Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Living Water!

[Below is the journal entry for my daily quiet time with God for today.]

Look: “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” (Revelation 22:17)

Earlier in the chapter, John says that in the new Eden God will create after this old creation has died, God and the Lamb will be on their thrones. Flowing from them will be a great river, giving fecundity to the Tree of Life on either side. In this river, in other words, new and everlasting life with God flows.

Then comes the invitation from the Holy Spirit and from the Church, Christ’s bride, mentioned above. Drink of the water, they say, take in “the free gift of the water of life.”

Listen: In reading this, my mind is drawn to the scene of the dead Jesus on the cross. A soldier pierces His side, “bringing a sudden flow of blood and water” (John 19:34).

Jesus’ blood cleanses of sin and the water of life brings us ever-new life with God. This is a free gift, an act of God’s charity, His grace, for all who receive it.

Because it’s free, it’s not something I can earn or of which I’m worthy. It only comes to those who respond to the invitation to come to the cleansing water of new life from God.

Revelation 22 also shows who will not be included in this new creation: “...the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

In other words, those who refuse to be cleansed of their sin, who hang onto it as part of themselves, will die a second and everlasting time.

Respond: On this New Year’s Eve, Lord, help me to let go of the sins that hinder me from following You, that separates me from You and from partaking of the free gift of the water of life.

Today, send Your Holy Spirit to help me to resist temptation and instead, take Your invitation. Then, help me to do it tomorrow and the next day.

Be honored, glorified, and praised. Grant that in all that I say and do and am, people will know Jesus and Your living, saving water. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen

[The artistic representation of the new Jerusalem and its water of life that appears above was done in the tenth-century.]

[The image below comes from this website. If I have violated copyright law, I hope the owners will feel free to take it down. But it seems to me to well illustrate these last chapters of Revelation and I love the picture which comes from Brazil.]

[I'm the pastor of Living Water Lutheran Church in Centerville, Ohio. I'm also a sinner saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus, a faith that is given by God's Holy Spirit. As someone who is simultaneously saint and sinner, I take all the blame for my deficiencies and give all the credit to God for anything good about me.] 

No comments: