From the preaching of the text in Revelation 19, verses 17 – 21:
The graciousness of God’s love, even in merely not casting us away into darkness immediately, only becomes amazing in front of a canvas of understood evil. His purposed affections towards mankind are made ever beautiful only when displayed before a backdrop of hopelessness… before a canvas of coming wrath and right judgment.
The Babylonian mural galleries, where snapshots and paintings dishonor the imago dei, capture and promote our vanity, rebellion and utter helplessness. This exhibit provides a vivid outline of worldliness for the light of grace to reveal. Without the contrasting balance of shade and tone and scaled character, God’s love becomes mere duty and the gospel’s radiant purity and shalom becomes simply another option on a religious Ferris wheel; carrying off visitors in pretty circles and lights.
However, the cross of Christ envelopes the darkness and destroys death and hopelessness for it is the Father’s decreed desire to save His people for His own glory and pleasure.
It is the truth of this display of judgment, the truth of this carnage, the truth of this destruction, the truth of righteous repayment; the truth of awaiting birds of prey… it is the truth of a real hell and just punishment that should reinforce for us the need to speak the Words of Life to all men from every nation, tribe and tongue…to speak them loudly and to speak them well, to speak them often, to tell the world of its fate, to call all men to repentance and pray that the Spirit opens their blind eyes.
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Reflecting upon the beauty of creation draws me closer to the One who made me and the promise of restoration. Even in their fallen state, autumn leaves and sunsets bring awe and wonderment. All around the skyline, His paintbrush colors in hues. Bright-blue and golden clouds are alive, drifting in paced succession. At each turn of my head I see water vapor sculptures floating like parade balloons overhead, stretching across a stationary canvas. Beneath my feet, the ground bristles with active paintings. Sometimes the dirt floor seems alive. Scurrying insects, amazingly designed for specific purposes, crawl over and under shelter and food; each micro-functioning organism a display of greatness and artistry.
If this is the groaning creation that longs to be redeemed into a new fullness, then what will the renewed lilies and life be like when we live in perfected radiance? If the fallen beauty of this present age brings in intense awe, then what unimaginable incredibleness awaits us in the New Jerusalem valley?
While we wait for the final consummation, God’s mosaic patterns swirl and breathe before us each day displaying His glory for all to see. His power and majesty are seen in the forms and features as the time line moves closer and closer to the end of the End. Each day we are one day closer to His coming. Each day passed is another move forward to the grand day of completeness where all of our tears will be erased and grace’s abounding pleasure reigns forever. God has loved us with an unending love! Oh, the great things the Lord has in store for us, His people!
This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!