May 23, 2022
You may wonder how the passages are chosen each day for the devotionals, and the answer is that we follow the Lectionary. If you aren’t familiar with the Lectionary, it’s a guide (or layout) of scripture that can be used by Christians to understand the whole counsel of God, or the entire Word of God, and typically the guide is over a three-year cycle. Essentially, if you follow its selections, within three years, you will have gone through pretty much the entire Bible. Each day we are provided with an Old Testament passage, a passage from the prophets, and a New Testament passage and that is how we come to share with all of you.
So, as I share yet another passage from the Book of Revelation, I realize that this is becoming a common bi-weekly occurrence for me. If I am being completely honest, several months ago, if I had the choice, I would not have gravitated towards writing from Revelation. However, with each passing week, and as God has guided me to spend more and more time within this part of His Truth, I am growing closer to understanding His eternal love for all of creation.
In the Book of Revelation, we know that God is revealing to John what is to come; and just prior to today’s passage sin and evil will have been defeated, Satan will have been banished to hell, and everyone who sided with him, and rejected Christ, will also have gone straight to hell with him. Following the great judgement of chapter 20, God says to John, “Look, I am making everything new!” and He also tells him that “It is finished!” Some theologians believe this means that all of creation will be destroyed and re-created, while others believe that God will renew (or re-condition) existing creation.
Regardless of how God chooses to conclude this sinful earth, I see today’s passage as a clear roadmap for you and me that we need to be following right now. See, verses 6 and 7 tell us who will be filling up heaven, and verse 8 tells us who will be filling up hell. So, if you’ve ever asked yourself the question, “who will be in heaven and who will be going to hell”, God clearly tells us in today’s passage. Every single one of us has either thought or talked about “what happens when we die.” Well, my friends, God tells us what happens when we die in verses 6 through 8, and so we must be thirsty to return to our Creator, God, in heaven. God is very clear that we must NOT be fearful (cowardly), lack in faith (have unbelief), dishonest (or corrupt), sinful against others (by murdering with our thoughts, words, actions, or unforgiveness), immoral, follow the wicked ways of the world, idolize anything other than God (like people, things, places, emotions, etc.), or be a liar.
Revelation 21:5-8 NLT
5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” 6 And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. 7 All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.
8 “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Prayer: Father, thank You for leaving a roadmap for us so we know what we need to do in order to be able to return Home to You. Please help us, Father, to do, say, and act in ways that are pleasing to You. Strengthen us to steer away from sin. We want to keep growing closer to You. We ask this in Your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.