Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 31 - Revelation 22

Today's reading in our daily plan is Revelation 22. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • The last chapter of Revelation contains further descriptions of New Jerusalem, along with a warning and goodbye from John.
  • God himself lives in the city and a river of life comes from his throne. Leaves of the trees along the banks of this river will be used for healing. Those who live in the city will actually see the face of God and have His name on their foreheads. It will be a place of healing and living with God. 
  • There will be no night. God himself will be the light.
  • Jesus’ followers will have no doubts about God because they will see him face to face.
  • John says that there will no longer be any curse, which is probably a reference to sin.
  • Verse 14 says "blessed" are those who wash their robes. We have seen this idea before in Revelation. It is not literal. The "robes" refer to our sinfulness, and they can be washed in the blood of Jesus. When we accept what Jesus did for us on the cross his blood washes away our sin and makes us clean before God.
  • There is a warning (in verse 18) to not add anything to what God has given us in his "prophecy."
  • And there is a promise that Jesus is "coming soon." One day Jesus is going to return, and he will bring his followers to be with him in this perfect heaven we see described in Revelation.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Those who choose to follow Jesus have a perfect future in front of them. It will be a place without sin. Can you imagine a place without selfishness or hurting or broken relationships? How amazing will that be?
  • After difficult lives, and a really difficult book to read in Revelation, God wins. No matter what has happened, or is or will happen, the end of the story has already been written. God wins.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • How can knowing the end of the story help you to live today? How could it take away fears you have? How could it help you to love, even when it's difficult? How can it help you to believe in God, even when circumstances are crazy?
  • If you have done this reading plan the entire year, congratulations; you have read through the entire New Testament and two books of the Old Testament!! If you haven't, you can start fresh tomorrow. If you read each day of next year you will read through the entire New Testament, and two different books of the Old Testament. (And if you've read the entire New Testament already, don't worry about reading it again. It will feel fresh, and you'll find new things God is telling you and new ways to apply what you're reading.)