Words From The Heart: Special Weekly Reflection #32

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He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
Revelation 22:20 (NIV)

When my wife and I started out in ministry some 40 years ago, we had a period of time when we were in full-time children’s ministry. We traveled around Alberta visiting churches and doing special children’s programs. We always brought along our automatic filmstrip projector – the latest in technology! We would show a filmstrip story series called the Jungle Doctor, and one of them, a clear presentation of the Gospel, ends with a slide that says “The Beginning.”

I thought it was brilliant, because it was true – the beginning of a new life in Jesus, the beginning of eternal life, the beginning of a life of victory. It is also a Biblical principle.

The Bible starts with the words “in the beginning.” No surprise there – it’s a good place for any book to begin. It is particularly fitting for God’s Word to start “in the beginning.” What is much more surprising is how the Bible ends.

Revelation 22:20 says this: “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”

What a wonderful way for the Bible to end – with the promise of a new beginning. The return of Jesus will usher in the fullness of His Kingdom. The new heaven will come down to join the new earth, and just as in the Garden of Eden, back in the first “beginning,” God will dwell with His people. All who love the Lord Jesus long for this day.

But that is the promise of the future. What about now? Where is God in the midst of all that we are facing now?

It is obvious that we are not living on the new earth. And God hasn’t brought the new heaven down. But God is still active in the world. Every time someone is transformed by faith in Jesus Christ, they begin their new life in Him. God the Holy Spirit take up residence in that person the moment they believe and become His child (Galatians 4:6).

As such, God is in this world today through His people. In his book “God and the Pandemic” N.T. Wright speaks of what the world should say of Christians in the post-pandemic world: “The Christians would stay and nurse people. Sometimes they caught the disease and died. People were astonished. What was that about? Oh, they replied, we are followers of this man Jesus. He put His life on the line to save us. So that’s what we do as well.”

We who follow Christ, in whom God the Holy Spirit dwells, are called to be His hands and feet, serving those who are fearful, hurting and unsure. We who have experienced the new beginning when we received Christ as Saviour, who have already begun to experience eternal life, come to offer a new beginning to those whom God brings into our life. Like us, we will hear them proclaim, longing for the ultimate new beginning, “even so, come Lord Jesus.”

I’m Bob Beasley, and these have been words from the heart.

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