Thursday, December 22, 2016
by Bill Goodwin
And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true, for the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”
“See, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me; but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your comrades the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”
And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”
“See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone’s work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
“It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”
And let everyone who hears say, “Come.”
And let everyone who is thirsty come.
Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book; if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
The one who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.
As you read this devotional, it will be almost the end of Advent. I am writing this on Election Day 2016 and after hearing over and over the worrisome and often unkind rhetoric of campaigning, it makes me long to read the hopeful news of Luke’s gospel about the shepherds on the hillside hearing the angels singing “Glory to God, and on earth peace among all!”
This year, our Advent theme is based on the hymn in our hymnal, “While We are Waiting, Come.” The scripture for this devotional is Revelation 22:21. My thoughts were directed to the lives of the first century Christians…a very dangerous time when their lives were threatened because they were followers of Christ and their future seemed hopeless. In John’s Revelation given to him by God, he wrote that there would be a “new Jerusalem,” where there would be no more pain, or tears, or crying or death. What great comforting words of hope for those of his followers who were fully expecting death and were waiting for “heaven!”
What are we as present day Christians waiting for and what do we do while we are waiting? In Revelation, three invitations are given: “Come” to all those who are thirsty. “Come” to all those who have ears to hear. “Come” to those who desire the water of life without price. When we accept this invitation we can be assured that our faith will be strengthened. We are waiting for peace and hope sand must daily trust God that someday all nations will walk in His light. Today, as followers, we echo those last words of the book of Revelation…”Amen, Come, Lord Jesus!”