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December 3 | Revelation 22:1-5


 

DAILY READING


 

REFLECTION


Promise of Restoration

by Mary Alice McGinnis

Just a few short months ago, hurricane Ian devastated the state of Florida, leaving destruction in its path. We all saw the haunting photos and videos of the catastrophic impact of this storm and the devastating losses. Rebuilding homes, towns and business after hurricane Ian is expected to take anywhere from six months to several years.


Perhaps you have experienced personal tragedies, life-shattering losses, that have left you feeling broken and beyond repair. Sometimes they are a result of our own mistakes. Other times it is from the hurts of others. Still other times, it is just a result of living in a broken world.


When we grieve, there is an overwhelming sense that life will never be the same again.


How long does it take to repair our hearts and souls after such tragedies? It seems that just when we begin to see our way out from under one catastrophe, another one is right on its heels.


In the book of Genesis, God’s creation was always and ONLY good! Water gushed from the earth, in just the right amount, and it lavishly provided life giving nutrients to all the plants so they thrived. The trees and plants perfectly nourished all God's creatures, animals and humans.


What is the most beautiful, lavishly lush place you have seen in your life? Amplify that awe striking scene in your mind. Picture it a thousand times more beautiful, more lush, more captivating, more gloriously radiant. Can you picture what the “perfect” Garden of Eden must have been like?


Don’t we long for such a place?


God came, embodied in the infant Jesus, so He could break the curse of sin and death. And He is now the “Lamb” who sits on the Throne of God. And He is coming back for us in His FULL GLORY!


Did you notice what flows from His throne?


Revelation 22:1 – “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.”


John was witnessing the restoration of Eden! When Jesus comes again, this is what God promises WILL HAPPEN! Everything will be perfectly restored to Eden’s glory!


RESTORING is entirely different than repairing or replacing. It’s deeper - more transformative, more permanent. It is returning it to its original beauty, glorious radiance and purpose!


What else is promised?


No more curse - Perfect Restoration

His Throne the center of life - Perfect Kingly providence and provision.

His servants will serve - Perfect Purposefulness

Will see His face - Perfect Intimacy with God

Name on foreheads – Perfectly Restored Identity – made in God’s image.

God is the light - Perfect Radiance which cannot be dimmed

Reigning forever - Perfect Exaltation. (Adapted from David Guzik)


Jesus is the Lamb who paid the price to bring YOU such life-giving restoration. That perfect restoration is a PROMISE for our eternal future! But know it is not just a promise reserved only for when He returns. It is for us TODAY too!


Jesus told the woman at the well: “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)


“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.”


PRAYER PRACTICE

Prayer – Where is your heart feeling loss today? Where do you feel the sting of brokenness? Where are you suffering? Where are things in need of restoration? Take those things to God in prayer right now. Release them over to Him completely. Let Him, through His Holy Spirit, breathe His restorative new life into your weary soul today.




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