Our final reading for our Bible Challenge 2014! And what a way to end it, with the final chapters of Revelation. These last four chapters contain some of the greatest promises in the Bible and outline in pretty clear language the hope we have for an eternal life with Christ.
Really there is one main tone through these four chapters: victory. I realize that comment is not particularly enlightened and is certainly not new, but it is the very blatant truth of these last chapters of the Bible. Jesus is victorious. The war he began on Satan, sin & death when he rose from the dead will be finally completed, his victory will be won and the eternal destiny of those who live in the Kingdom of God will be secured.
I don’t know about you, but there are times when I need to be reminded of the victory that Jesus will eventually win. I need the reminder that we have hope beyond the tears, grief, sorrow and seemingly unrestrained evil that is in the world around us. I need to be reminded that, in the end, I will have a place in a Kingdom where there will be peace, wholesome love and complete selflessness. I can become very disheartened by the way individuals treat one another, by the decisions people make that are so questionable and by the hurt that is caused.
But one day all of that will pass away and the world will be perfected. Sometimes I can’t wait for that day.
Even as that thought passes from my mind into my fingers, I am reminded that there are people in my life who will not be in that Kingdom because they have not made a choice to have faith in Jesus. So as much as I can’t wait for that day to come, I am reminded that the work Jesus left for his church to do is not finished, and I have a part to play in that unfinished work.
Have you ever stopped to consider that although the Bible ends at Revelation chapter 22, God’s story does not? The story that we have been reading over 2014 has continued over these past 2000 years, and even as I writes words, God is writing new chapters in his story, chapters involving me and you, chapters that will involve my children and yours. Chapters full of spiritual greats, Kingdom victories, as well as personal failures. Chapters full of lessons God has taught us, is teaching us and will continue to teach us.
So while we have reached the end of our journey through the Bible, allow me to remind you that God’s story continues. God’s hand moves in the world TODAY through the Holy Spirit and as he acts in the lives of those who follow Jesus.
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Bible Reading Challenge 2015: The New Testament in a Year. Details tomorrow.