Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 31, 2012 … The New Jerusalem

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 213 

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Isaiah, Chapter 64-66 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passage: All of Chapter 64 : [NIV] … Isaiah, Chapter 64 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link
Highlight Passage: Isaiah 65: 6-10 : [NIV] … 6 "See, it stands written before me: I will not keep silent but will pay back in full; I will pay it back into their laps — 7 both your sins and the sins of your ancestors," says the Lord. "Because they burned sacrifices on the mountains and defied me on the hills, I will measure into their laps the full payment for their former deeds." 8 This is what the Lord says: "As when juice is still found in a cluster of grapes and people say, 'Don't destroy it, there is still a blessing in it,' so will I do in behalf of my servants; I will not destroy them all. 9 I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, and from Judah those who will possess my mountains; my chosen people will inherit them, and there will my servants live. 10 Sharon will become a pasture for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a resting place for herds, for my people who seek me. 
Highlight Passage: Chapter 65: 17-25 : [NIV] … To study Isaiah’s vision of the New Jerusalem (i.e. heaven), go to this link
Highlight Passage: Isaiah 66: 1-2 : [NIV] … 1 This is what the Lord says: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? 2 Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares the Lord. "These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” 

My Journal for Today: It’s raining this morning as I write this journal entry. Last night the rains came and cleansed the air and it’s now cleaning off the streets. In some respects, when it rains like this and then the sun comes out to shine brightly on a cleansed earth, I think of what Isaiah wrote about in these last three chapters of his prophetic books, especially his word pictures of the New Jerusalem or “heaven” as we know and refer to God’s final throne. And I think of how, being cleansed of this fallen world, the “Son” will rise again and redeem all the earth for His glory.

And just as I am this morning as I anticipate the sun rising on a cleansed (though still unredeemed) earth, it gives me great promise and hope of what my God has waiting for me in heaven. But, … some might ask how do I have confidence and hope that I will be in the New Jerusalem one day? Well, the answer to that is found in Isaiah’s clear declaration of whom will be the heaven dwellers forever. Read it above in Isaiah 66: 2, where he wrote God’s declaration: "These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” 

That’s me, folks. How about you?

Am I always humble?  ... No; … but that is my obsessive drive in life … to live and serve the Lord as humbly as I can with a contrite spirit, doing all I can to become Like Jesus, the very Son of God, Who described Himself as humble and contrite (i.e., meek – see Matt. 11: 29). God knows my heart and my heart is to be completed into Christ’s image (see Phil. 1: 6 and 2: 5). … And yes, I absolutely am one who “trembles” at (i.e., reveres and compulsively pursues) God’s word. Why do you think I so willingly and obsessively am driven by a heart’s desire to read, study, and receive God’s word in my chronological trek through God’s word this year? It’s why I’m here, grabbing on to any truth I can glean from God’s word.

That doesn’t make me special. It only is a sign for me that I’m one of the redeemed remnant that Isaiah writes about – for God - in these last chapters; and it helps to give me hope when I consider the plight of this dark, and ever darkening, world in which we live … much like the world Isaiah saw around him in his days.

I pray this morning that we all fit into the criteria of the remnant God will take with Him into His New Jerusalem, and where He will rule on His throne forever.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, help me to be humble and hold on to my contrite desire to be like You and to spend eternity with You in the New Jerusalem. Amen

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