Monday, September 1, 2014

DAY 832 - (English podcast click here)

DAY 832 - I Am Making All Things New (請按此處收聼廣東話Cantonese podcast click here)

                  Today's Reading: Revelation 21:1-5

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Please click this link to read Revelation 21:1-5

Bible Study

     This passage shows the first time God speaks directly to John. The previous chapters God speaks through an angel or a voice from heaven. And, the message God gives to John is all about newness. 

Let's take a look at what Bishop N.T. Wright says ( ) :
    When has there been a moment in your life when you have said to yourself, 'This is new'?  I don't just mean a car with a few new gadgets, or a meal with a different combination of sauces and seasonings - though these, too, may point in the right direction.  I'm thinking more of major life-experiences in which we think to ourselves, 'Everything is going to be different now.  This is quite new.  This is a whole new world opening up.'
     Such experiences might well include some major life-events: birth, marriage, full recovery from a long and dangerous illness, the experience of someone new coming to live with you.  All these, interestingly, feature in the list of images which John uses as he builds up this breathtaking picture of the new heaven and new earth.  'I will be his God and he shall be my son' (verse 7): a final new birth
    The new heaven and new earth will be new in a new way; newness itself will be renewed, so that instead of a mere transition within ongoing human life, what God has planned will be the renewal of all things.  'Look,' he said, 'I am making all things new.'

N.T. Wright. Revelation for Everyone. Louisville,KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011, p.186-187.

      Satan has been trying his best to stop us entering into this kind of newness prepared by God Himself. Now Satan and his dark angles have gone. And God's people can enter into this newness. You should be able to enter into this newness, right? But, how many of your relatives and friends will be in the lake of fire due to your laziness and unwillingness to be used by God to bring more people into this newness? 

Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe":

Spiritual Journal

    The title I heard from Jesus today is: I am making all things new

    What I receive from Jesus today is a very timely personal message. Why? Because in five days time our family will enter into a newness that we have waited for so long. Our elder son Ignatius is going to marry Anna Suk this Saturday. After their honey moon they are going to live with us. And, yesterday, our People's Warden, Gavin Siu announced in all three services that Ignatius has been hired as our new Family Pastor and will start his new job October 1. So many new things are coming to us in such a short time. Never before! How about you? Waiting for some newness to come?

    Wow! Jesus reminded me of the famous hymn "Great is Thy faithfulness" and asked me to share the story to you all so that you can be in His newness everyday waiting for the final newness to come. Here is the story:  

Thomas Obadiah Chisolm (1866-1960) had a difficult adult life. His health was so fragile that there were periods of time when he was confined to bed, unable to work. Between bouts of illness he would have to push himself to put in extra hours at various jobs in order to make ends meet.

After coming to Christ at age 27, Thomas found great comfort in the Scriptures, and in the fact that God was faithful to be his strength in time of illness and provide his needs. Lamentations 3:22-23 was one of his favorite scriptures: “It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.”

While away from home on a missions trip, Thomas often wrote to one of his good friends, William Runyan, a relatively unknown musician. Several poems were exchanged in these letters. Runyan found one of Williams' poems so moving that he decided to compose a musical score to accompany the lyrics. Great is Thy Faithfulness was published in 1923.

For several years ,the hymn got very little recognition, until it was discovered by a Moody Bible Institute professor who loved it so much and requested it sung so often at chapel services, that the song became the unofficial theme song of the college.

It was not until 1945 when George Beverly Shea began to sing Great is Thy Faithfulness at the Billy Graham evangelistic crusades, that the hymn was heard around the world. 

Thomas Chisolm died in 1960 at age 94. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 1,200 poems and hymns including O To Be Like Thee and Living for Jesus.

    May you be encouraged and be willing joyfully enter into God's newness each day!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Lead us each day to taste the freshness and sweetness of your newness each day. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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