And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give water as a gift to the thirsty from the spring of life. The victor will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he will be My son.” Revelation 21:6-7 HCSB
There have been times when I have worked in the yard in the heat of the day and have become very thirsty. I have to drink a lot of fluids to keep my body hydrated. When I come inside I usually drink several glasses of tea, lemonade, or gatorade to quench my thirst.
The spring of life is a symbol of eternal life. Jesus used the same image with the woman at the well (John 4:7-14). As sinners, we all have spiritual thirsts that can only be quenched by Jesus Christ. He alone provides water and eternal blessings that will eternally satisfy our spiritual thirst.
Challenge: Are you thirsty? Do you thirst for God? Come to the spring of life where you will receive water that will quench your thirst. Thank God for providing all you need to satisfy your deepest spiritual needs and desires. Listen to the song “Come to the Well” by Casting Crowns on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW5unzXXC0k
Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” Revelation 21:5 HCSB
In Genesis we learn that God created the world and everything in it. Just look around and you can see the handiwork of God in every detail – the flowers, the trees, the animals, the insects, and all the creatures of the sea, not to mention man.
In this verse we learn that God, the Great Creator, will make everything new. He will create a new heaven and new earth. This new heaven and earth will be a place where there is no more pain, suffering, and death. As believers we will join God in this new world. We will be made perfect like Jesus and live for eternity in His perfect world. We are assured that what God says is faithful and true. He will complete what He promised.
Challenge: Take a hike and observe the majestic creation of God. Then think of how much more wonderful the new heaven and earth will be. Thank God for His creation, both now and in the future.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away. Revelation 21:4 HCSB
The group MercyMe has a popular song called “I Can Only Imagine”. It expresses some of the feelings and thoughts we may have when we stand in the presence of Jesus and God in heaven. The lyrics are as follows:
I can only imagine what it will be like
When I walk by your side,
I can only imagine what my eyes will see
When your face is before me,
I can only imagine.
Surrounded by your glory,
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine,
I can only imagine.
It is hard to imagine a world where there is no more pain, suffering, and death. Every tear will be wiped away. The world will be a perfect place. No more road rage, no more killings, no more sickness, no more traffic jams, no more late fees, no more bug bites, no more getting older, and no more people taking advantage of others. The list could be endless of the many hardships that will no longer exist. There will be endless happiness and joy as we praise and serve the Lord for eternity. God is preparing a wonderful mansion for us in heaven. I can only imagine what it will be like. What a glorious day that will be!
Challenge: Thank God for giving you the opportunity to have your sins forgiven because of what Jesus has done on the cross and having the promise of eternal life in a perfect place. Listen to the song “I Can Only Imagine” on Youtube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRPGRdbGHSs
I also saw the Holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. Revelation 21:2-3 HCSB
I have had the privilege of officiating at the weddings for three of my children and soon I will have the joy of preforming the marriage ceremony for my fourth child. God has allowed me to be the officiating minister at several weddings and I have attended many others. Without fail, the bride is always the center of attention. She is adorned in a beautiful wedding gown and looks radiant for her husband-to-be.
That is the image that John uses in these Scriptures to describe how the Holy city, the new Jerusalem, will look. The new Jerusalem will be God’s dwelling place. God will come down from heaven to live with humanity. That has and always will be His desire – to have fellowship and a relationship with His creation.
Challenge: God desires to have a relationship with you. His Son came down to earth to pay the penalty for your sins on the cross so you can have forgiveness and a relationship with a Holy God. Someday, God will come down with the Holy city to dwell with His children forever. Thank God for pursuing a relationship with you.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, the sea no longer existed. Revelation 21:1 HCSB
Our church had some old tables and chairs in our fellowship hall that had been there for years. The tables had been screwed back together several times and many of them had bent legs that did not close properly when taken down. The chairs had been purchased from a hotel that was getting new chairs. Most of the chairs had stains on them, some had holes, and others had the backs missing. Obviously we needed some new tables and chairs, which we purchased this year to everyone’s excitement. Since there was no reason to keep the old tables and chairs, we gave most of them away and threw the others away. They were no longer useful.
The old heaven and earth referenced in today’s Scripture was tainted by sin and was no longer useful in any way. God created a new heaven and new earth specifically for His children. Those who had accepted Jesus as Lord and had been forgiven deserved a new place. This new heaven and earth was perfect and would be filled with perfect people who had been forgiven.
Challenge: Thank God that as a believer you will someday experience a new heaven and new earth that is perfect in every way. Have you accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior? Don’t miss out. Accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior and become a child of the living God.
So the dragon was furious with the woman and left to wage war against the rest of her offspring – those who keep God’s commands and have the testimony about Jesus. Revelation 12:17 HCSB
In Ephesians 6:10-12 Paul tells us that we are in a spiritual battle. John tells in this verse that the battle is waging between Satan and all believers. Some would say that this verse is referring to the Jewish nation, but most Bible scholars believe that it is referring to all believers of all nations.
The end of this spiritual battle has already been determined. Satan loses. Believers win because of their faith in Jesus Christ! Satan has been defeated, but his time is short and he wants to bring as many into his ranks as possible and to keep his followers from defecting and following God. Even if Satan cannot win your soul, he will strive to make you an ineffective Christian and destroy your testimony.
Challenge: Do not waiver in your commitment to Jesus Christ. Remain faithful to your beliefs. You may face struggles and temptation, but know that Christ is with you to give you strength to endure the battle.
Then war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels also fought, but he could not prevail, and there was no place for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was thrown out – the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world. He was thrown to earth, and his angels with him. Revelation 12:7-9 HCSB
War is terrible and takes so many young lives. Even if the fight is for a good cause, war can be devastating to an individual, a family, and even a nation. War should be avoided at all costs, but sometimes it is necessary to accomplish a greater good. My father fought with the Marines in World War II in the Philippine islands. Because of the difficult experiences that my father endured, he never wanted to talk about what happened while serving with the Marines.
These Scriptures tell us that a war between the forces of good and evil was under way. Satan and his angels are defeated and thrown out of heaven. As believers in Jesus, we can be assured that through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross we have also defeated Satan. With Christ’s resurrection, Satan’s defeat was assured. Someday Satan will be bound and thrown into the lake of fire so he can no longer do evil to anyone.
Challenge: You have won the victory through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Satan has no power over you. Trust in God to guide and direct you. He loves you and wants you to succeed in living for Him. Thank God that through Christ you have won the victory over Satan and evil.
But she gave birth to a Son – a male who is going to shepherd all nations with an iron scepter – and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. The woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, to be fed there for 1,260 days. Revelation 12:5-6 HCSB
Naturally the Son in today’s Scripture is referring to Jesus Christ. Someday every knee will bow and proclaim Him as Lord. He will care for all of His followers from every nation on earth just as a shepherd cares for his sheep. Jesus will protect us from being destroyed by Satan.
The wilderness represents a place of spiritual refuge and protection from Satan. God provided a place for the woman so she would not be harmed. God provides a place of spiritual refuge for all of His children. Satan attacks God’s followers, but God protects them. Some may experience physical harm, but all of God’s children will be protected from spiritual harm. John 10:28-30 says, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” The 1,260 days represent the days that the dragon (Satan) is allowed to exercise his authority on earth.
Challenge: Know that as a believer, God loves you and will protect you from Satan. He will provide a place of spiritual refuge and safety for you. Turn to God when you face Satan’s temptations and trials. He will give you strength to endure anything that Satan may throw your direction.
Then another sign appeared in heaven: There was a great fiery red dragon having seven heads and 10 horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. His tail swept away a third of the stars in heaven and hurled them to the earth. And the dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she did give birth he might devour her child. Revelation 12:3-4 HCSB
The large fiery dragon represents Satan. The seven heads could represent the kingdoms of the earth that he rules or it could represent great wisdom and understanding. Horns usually represent power, strength, and authority. The diadems are kingly crowns. Presented together Satan is portrayed as being very wise, strong, and powerful. The third of the stars in heaven is usually considered to represent the angels that fell from heaven with Satan. They are Satan’s demons who fight against God and all that is good. This is in line with Hebrew tradition that says one-third of the angels were cast out of heaven with Satan.
We should never underestimate the power of Satan and his demons. They are on a mission to tempt people and destroy lives. As the Scripture says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 HCSB. Satan especially enjoys devouring devoted Christians. If he can destroy a strong Christian, it impacts more than just that one life. How many times have we seen prominent Christian leaders fall to the temptations of Satan and destroy their ministries and their families, not to mention disillusioning many others who looked up to that person for leadership?
Challenge: Be alert; Satan is alive and well and looking to get his foot in the door anywhere you leave the slightest crack. Avoid putting yourself in tempting situations and all appearances of evil. Satan is powerful and you cannot defeat him with your own willpower and strength. Pray for strength from God to overcome temptation and defeat Satan. Read 1 Corinthians 10:13.
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of 12 stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in labor and agony as she was about to give birth. Revelation 12:1-2 HCSB
The book of Revelation contains many forms of symbolism because John was trying to describe what he was observing in terms that people could understand. The woman clothed with the sun represented the Jewish nation. The 12 stars on her head represented the 12 tribes of Israel. The nation of Israel gave birth to the Messiah, Jesus Christ. God chose a devout Jewish girl named Mary to be the mother of the Messiah.
God continually works through and uses ordinary people to accomplish His will. Mary was the least likely candidate to become the mother of the Messiah. Paul was the least likely person to become the great apostle who wrote much of the New Testament. Peter was an impulsive fisherman that God used to help 3,000 people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and begin the early Christian church. David was just a small shepherd boy, but God used him to take down the giant Goliath.
Challenge: God can use you to accomplish His will if you will let Him. You can do great things for the the kingdom of God if you will only trust Him and allow Him to use you. You might be fearful, but God will give you the strength and courage to do anything He calls you to do.