God Time for December 12-16
(start with five minutes of appreciation memories)
Monday December 12
“Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth,
and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.
Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation!
And look! I will create Jerusalem as a place of happiness.
Her people will be a source of joy.
Jesus comes to earth and fulfills these very words. With his death and resurrection, Jesus brings in the coming of the new Kingdom where heaven and earth will become one. Bible scholar NT Wright says we live in this final act of God’s restoration of his creation. We can call it, “Now and not yet.”
In the days of old, Jerusalem and the temple are seen as the place where God chooses to dwell. But, it is Jesus who completes what Jerusalem, the Temple, and Israel herself could not. God now dwells fully with his people through Jesus, not in a geographical location, but by sending his Spirit to work through those who trust in Jesus. We are the beginning of the coming new Jerusalem, which is called the “Church.” We are God’s new creation and we are given the purpose of bringing his joy to all people.
God uses us as a bridge for people to Jesus. He builds the bridge with joy where we are glad to be with them. What might this mean for the whole concept of “evangelism?”
Tuesday December 13
I will rejoice over Jerusalem and delight in my people. And the sound of weeping and crying will be heard in it no more.
Yes, we are the beginning of the new Jerusalem and Jesus will rejoice and be delighted in all his people as a groom rejoices and delights in his bride. Jesus gives this vision to John, recorded in Revelation 21.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
God’s people are seen as the bride of Christ. We have his everlasting covenant where we are one with him. There will come a day when we are raised from the dead and given new life when the new heaven and new earth become one.
In the meantime we are to live now as it will be then. The future comes to us in the present as we are called to anticipate what God is going to do in the future with our acts now. Acts of justice where we bring God’s fairness, acts of mercy where we bring his graciousness, acts of beauty that lift up what is good and right, and acts of truth which last far beyond.
When have you experienced some “heaven on earth?” What was it like?
Wednesday December 14
“No longer will babies die when only a few days old.
No longer will adults die before they have lived a full life.
No longer will people be considered old at one hundred!
Only the cursed will die that young!
In those days people will live in the houses they build
and eat the fruit of their own vineyards.
Unlike the past, invaders will not take their houses
and confiscate their vineyards.
For my people will live as long as trees,
and my chosen ones will have time to enjoy their hard-won gains.
They will not work in vain,
and their children will not be doomed to misfortune.
For they are people blessed by the Lord,
and their children, too, will be blessed.
The effects of God bringing in his new Kingdom now will continue to bring blessing. The world will prosper as his people prosper. God is making us different so that we can make a difference. What we are receiving is being received from God. If not long and healthy lives for us in the “not yet” time, we pass down blessing to our children and through them bless future generations.
Your legacy doesn’t stop with you. It’s just what kind of a legacy will it be?
Thursday December 15
I will answer them before they even call to me.
While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!
Here we see the amazing view of what can happen as we become more and more in synch with God. We are able to share thoughts without consciously thinking about them! This is called having a mutual mindset.
There can come a time in our lives where our minds are so in synch with God that we connect with him beyond our consciousness. This is not called, “sub-conscious,” but rather “supra-conscious.”
Communication faster than words? Yes
When have you sensed God was speaking to you like this?
Friday December 16
The wolf and the lamb will feed together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. But the snakes will eat dust.
In those days no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
As God is bringing in his new creation, creation itself is being transformed, not just people. As human beings, we get to be right in the midst of all of this, too. God calls us to be his investment consultants. We care for God’s wealth. We don’t own anything when you ultimately think about it, it’s all God’s, but we do manage his investments. Into the future.
This is not just about humans as stewards of creation. God’s creation itself, as it is being renewed, will work beyond what we can even dream of. The wolf and the lamb will feed together. I don’t know what they will be eating, but I know they are not having mutton! The lion will eat hay like a cow? God is bringing in vegetarianism? Snakes will eat dust? The snakes get all the bad press, but this must be a Satan metaphor.
These are all wonderful descriptions of the new creation coming into being. We thank God we get to be a part of this.
Jerusalem is God’s holy mountain in ancient Israel. So, since God’s people are the new Jerusalem, there will come a day when we will be like Jesus, and when enough of us live our lives as Jesus would if he were us, that will be a breakthrough for the ages!
How do I feel at my most generous?