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July 6, 2024
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Daily Scripture

Revelation 21:1-5, 22:1-5, 16-17

Revelation 21
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “Look! God’s dwelling is here with humankind. He will dwell with them, and they will be his peoples. God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more. There will be no mourning, crying, or pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look! I’m making all things new.” He also said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Revelation 22
1 Then the angel showed me the river of life-giving water, shining like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb 2 through the middle of the city’s main street. On each side of the river is the tree of life, which produces twelve crops of fruit, bearing its fruit each month. The tree’s leaves are for the healing of the nations. 3 There will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 Night will be no more. They won’t need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will shine on them, and they will rule forever and always.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to bear witness to all of you about these things for the churches. I’m the root and descendant of David, the bright morning star. 17 The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who is thirsty come! Let the one who wishes receive life-giving water as a gift.”

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Revelation ended the Bible’s big story with a bold warning to Rome, and a set of glowing, symbol-laden pictures of the glory that awaits God’s people. “It is easy for modern readers to miss John’s audacity: banished to an island, he recounts a funeral dirge over the most powerful empire the Mediterranean world had ever known (Revelation 18:2). Rome was close to the height of its power; the church was growing but may have constituted less than 0.1 percent of the empire’s population.” * Scholar Catherine Cory noted that “John isn’t being transported to an otherworldly place; rather, he’s experiencing a new transformed heaven and earth (see Isaiah 65:17-19).” ** Don’t “get lost in the weeds” of giant jewels and objects more precious than our minds can imagine. Revelation used those objects, not as ends in themselves, but as symbols meant to show that the greatest eternal reward is that “God’s dwelling is here with humankind…. God himself will be with them as their God” (21:3).

  • The apostle Paul said Christians can live very differently from those “who don’t have any hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). The last book of the Bible exuded that hope. Rome exiled the visionary who wrote Revelation and ridiculed (and often killed) Christians. Yet John confidently wrote about a splendid future for God’s people. He used images from Genesis 2 to picture the restored (and better than ever) garden of Paradise. John’s vision took the promise of eternal life from “just words” into powerful, mind-stretching images. And the exiled seer made it plain that anyone willing to live in God’s kingdom can share in that ultimate, life-transforming hope. “The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it…. Let the one who is thirsty come! Let the one who wishes receive life-giving water as a gift” (Revelation 21:24, 22:17). Have you said yes to that invitation? How can you live every day in the light of that triumphant hope?

Prayer

Jesus, under the nose of Roman emperors who claimed to be divine, John and the first Christians said you are truly Lord. I join in their allegiance to you and in their life-changing hope. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Torey Byrne

Torey Byrne

Torey Byrne is serving as an intern with Resurrection students. She is a Senior at Nebraska Wesleyan University, majoring in Religion and Philosophy. She hopes to go into Youth Ministry. She is a big advocate of random adventures, trips to the lake and lover of Bibbibop!

Being in college and being a “hot mess express” (as I say), I easily get scared and nervous about EVERYTHING. I am a ball of nerves no matter what I do. It can easily be one assignment for class or calling to make a doctor’s appointment. Whatever it is, I’m probably panicking. Too go with that, I like to be stubborn and handle things on my own. I easily will take on others issues but won’t share my own.

Revelation 21:3-6 talks about how our God has wiped away every tear, made all things new, listen for all is true and that he is the beginning and the end. This is a  verse that many commonly hear but a great reminder to us. We weren’t created to do all things on our own. Our problems may seem huge, but our God is BIG. He will walk beside us, and never leaves us. We have to make the effort to lay it down, pray and let God help us.

Wrapping this up, I want to end on this note. This is something I used to tell my campers: God is not scared of your emotions. As an adult it’s sometimes so easy to preach this to students and children but not to ourselves. Even if your situation seems mundane in your eyes, God already knows about it and God wants to talk to you. He knows us, loves us and is with us.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (p. 11188). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
** Catherine A. Cory, study note on Revelation 21:1 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 523NT.