Tag: signs and wonders

The Last Devo

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man.  He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God.  He will wipe away every tear from eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away (Revelation 21:1-4).”

Well friends, we’ve come to the end.  Nearly 200 star studded passages later, we’ve reached the end of the Bible, the end of the school year and thus, the end of this blog.  I’m sure there’s a handful of verses about the sun or moon or stars that we missed but in general I hope we all have a better understanding for just how clearly the heavens are declaring the glory of God and how not just the firmament, but every element of creation plays a part in the great redemptive drama writ and wrought by our Creator and King. 

From the epic beginnings of Genesis to the last Amen of Revelation these cosmic beacons gloriously fulfill their divinely appointed purpose to separate day and night, to be signs, to mark time and seasons and to give light on the earth.  Jesus Himself warned us in Luke 21:25-28 that there will be a time when the signs in the heavens will bring terror on earth.  But those who look for and long for His coming needn’t be filled with the same “fear and foreboding” when they see these things take place.  No, Jesus tells us to instead, “straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

The book of Revelation describes many of those foreboding heavenly signs but opens with this amazing image of Jesus standing in the middle of the churches and holding the angels of those churches as stars in His hand.  He’s in our midst and holds our  destinies in His hand!  No matter the circumstances befalling the world around us we can stand up straight and say with confidence, “Our redemption draws near.”  The Redeemer Himself says, in the last chapter of Revelation, 

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each on for what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, beginning and the end… I Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches.  I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

Did you catch that part about the churches?  Revelation doesn’t just open with Jesus standing in the midst of the churches, it ends with Jesus stating that the testimony John was given was specifically FOR the churches!  Oh how I need that testimony when I’m feeling discouraged about the messiness of church life.  Tonight, especially, as I’ve heard the pain of what brothers and sisters are experiencing in their churches, and seen the tears, and witnessed the bitter ramification of corporate wounds, and worried over the wayward path of The Bride, tonight I needed that testimony of John.  I needed to see Christ standing in her midst (Revelation 1:20).  I needed to feel the thunderous roar of the great multitude crying out,

“Hallelujah!  For the lord our God the Almighty reigns.  Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made herself ready;  it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure (Revelation 19:6-8).”

I needed to hear “the Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’” And I needed to straighten up and say with them, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:17-20).”

“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.  Amen.”

Devo 4

“And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night.  And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.’  And it was so.”  Genesis 1:14,15

When, as the Psalmist said, “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host (Psalm 33:6),” it was no random breath that exhaled the starry sky.  God said from the beginning that the lights in the heavens were to be “for signs and for seasons.”  There was an order to their placement and that order was meant to tell both time and truth.  But to whom?  And signs for what?  At this point in creation there wasn’t a single living thing on earth.  It was just skies and seas and rocks and trees.  

But the Creator was setting His stage.  The great story of redemption was about to unfold and these stage lights would play a big part in the drama.  Before the first actors ever took their first breath, sun and moon and stars had already been given their lines.

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord.  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord:  I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.  And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord.  For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.  Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and stars for light by night.”  Jeremiah 31:31-35

True to the script, there were wise men studying the fixed order of the stars, and they saw a sign.  The sign of one born king of the Jews.  They saw His star when it rose and they came to worship Him (Matthew 2:1-12).  This child over whom the star rested had come to bring His people the very forgiveness spoken of by the prophet Jeremiah.  

But that was just His first coming.

The stars in their courses have lines yet to speak.

The Star Breather Himself, the one born King of the Jews, spoke of His return this way in Matthew 24:29-31.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will turn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

And again in Luke 21:25-28.   

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world.  For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a clown with power and great glory.  Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” 

The Star Breather is coming again to redeem His forgiven ones!  All creation has been set in place to prepare and declare His arrival.  When the stars speak their lines, how will you respond?  In distress and perplexity, fainting and fear and foreboding?  May it not be!  Repent, and as the prophet Jeremiah said, He will remember your sins no more.  Then you, too, may straighten up and raise your head, for your Redeemer comes in the clouds!