June 18, 2024
Heaven

Reading

Revelation 21:1-4 - Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.'

Summary

Revelation 21:1-4 paints a breathtaking picture of the future that awaits believers in Jesus Christ. John sees a new heaven and a new earth, as the first heaven and earth have passed away. The holy city, the new Jerusalem, descends from heaven, adorned as a beautiful bride ready to meet her husband. This symbolizes the future dwelling place of God's people. A loud voice from the throne declares that God's dwelling place is now with mankind. He will live with them and be their God. In this glorious new reality, there will be no more tears, death, sorrow, crying or pain. All the sufferings and brokenness of the former world will be gone forever. This passage represents the ultimate fulfillment of God's plan of redemption. Sin and death entered the world at the Fall in Genesis 3, fracturing the perfect fellowship between God and man. But through Jesus' death and resurrection, God has been working to redeem and restore His creation. Revelation 21 shows the culmination, when redeemed humanity will dwell in perfect harmony with God for eternity. The new heaven and new earth will be drastically different from the sin-stained world we live in now. It will be a holy city, with no trace of sin. God's presence will permeate every aspect of this new creation. His people will experience intimate, face-to-face fellowship with Him. While the details of heaven are a mystery, this passage makes clear that it will be a place of unimaginable joy, peace, and love in God's presence. The pain and sorrows of this life will fade away in the brilliant light of God's glory. This is the hope that sustains believers even in the midst of trials - an eternity basking in the love of God, forever safe and secure in His presence. What an incredible future God has in store for those who trust in Christ!

Reflection

As believers, the promise of a new heaven and a new earth gives us a profound hope that transcends the trials of this life. When we put our faith in Jesus, we are guaranteed a glorious future in God's presence for all eternity. This world is not our final home. Yet, if we are honest, many of us live as if this world is all there is. We pour our time and energy into pursuing comfort, success, and pleasure on earth, while neglecting to invest in the things of heaven. We allow the worries and cares of this life to consume us, forgetting that our present sufferings are preparing us for an eternal glory that far outweighs them all (2 Corinthians 4:17). Revelation 21 reminds us to live with an eternal perspective. Our lives on earth are but a vapor (James 4:14), a brief journey toward a destination that will never end. This world, with all its brokenness, is passing away. But we have the promise of a perfect world to come, where all things will be made new. This doesn't mean we neglect our earthly responsibilities or disengage from the world around us. On the contrary, the hope of heaven should motivate us to live with greater purpose and intentionality now. We should strive to reflect God's love and light in a dark world, knowing that our labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). Every act of kindness, every word of truth, every sacrifice made for the sake of the gospel has eternal significance. At the same time, the promise of heaven frees us from being overly attached to the things of this world. We can hold our plans and possessions loosely, knowing that something far better awaits us. We can endure hardship and suffering with grace, confident that it is achieving for us an eternal glory (2 Corinthians 4:17). Most of all, the reality of heaven shifts our focus to the things that truly matter - loving God, loving people, and living for His glory. It reminds us that this world is not about us, but about Him. One day, we will see our Savior face to face and dwell with Him forever. On that day, all that will matter is whether we lived our lives in light of eternity. So let us fix our eyes on Jesus and the unseen glory that awaits us. Let us store up treasures in heaven rather than on earth. And let us live each day with joy and purpose, knowing that the best is yet to come. May the promise of the new heaven and new earth fill our hearts with hope and spur us on to live for the glory of the One who makes all things new.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, Thank You for the incredible promise of a new heaven and a new earth. In a world filled with so much pain and brokenness, the hope of eternity in Your presence gives us strength to press on. Thank You that because of Jesus, we can look forward to a future where every tear will be wiped away and all things will be made new. Forgive us for the times we have become overly focused on the things of this world. Help us to live each day with eternity in mind. Give us a deeper longing for our true home in heaven. Remind us that this world is not our final destination, but a temporary journey toward the glory that awaits us. Lord, use the promise of heaven to fill us with joy and purpose. May it motivate us to live boldly for Your kingdom, storing up treasures that will last forever. Help us to reflect Your love and light to a hurting world. And when trials come, remind us that our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us. Most of all, we pray that the reality of heaven would draw us closer to You. Make us people who love You above all else. Fill us with Your Spirit and conform us to the image of Christ. Prepare our hearts for the day when we will see You face to face. Come quickly, Lord Jesus! In Your mighty name we pray, Amen.

Generated Image(s)

Behold, the dwelling place of God with man - a glorious city, a world made new.

Behold, the dwelling place of God with man - a glorious city, a world made new.

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.