEWAL! Renewed marriages, renewed families, renewed ministries. RENEWAL, RENEWAL, RENEWAL!
Now the rest of Revelations 21 through 22 describe this New Earth and the New Jerusalem that comes down but in whatever you see, don’t just picture it as what is to come, but reach out for the foretaste right now!
In Revelations 21:6 it says the Lord “will give water as a gift to the thirsty from the spring of life, in Revelations 22:1-5 it describes the river of living water that comes from the Throne of God, and the trees alongside with leaves as the healing for the nations. In verse 17 it says “Both the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Anyone who hears should say, “Come!” And the one who is thirsty should come. Whoever desires should take the living water as a gift.”
This is an invitation for the here and now so while we are living in expectation for what is to come, let us make the most of what we have through the Holy Spirit. The Throne of God will come to earth and be amongst us but we still have access in the Spirit to the Throne of God right now. The voice of the Spirit says daily, come, and drink! It is a gift, it restores, refreshes, and revives, so don’t ignore the nudging, the still small voice.
The last verse of Revelations says “The Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen!
As we drink we take in grace! So DRINK, DRINK, DRINK!!!!