Graceful Perseverance: Great Joy & Anticipation - 12/04/22
Welcome to this week’s blog. This week I'd like you to come with me on a little adventure into the Book of John, and the Book of Revelation, where we will learn of a new heaven, and a new earth that God has promised for His people. What exactly does this mean? Well, let's go there together, and learn of a Holy City, a New Jerusalem that God has prepared for His people. A place where we will dwell with Him for all of eternity. But first let me share with you a few select scriptures that encourages us that yes, there will be a new heaven, and a new earth according to the Word of God.
John 14:1-2, 4 (NIV) says, In my Father's House are many rooms - 1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe in Me as well. 2 In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.
John 14:3 (NIV) says, And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am.
I chose the Book of John and the Book of Revelation this week, because these books directly tie to the past six years my husband and I continue to think a lot about where we want to live, and where we want to retire. As I get even closer to retirement, I continue to concentrate on the idea that I would love my husband (a very gifted home builder), to build our next home, our retirement home, a final destination while we are on earth. We focus on the style of home, the intricate details, and of course the finishing touches. We find great joy and anticipation as we define what we believe to be our next home. Our desires, and our anticipation is a home that is filled with love, joy and peace. A home where Lord is Master, the Father of our home. Year after year, and blue print after blue print, we share our desires, and our excitement in building our final home, a place where we can retire together with peace and contentment, and we can call our own.
But something magical has recently come over me. As my counsel, I always share my heart's desires, and any plans for our future with my heavenly Father. Rather than presenting it as an "Ask," I present it as "Is this your Will for our life?" I've learned now that when I share my plans, my wishes and desires with my Father, I pray for His interjection, guidance, and clear answers. He's always been amazing and wonderful regardless of the answer. His plan for my life, whether it's yes or no. My relationship is so intimate with Him, I know that when sharing my hearts desires with Him, and He comes back with a "No," it's because my plan is not His plan for my life. Also, His no's are welcomed, and never disappointing because as with any father, no is no for a good reason. A reason that we, as children, may not readily see or understand. So honestly, a "No" coming from my heavenly Father is quite acceptable and appreciated.
As I grow deeper in my faith, I continue to learn from my heavenly Father. As my husband and I continue to plan our future home, the when, the where, and all of the creative ideas, we are patiently waiting to see what unfolds, as the doors open and close. An open door is our confirmation from the Lord that this indeed is a part of His plan for our lives; therefore, our desires are aligned with His. A closed door is our answer that our plan is not aligned with God's plan for our lives. And that's perfectly okay too. We've had many creative ideas in the past six years of where to build, what to build, but each time waiting for God's timing. Remember, God knows the desires of our hearts, and He reminds us of this in Psalm 37:4 (NIV) - Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I must admit, recently I had a crazy thought come to me. But maybe it isn't such a crazy thought after all, but more of my Father reminding me of the wonderful, and beautiful home He is preparing for me.
In both John and Revelation, He does promise He is preparing a place for me. Maybe the message, the small voice is telling me not to fret on building a beautiful home here on earth, because He has greater plans for my next home. As I scratched my head and contemplated the still voice that spoke to me, I grinned and looked up and said "Wow, I've never considered that as an option." How much more glorious and exciting would it be to know, trust and believe deep in my heart that God loves me so much that He's quietly reminding me that He's already taken care of my heart's desires. But even more so, His plan for a new heaven and a new earth is beyond my wildest dreams. The thought of this is so wild, that I am no longer "obsessed and consumed" with the thought of building a retirement home here on earth half as much as I use to be. If it happens, great, if it doesn't so be God's plans above mine. See how the Lord works. He's not out to disappoint us, but He's out to provide the best for us far beyond our imagination.
Days following this crazy thought, I realized it was becoming less and less of a crazy thought, as God led me to open my bible to Revelation 21 and 22. John wrote Revelation to capture the word of the Lord, which as a matter of fact, was ultimately intended for future generations. John is describing a new heaven, and a new earth for God's people. I am a child of God, and so when I read what John witnessed on a mountain great and high, and then recorded, he very much captured the essence of what God wants us to focus on, and much less of the things of this earth.
But what a magnificent plan that God is preparing a place for us, and its beyond human imagination of anything existing here on earth. Now, if this doesn't create overwhelming anticipation and excitement for us, nothing will. For me, nothing on this earth surpasses this. I ask each of you to please read Revelation 21 and 22, every verse, and pausing to comprehend its meaning. In Revelation 21:10-27, the intricate and magnificent detail in our new home is just something none of us can wrap our minds around. But it definitely stirs up the anticipation and excitement for me, knowing my eternal dwelling place, and that God Himself will be with me and be my God.
According to Revelation 21:1-6 (NIV), here's what John wrote:
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
5 He who was seated on the throne said, I am making everything new! Then he said, Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true. 6 He said to me: It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.
According to Revelation 21: 10-27 (NIV), here's what John testified too:
10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.
13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west.
14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls.
16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17 The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick.
18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.
21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.
22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.
25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.
26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.
27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
According to Revelation 22:1-8 (NIV), here's what John testified too:
1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb2down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.
And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
6 The angel said to me, These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.
7 Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll. 8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me.
Who of us then can even imagine living in the new Holy city with the glory of God, with its brilliance like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal? The Holy city walls made of jasper, a city of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundations of the city walls decorated with precious stones. The first foundation is jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.
The twelve gates of the city are twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great streets of the city are made of gold, as pure as transparent glass. The rivers that run through the city, the waters of life, are crystal clear. There will no longer be night in the city for the glory of God will give lite to the city. No more pain, no more tears, no more mourning, no more suffering, no more sin or evil for the old order of these things will have passed. Imagine living in a city where nothing impure will ever enter, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful ever enter, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
The children of God, with undeniable faith and trust, know He's coming soon to take us to our new home! He has prepared a place for those who keep the words of the prophecy written for all generations. And when He returns, we will fall to our knees, and worship at His feet because it is in that moment our heavenly Father will come for us and bring us safely to our new home.
Now you have been shown all of these things; therefore, you must know the place where we are going, so that you may also be where He is.
Blessings until next week,
Debra Pauli Unstoppable Believer
Scripture Quotes: Holy Bible: New International Version (NIV) / New King James (NKJ) / English Standard Version (ESV)
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