Reunion

Today’s Scripture & Insight: Revelation 21:1–7
 
The little boy excitedly ripped open a big box from his serviceman daddy, whom he believed wouldn’t be home to celebrate his birthday. Inside that box was yet another giftwrapped box, and inside that box was another that simply held a piece of paper saying, “Surprise!” Confused, the boy looked up—just as his dad entered the room. Tearfully the son leapt into his father’s arms, exclaiming, “Daddy, I missed you” and “I love you!”
 
That tearful yet joyful reunion captures the heart of Revelation 21’s description of the glorious moment when God’s children see their loving Father face to face—in the fully renewed and restored creation. There, “[God] will wipe every tear from [our] eyes.” No longer will we experience pain or sorrow, because we’ll be with our heavenly Father. As the “loud voice” in Revelation 21 declares, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them” (vv. 3–4).
 
There’s a tender love and joy that followers of Jesus already enjoy with God, as 1 Peter 1:8 describes: “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” Yet imagine our incredible, overflowing joy when we see the one we’ve loved and longed for welcoming us into His open arms!
By: Alyson Kieda
 
Reflect & Pray
What do you most look forward to about life in God’s presence in the restored creation? How do you experience glimpses of that joy now?
Loving God, we anticipate with joy the day when we will be with You. Until then, help us to happily serve You as we wait.

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Amazing Skill

Today’s Scripture & Insight: Psalm 139:7–16
 
The leader of our college singing group directed the group and accompanied us on the piano at the same time, skillfully balancing those responsibilities. At the close of one concert, he looked particularly weary, so I asked him if he was okay. He responded, “I’ve never had to do that before.” Then he explained. “The piano was so out of tune that I had to play the whole concert in two different keys—my left hand playing in one key and my right hand in another!” I was blown away by the startling skill he displayed, and I was amazed at the One who creates humans to be capable of such things.
 
King David expressed an even greater sense of wonder when he wrote, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it” (Psalm 139:14 nlt). Whether in people’s abilities or nature’s marvels, the wonders of creation point us to the majesty of our Creator.
 
One day, when we’re in God’s presence, people from every generation will worship Him with the words, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Revelation 4:11). The amazing skills God gives us and the great beauty God has created are ample reason to worship Him.
By: Bill Crowder
 
Reflect & Pray
What parts of God’s creation cause you to respond in worship? Why is it important for you to thank and praise God for the skills He’s given you?
How wonderful You are, God! I see Your fingerprints everywhere. Thank You for all that You’ve made.

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Watched by God

Today’s Scripture & Insight: Psalm 121:5–8
 
Our little grandson waved goodbye, then turned back with a question. “Grandma, why do you stand on the porch and watch until we leave?” I smiled at him, finding his question “cute” because he’s so young. Seeing his concern, however, I tried to give a good answer. “Well, it’s a courtesy,” I told him. “If you’re my guest, watching until you leave shows I care.” He weighed my answer, but still looked perplexed. So, I told him the simple truth. “I watch,” I said, “because I love you. When I see your car drive away, I know you’re safely heading home.” He smiled, giving me a tender hug. Finally, he understood.
 
His childlike understanding reminded me what all of us should remember—that our heavenly Father is constantly watching over each of us, His precious children. As Psalm 121 says, “The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand” (v. 5).
 
What assurance for Israel’s pilgrims as they climbed dangerous roads to Jerusalem to worship. “The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all harm—he will watch over your life” (vv. 6–7). Likewise, as we each climb our life’s road, sometimes facing spiritual threat or harm, “The Lord will watch over [our] coming and going.” Why? His love. When? “Now and forevermore” (v. 8).
By: Patricia Raybon
 
Reflect & Pray
What “mountain” are you climbing today? What assurance do you find in knowing God is watching over you?
Our loving Father, as we travel the road of life, thank You for watching over us, keeping us safe.

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