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Week Six | Blessed By Living in the New Creation with Jesus

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Blessed Online Biblical Study
Reading Assignment – Chapters 11 & 12
Listen to the Audio version | Reading Time: 4 minutes

To coincide with the state’s 159th birthday, the words of the late John Denver and my state’s “unofficial” theme song, Country Roads, were placed in nine of the most picturesque locations across the state of West Virginia – almost heaven.

My wild and wonderful state certainly has some of the most heaven-like views, especially in the autumn, when the trees seem to light up the hillsides in an elaborate display of gold, crimson, and amber, against the brilliant blue sky overhead.

It brings to mind John’s words in Revelation 21:19-21 of the new Jerusalem,

“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, 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.”
Revelation 21:19-21, NIV

The stones listed recall the gems worn on the breastplates of the priests. 
A priestly city presided over by our high priest, Jesus.

What a privilege it is to live in a state with such beauty.  But the thought of being welcomed into a city with everlasting glory leaves me awestruck.

Blessings flow as far as the curse is found

Though West Virginia is blessed with almost heaven-like picturesque views, the reality of living in this state is in direct opposition.  It is filled with reminders of the curse we’re still living under – poverty, mental health crises, a prescription and illegal drug epidemic, unstable infrastructure, and corruption. 

We long for the day when, as Nancy Guthrie says on pg. 226 of her book, Blessed, “he [God] will be able to wipe away the tears from our eyes, all the tears we have shed over the suffering and losses of this life.”

She continues,

“There is so much to living in this world that brings pain.  But we can be sure that our bridegroom has seen the hurts, the sacrifices, and the slights.  He knows what it is like to live in this world because he entered into this world to live in it, and he experienced the worst of this world’s hurts.  One day he is going to come again for us.”

Nancy Guthrie, Blessed, pg. 226

Jesus speaks directly to John three times in Revelation 22, each time (Revelation 22: 7, 12, and 20) saying, “I am coming soon”.

Soon?  How soon?  We ask in desperate anticipation.

And it makes me think of the scene in season 2 of the hit series, The Chosen

“Ah. There’s that word, ‘soon’.  It’s the most imprecise thing in the world. What is ‘soon’? A few hours?  A few days?  Years?  A hundred years?  A thousand years?  Ask my Father in heaven how long a thousand years is, then talk to me about ‘soon’.”

The Chosen

This scene recalls the words in 2 Peter 3:8-9, NIV,

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.  Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come with repentance.”
2 Peter 3:8-9, NIV

What a blessing it is for us to witness this even in our day, with the revival that is moving across the U.S. with Gen Z.

So, even as we eagerly await the day of Jesus’ return, we must do so with the desire of delay until all are provided the opportunity to turn their hearts toward Him, in repentance and relationship.

Living in the New Creation with Jesus

For all time, God has been working to bring His people back into the relationship that there was in the Garden of Eden.  He dwelt among His people in the Wilderness, He sent His Son to live as one of His people, and sent His Spirit to live within us.

Down, among, and in.  He has always been moving closer.

And within the new creation, we get to spend intimate togetherness for eternity.

Nancy reminds us, “Jesus wants us to know that we will not regret living for him; we will be rewarded for living for him” (pg. 246).

That is what has blessed me in studying the book of Revelation – the heightened desire to continue my study, to deepen my relationship with Him, and to share what He is still doing in this world with others, so they may know the reward of living in the new creation with Jesus… soon.

“Until the day that he comes, we invite all who are thirsty for something more than this world has to offer to come to the only well that will never run dry, the only source that can quench our thirst for life and relationship and meaning.  We say to those who are thirsty, ‘Stop expecting that you can fill yourself up in what this world has to offer.  Do you have a desire for something more? That desire is all you need. This life and relationship are given freely to anyone and everyone who will bring nothing but their need to Christ’.” 

Nancy Guthrie, Blessed, pg. 248

Together, we cry, Maranatha!
(Come, Lord Jesus in Aramaic)

1. The priestly city of the new Jerusalem will be more beautiful than we can imagine.
2. We can trust in Jesus’ promise that His “coming soon” will happen at the right time.
3. God, in pursuit of a relationship with His people, continues to move closer to us.

How have your ideas regarding what the book of Revelation is all about been challenged or changed throughout this study? And what will it mean to hear and keep what we’ve learned?

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Blessed | Nancy Guthrie

A 6-week study that will provide a different perspective on the book of Revelation. Learn how the book is less about when Jesus will return, but more about who we are to be, what we are to do, and what we can expect to endure as we wait for Jesus to return to establish his kingdom in the new creation.

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Blessed by Nancy Guthrie - 2023 Winter Online Biblical Study | Intentionalfilling.com

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