The First Day of the Rest of Your Life
Scripture Reading — Revelation 21:1-7
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, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live 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. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. —
"Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive ... honor and glory and praise!" Revelation 5:12
"The way to learn the true nature of anything is to go to where the thing is found in purity," wrote Jonathan Edwards. "So if we wanted to see the true nature of gold, we would look at it not in the natural state of ore, but after it had been refined. And with true religion we look and see it in its highest perfection, not when it [has a] defect.
"Doubtless there is true religion in heaven, and true religion in its utmost purity and perfection. According to the Scripture, the [description] of that heavenly state consists largely in holy and mighty love and joy. The expression of these is given in the most fervent and exalted praises.
"It is true that we do not know experientially what it means to have love and joy in the world out of the body, or indeed in a glorified body. We have not had this kind of experience. But the saints do know what divine love and joy in the soul can be."
How might we live and act in heaven? Will God not be everything we want-and more than enough? Our worship will be intense and wholehearted. We will devote ourselves to knowing God more and more. Imagine it!
If that's the way things will be for us, why not begin now? Let's close these meditations with a prayer by another Puritan pastor, Richard Baxter.
"May the living God ... make our carnal minds so spiritual, and our earthly hearts so heavenly, that loving ... and delighting in him may be the work of our lives." In Jesus, Amen.