10-22-12 The End of the Story

Please find a quiet place to focus on God for a few minutes, asking His Spirit to speak to your heart, and in Jesus’ name, ridding your heart and mind of distractions, burdens, guilt, worry, etc. Today’s scripture is Revelation 22:12-17 The Message (MSG)

12-13 “Yes, I’m on my way! I’ll be there soon! I’m bringing my payroll with me. I’ll pay all people in full for their life’s work. I’m A to Z, the First and the Final, Beginning and Conclusion.

14-15 “How blessed are those who wash their robes! The Tree of Life is theirs for good, and they’ll walk through the gates to the City. But outside for good are the filthy curs: sorcerers, fornicators, murderers, idolaters—all who love and live lies.

16 “I, Jesus, sent my Angel to testify to these things for the churches. I’m the Root and Branch of David, the Bright Morning Star.”

17 “Come!” say the Spirit and the Bride.
Whoever hears, echo, “Come!”
Is anyone thirsty? Come!
All who will, come and drink,
Drink freely of the Water of Life!

When I first looked at the scripture for today, I thought, “Yikes”! A verse from Revelation?! Although I’ve participated in a bible study of the whole book of Revelation in the past, I always found the writing to be mysterious and sometimes very confusing. Then, when I looked it up in my Bible, I realized these verses are some of the very last verses in God’s Word. The end of a regular book usually has an answer to a mystery (one of my favorite kinds of books), or a happy or sad ending to a story.

For me, the verses in the “end” of this Book remind me of God’s all powerful nature, that he created this world I live in, and everything in it. He is Creator, Messiah, Master of this universe, and then in the next verses tells me that all I need to do is believe that my sins have been removed by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection, and I can “walk through the gates to the City.”

The next verses also remind me that I will have no fear of evil in this City – God will keep all of the evil one’s distractions, burdens, guilty feelings, worry, etc. outside the City. Wait a minute, He’s telling me that no fear of evil is my reality now IF I follow him, and work on a relationship with him. Does that mean whew - good, God’s got my back, so no worries about my life or cares about the people in my life? Not quite… In verse 17 he says “Whoever hears” – “come”. Ack! That means I must be actively listening for his direction, something I am always struggling with. I have to intentionally “be still” on a daily basis to hear Him.

After re-reading the whole text, the words “I’ll pay all people in full” jumped out at me. None of us are born with the knowledge of our Creator – we’re raised with it, or someone shares their faith with us. What about the people around me who have never heard about my loving God? John DeVries shared in worship yesterday that we need to go into the field to spread the Gospel – that sharing our lives, reading God’s Word (“chewing on it”), and praying with people, is (and should be) our response to having engraved invitations to “the City”. For me, the end of the Bible is a declaration of the beginning of a true life/relationship with my Redeemer. It’s a really good ending! :)

Please share your thoughts with me about these verses. What is God saying to you through this Scripture today?