All Things New — January 31, 2014 (Friday)

Today’s Verses:

Revelation 21:1-5 (NASB)

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

Today’s Questions:

Based on our study this month, list out all the things God has promised to make new.

In what ways has God changed your heart toward him or others through his Word during this All Things New study?

Today’s Prayer:

Father in heaven, maker of all things, thank you for your Word and the way you have transformed my heart as I have studied it this month. I am so thankful that your Word is alive and active, and that you are doing an unprecedented thing in my soul and in this world. I long for the day that all things are new and you again walk among us as we live in the glorious light of your presence. Help me to speed the coming of your kingdom by sharing your love, your message of hope, and your mercy and grace. Lord of all, King of kings, my life is yours. Use me for the sake of others.

Advertisements

New Name — January 28, 2014 (Tuesday)

Today’s Verse:

Revelation 2:17

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.

Today’s Questions:

Have you ever been called names by a bully or enemy? What about by a voice deep inside of you? What names?

Does anyone in your life call you a pet name that reflects their love for you? What is the name they use?

What name, if you saw it on a white stone given to you, would make your soul soar with the sense of being known and loved?

Today’s Prayer:

Father in heaven, I am a child who longs to climb upon your lap to feel your arms wrapped around me and to hear your words of love. Sometimes I believe my name is ashamed, embarrassed, sin-filled, worthless, unloved, alone, or afraid. But I know you see something so different, Lord. You see all of me, and yet nothing could keep you from calling me created, chosen, known, beloved, daughter, forgiven and redeemed. Thank you for seeing me for what I am becoming, what you made me to be, and who I am in Christ. Help me to act consistent with my new self in Christ instead of the old self whose security was in things that pass away.

Go A Little Deeper:

Read Psalm 139 to understand the care with which God made you.

New Creation — January 18, 2014 (Saturday)

Today’s Verses:

2 Corinthians 5:14-17 (NASB)

For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

The word “new” in this passage, each time it appears is the Greek word “kainos,” meaning “unprecedented,” “unheard of,” or “of a new kind.”

Today’s Questions:

What does it mean to live not for yourself, but for Christ?

What old things have passed away in your life since you have been following Jesus?

What new, or unprecedented, things have come into your life now that you are following Jesus?

What do you think it means to know someone else as a new creation instead of according to the flesh?

Today’s Prayer:

Oh, Father, I pray that these words from Paul’s letter would sink deeply into my soul, that they would be my anthem, my reason, my way of being. I pray for your eyes as I come to know those around me. How often I look at others with judgment and irritation, or without compassion. I pray that you would draw me close so that I live in you, through you, out of my connection to you. I pray, Lord, that I look different than the world, that Christ is manifest in me as I move through my days. Whatever looks different than Christ, Lord, change it, I surrender to your shaping, healing hands.

Go A Little Deeper:

Review Revelation 21:1-5 to see the parallels with this 2 Corinthians passage.

All Things New – January 8, 2014 (Wednesday)

Today’s Verses:

Revelation 21:4

“‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Today’s Questions:

What does it mean to you that Scripture says God will “wipe away every tear from their eyes” as opposed to just saying there will be nothing left that would cause us to cry?

Can you identify a pain or kind of suffering that you have experienced that you have prayed that your children or family or friends would never have to experience?

Describe in a sentence “the old order of things” that John describes will pass away.

Today’s Prayer:

Father, I can hardly stand the intimacy that your hand would wipe away tears falling down my face! What must this feel like? I pray, Father, that you would bring this comfort to me and those I know who are suffering now and whose tears are fast and constant. Father, there are so many tears and there is so much sadness. I pray, Lord, that you would reveal yourself to the people I know who are suffering. And until the day you wipe their tears, Father, strengthen me and give me the courage to act on your behalf, sitting with them, being present physically for them, and offering comfort in the midst of pain. Thank you for your promise that this old order of suffering, sin and death will pass away forever.

Go A Little Deeper:

Review 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 for the Apostle Paul’s encouragement on living in the midst of a dying, suffering world.

All Things New – January 7, 2014 (Tuesday)

Today’s Verses:

Revelation 21:3

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.”

Today’s Questions:

What do you think God is waiting for before he comes to dwell among us? Why doesn’t he live among us now?

Why do you think the first thing pointed out to John about what the new Jerusalem is like is that God lives among the people?

As you think about God today, where do you locate him physically? How is this different than it will be according to John’s revelation of the new Jerusalem?

Today’s Prayer:

Father, I long to see you, to see you living among us, and to finally be reunited in fellowship with you! There are days, Lord, when I’m suddenly stopped short at the notion that I cannot locate you. I’m searching desperately for you, wondering where you are. There are other days, Father, when it seems my breath is no different from yours and brief moments when my eyes see things as you do. There are times you feel so close to me, I could not be convinced otherwise and times you feel distant, as far away as the farthest star of the sky. You are within my very body, I know. Help me, Lord, remember this fact, slow down enough to feel your closeness, and act within this truth.

Go A Little Deeper:

Review Genesis 2:19-3:24 and note the times the Lord God was physically present with Adam and Eve.

All Things New!

Introduction

The author of the book of Revelation, John (the Apostle and Gospel writer), records these words from God: “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Rev. 21:5) Knowing what we know and seeing what we see in our world – death, disease, suffering, tsunamis and hurricanes, broken relationships, aging bodies, and lonely, longing hearts – the idea that God is making all things new resonates deeply in all of us. We want to yell, “Yes! Please do! And do it soon!”

For the month of January, and using this passage in Revelation as a jumping-off point, we will study many of the references in Scripture to all the new things that God has promised or already provided, including a new heavens and earth, a new covenant, a new command, a new teaching, a new way, a new creation, a new life, a new humanity, a new spirit, a new heart, a new body, a new name, new mercies, and a new song. What is amazing among these passages is that the word for “new” in almost all of them doesn’t mean “freshly made” or “first created” but rather, “unprecedented,” “unheard of,” or “of a new kind.”

So, for example, when Jesus said this is the “new covenant,” he was saying that the new agreement—that his sacrifice was good for all – was unprecedented and unheard of. When Jesus’ teaching and authority were called “new,” this meant they were “unprecedented” and “unheard of.” And, when God promises, “I am making all things new,” he is saying, “I am making all things unprecedented, unheard of!” Amazing. Not just new the way we think about it, but never before seen!

All Things New – January 6, 2014 (Monday)

Today’s Verses:

Revelation 21:1-2

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there is no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

In this passage, the word “new” each time it is used is from the Greek word “kainos,” which means “unprecedented” or “unheard of” or “of a new kind.”

Today’s Questions:

If you allow your imagination to wander, what do you picture a “new,” never-before-seen earth would look like? What physical attributes, what people, animals?

Imagine the last bride you saw walking down the aisle toward her soon-to-be husband. What words come to mind?

Are any emotions stirred in you when you read John’s revelation that there will be a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Holy City? What are they?

Today’s Prayer:

Father, maker of all things, thank you for revealing to John, and through your Word, what is to come. Thank you, Father, that you are making a new heaven and a new earth. I cannot possibly comprehend what this will look like, how it will feel, or what the reality of it will be, but I long for this unprecedented place. Father, there is so much hurt and suffering here. Thank you that the pain of this world is only for a short time. See me, Father, clothed in the righteousness of Christ alone, faithful until my last breath, on the day when the old passes away.

Go A Little Deeper:

Review Revelation 21:9-21 to read about the new Jerusalem, the Holy City.