Monday, December 31, 2012

The River and the Tree

One Year Bible
New Testament passage for Monday, December 31, 2012:  Revelation 22:1-21

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22:1-2 (NKJV)

There is a garden, a river, and a tree at the beginning of the Bible and now at the end.  God says, "Behold, I make all things new!" (Rev. 21:5)  That which has fallen will be restored.  That which was broken will be repaired and made new.  This is a wonderful picture.

One of the important aspects of all prophetic Scripture is what we can call the "NOW" and the "NOT YET".  When we read about such awesome things, we can feel that they are all for the future -- the "not yet."  It has been referred to as the "sweet by and by."  But, meanwhile we having to plod through the "rotten here and now!"

It's great to read about rivers of clear water and trees that drop healing like gumdrops from the sky.  But what about right now?  It is important for us to realize that all prophetic Scripture is a mixture.  It tells us what is to come, but in doing so it invites us to begin enjoying those things NOW.

Heaven will be the FULLNESS of all our dreams and hopes.  But that does not mean we can't dream now.  Hebrews states that we are "tasting of the powers of the age to come"! (Heb. 6:5)  That means we can begin to drink from that pure river today.  Yes, it will be even more so then, but that does not mean we can't begin enjoying it today.  We can experience the healing that God offers TODAY, even though that healing will be complete then. 

So, as we end 2012, make it your decision to dive into the river of the Holy Spirit.  Ask Him to become more than a doctrine to you.  Ask Him to be your Comforter, your Helper, your Best Friend.  That river is flowing from the throne today. 

Ask God to release the healing from the tree of life.  Healing is far more than physical repair.  It is WHOLENESS in Christ.  Jesus came not just to fix our messes and put band-aids on our bruises.  He came to renew an intrinisic health to our entire being.  We were not created to be ill and distressed.  We were created, in the words of the Westminster Confession, "to love God and enjoy Him forever." 

Happy New Year!

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