As a young kid growing up in a suburb of a larger city, we were so excited when a grand new discount grocery store moved into the neighborhood. It was bigger than all the other grocery stores. The manager was an extreme bargain hunter who searched for the “best price” for every single product. He was so driven; he was hard on all the vendors he dealt with on a daily basis. He told them what he was going to pay or their product didn’t get put on his shelves. We got to know the owner, learned how obsessive he was because my brother worked there and later my son. I would like to say that all he did was for our benefit as customers, but it was solely to make a buck for his pocket. He outsold, outpriced and outmanaged all his competitors around him. We went there begrudgingly because times were financially challenging and he did have the best price and he knew it.
But that’s not all! This grocery store manager made a vow that no matter what, the store would be open 24/7. He even ceremonially buried the keys to the doors into the concrete threshold to “make his point”. No holidays were observed. The store never closed. His family, (bless their hearts), were part of the management team. His two sons had to work their way up from stockmen to management, working long hours. The owner always had the last word. He was a hard man. No one wanted to make him mad or irritated.
A life-changing event happened in this man’s life one day. His beloved son was killed in a warehouse accident. The manager became even more hardened and bitter. We rarely saw him smile. Most were afraid of his arrogant, intimidating manner. As I look back, remembering this man and his family, it makes me sad about what could have been. We moved away years ago. The grocery store successfully opened three more locations around the city, but at what cost? The man and his family gave their lives for riches that will fade away. He thought he was in total control of his destiny. But was he?
There is a love that cannot be replicated by any other human. We can come close if we dedicate our lives to this love, but we cannot reach the depth, width, or heights of this love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” His Son, Jesus, fulfilled his Father’s mission and gave up his life for us. What kind of love is this?
But that’s not all! Jesus has so much more in store for those who declare Him Lord of their lives no, here on earth. All who believe, repent and follow Jesus receives help with life here while preparing for eternal life in a new place! Anyone reading this can be “managed for our best interests” by the One and Only who laid down his life for you and me by following Jesus as Lord of our lives!
And get this…He paid the ultimate price for our souls, declaring us free from all debt of sin that enslaves us. He didn’t try to strike a bargain for us, there were no manipulations, no arrogant ploys of deception lodged against His accusers for us. No, He was willing to pay the full price to give us new life in Him! This new life still gives and gives and gives some more. Each new day brings a fresh look into His word coupled with His Holy Spirit who speaks to our heart, mind and soul with words of comfort for us, challenges for adventure with Him, while reminding us of His never-ending, 24/7 love, mercy and grace. He too, is always open, 24/7, to hear from us!
AND NOW, we learn that not only is Jesus is coming back for His own, like He promised, God is creating a NEW place for us to live, also open 24/7! We, whose names are in His Book of Life will experience life forever in a place that can only be imagined, maybe, in our dreams! John is told that all he is hearing and seeing must be written down for all of us to read, believe and be encouraged! This is Truth, “each word dependable and accurate.”
Believe and be saved—forever!
REVELATION—JESUS IS COMING BACK!
Revelation 21, The Message
I saw Heaven and earth new-created. Gone the first Heaven, gone the first earth, gone the sea.
2I saw Holy Jerusalem, new-created, descending resplendent out of Heaven, as ready for God as a bride for her husband.
3-5 I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” The Enthroned continued, “Look! I’m making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.”
6-8 Then he said, “It’s happened. I’m A to Z. I’m the Beginning, I’m the Conclusion. From Water-of-Life Well I give freely to the thirsty. Conquerors inherit all this. I’ll be God to them, they’ll be sons and daughters to me. But for the rest—the feckless and faithless, degenerates and murderers, sex peddlers and sorcerers, idolaters and all liars—for them it’s Lake Fire and Brimstone. Second death!”
The City of Light
9-12 One of the Seven Angels who had carried the bowls filled with the seven final disasters spoke to me: “Come here. I’ll show you the Bride, the Wife of the Lamb.” He took me away in the Spirit to an enormous, high mountain and showed me Holy Jerusalem descending out of Heaven from God, resplendent in the bright glory of God.
12-14 The City shimmered like a precious gem, light-filled, pulsing light. She had a wall majestic and high with twelve gates. At each gate stood an Angel, and on the gates were inscribed the names of the Twelve Tribes of the sons of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, three gates on the west. The wall was set on twelve foundations, the names of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb inscribed on them.
15-21 The Angel speaking with me had a gold measuring stick to measure the City, its gates, and its wall. The City was laid out in a perfect square. He measured the City with the measuring stick: fifteen hundred miles, its length, width, and height all equal. Using the standard measure, the Angel measured the thickness of its wall: seventy-two yards. The wall was jasper, the color of Glory, and the City was pure gold, translucent as glass. The foundations of the City walls were garnished with every precious gem imaginable: the first foundation jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate a single pearl.
21-27 The main street of the City was pure gold, translucent as glass. But there was no sign of a Temple, for the Lord God—the Sovereign-Strong—and the Lamb are the Temple. The City doesn’t need sun or moon for light. God’s Glory is its light, the Lamb its lamp! The nations will walk in its light and earth’s kings bring in their splendor. Its gates will never be shut by day, and there won’t be any night. They’ll bring the glory and honor of the nations into the City. Nothing dirty or defiled will get into the City, and no one who defiles or deceives. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will get in.
TRY TO IMAGINE OUR NEW CITY OF RESIDENCE—
No more crying. No more tears. Nothing to worry about or be concerned.
No electric bills for God’s Glory is the Light and the Lamb is the Lamp. No night there!
No death. No funerals. No funeral dinners.
Nothing ugly or dirty, defiled or deceiving can get in.
And the best part? “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women!
The beauty and splendor of the jewels and gold streets are surely impressive, but to be with the Lord and all who love the Lord is the best part of all!
There is no one like you! There is no one I would rather spend my days with on earth or in eternity! You have brought me through hard trials and troubles with lessons that were hard but necessary for me to grasp. You have given me power to grow in your character, learning to be more and more like you and less like imperfect me. You have humbled me while loving me supremely, like no other. You have given me so many adventures with you to tell your story! I could spend another lifetime on earth just remembering them with gratitude and praise! Thank you for saving my soul and making me whole. Thank you for new life, renewed Spirit, refreshed soul, and restored joy. That is all you, the One who manages my life with care, compassion and completeness.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen!