Advent Day 4: The God Who Restores
Today’s Reading: Revelation 21-22: SOAP: Revelation 22:13
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end! Revelation 22:13 NET
Observation and More
I find John’s opening words in chapter 21 captivating. So I hope you will indulge me for just a minute or two before we look at the focus verse. I mean how can we read and not address John’s descriptive word picture of, “a new heaven and a new earth, because the first heaven and earth had ceased to exist.” If that isn’t enough to draw you in, surely the description of seeing the holy city and the new Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband” captures your attention. Then, as if you need any more enticement, you hear the voice of the “husband”, the one seated on the throne talking about God’s home being among humans and saying [God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more – or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former thing have ceased to exist. – Look,” He says, “I am making all things new!” Then John says, “[The One on the throne] also said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the one who is thirsty I will give water free of charge from the spring of the water of life.” Oh how beautiful and hope-filled are these words and all the ones which follow.
You Are On God’s Mind
Not too long after reading these captivating words this morning and soaping the focus verse, I was going through my email and opened one from a ‘blog’ I follow, written by Anne-Graham Lotz, the daughter of Billy Graham. This particular blog focused on a verse from Revelation 1:8 – which says:
I say it again and again, how sweet is the timing of our God?
Much like being caught up with John’s word picture of the new heaven and earth, I was taken up with Anne’s own word picture of the title, Alpha and Omega …, namely how it, as she wrote, “describes the eternal omniscience of Jesus Christ.” She went on to explain, “The alpha is the first letter and the omega is the last letter in the Greek alphabet. Through the alphabet all of our words, all of our wisdom, and all of our knowledge are expressed. Jesus is the beginning and end of the alphabet, the summation of all wisdom and knowledge.”
However, what filled my heart with joy was the way she described what the omniscience of Christ means to her personally? Anne wrote, “It means [we] have always been on His mind. Think of it: The most important Man in the universe has always been thinking of [us]! Wonder of wonders! [We] have never been out of His thoughts! Even as He hung on the cross, He was thinking of [us] by name! Dying for [us] by name! …” – The passage we read today and the passage Anne wrote about obviously correlate – and together prod my heart to ask – in response to Anne’s word picture , am I, as part of the church, always thinking about Him? Is He always in my thoughts, even when life is hard or when I’m in the middle of a mountain-top experience? And, in response to John’s word picture – how am I, as part of the bride of Christ, adorning myself for Him?
The Focus Verse
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end! Revelation 11:13
Jesus Christ, is:
- The Alpha and the Omega
- The first and the last
- The beginning and the end
- Jesus is eternal
There is no one like Him, no one who came before Him – no one who will come after Him. He was there in the beginning, when God spoke the world into place and when we were created.
Application: What does this mean to me?
I love how the prophecy doesn’t end with the beautifully enticing description of the City – but with a focus strictly on Jesus and His return! As wonderful as the ‘Eternal City’ will be – the reality and beauty of the Eternal King is to be our focus, always on our mind and forever our hope. When He is, we will adorn ourselves appropriately – with the fruit of His Spirit [Galatians 5:22-26]. We will be found living and loving like Him [John 13:34] , showing grace and mercy to others, making allowance for each others faults, and forgiving anyone who offends us [Colossians 3:12-13]; and above all, we will clothe ourselves with love and let the peace that comes from Christ rule in our hearts. The message about Christ, the Gospel, will fill our lives. We will teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives, sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts, and whatever we do or say, we will keep in mind that we are representative of the Lord Jesus, meant to bring glory to the Father, [Colossians 3:14-17].
Your Turn: Reflection
- How are you adorning yourself for Christ?
- What part does Christ play in your thoughts, in your life, in your consideration of all things?
Prayer: My Response to God’s Word
Father, You were there before time began – and it is a beautiful thing to know that Jesus was there with You; and to know that though He died for my sins, He has never ceased to exist! He is eternal and has given me eternal life. Oh, what victory we have in Jesus! The Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end – the One who was and is and always will be!I long to be forever in Your presence but until that time – until we are face to face, help me live and love like Jesus so the lost will see and hear and be saved, and You will receive the glory! In the Restoring and Majestic name of Jesus, who will make all things new – Amen!