Wonder, Joy, Optimism, Laughter, and Love

Wonder, Joy, Optimism, Laughter, and Love

August 19, 2018By Deidra Riggs

Meanwhile our little friend kept running around the house. And then, he started screaming, because why not scream in an empty house that has an epic echo, right? The running and screaming got our attention. We stopped talking and watched him. The more I watched the more I laughed. “Man!” I thought to myself, “kids sure know how to have fun!” Then I remembered I was in my own empty house and what rules were there against running around in circles while screaming in your own house? None. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

I’ll Come to You

I’ll Come to You

August 18, 2018By Deidra Riggs

A couple of years ago, for the very first time that I can ever remember, I missed Easter. When my alarm went off to get me moving in time to make the sunrise service, I felt a little bit “off.” I thought it was a headache, so I rolled over and made the decision to skip sunrise and get myself to the 10:30 service. It wasn’t long, however, before I knew something was wrong. It was vertigo. My husband was eight hours away on a ski trip in Colorado. When he called to report on the fun he was having, he could tell something was wrong.

The Surprises of the Holy City: Part 2

The Surprises of the Holy City: Part 2

August 17, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

If God really cares about the world as much as Revelation 21 implies, then God also cares about how you live and lead each day. God cares about your work, your business deals, and your relationships with your colleagues and competitors. God cares about what your work produces and whether it contributes to the goodness of the world. God cares about what you do, how you do it, and for what purposes. Everything we have and everything we do matter to God.

The Surprises of the Holy City: Part 1

The Surprises of the Holy City: Part 1

August 16, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

We might have supposed that when God creates a new heaven and a new earth, human beings will dwell once again in God’s garden paradise. But, as it turns out, this is not the case. In Revelation 21:2, John sees “the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” In this vision of the future, human beings won’t live in a lush garden but in a shining city.

Will There Be No Long Walks on the Beach in the New Creation?

Will There Be No Long Walks on the Beach in the New Creation?

August 15, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

So, when John says that in his vision of the future “there was no longer any sea,” this does not necessarily mean there won’t actually be large bodies of salt water in the future, along which we might walk or in which we might surf. The point of “there was no longer any sea” lies elsewhere… When we read that “there was no longer any sea,” the point isn’t the absence of large bodies of salt water so much as the absence of the source of evil and the realm of death.

How Does the Past Help Us Understand the Future?

How Does the Past Help Us Understand the Future?

August 14, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

It is particularly striking to me that the vision of the new heavens and earth in Isaiah 65 includes a clear picture of good work with good results. God’s people will build houses and live in them. They will plant and eat the fruit of their labors. Even more pointedly, they “will long enjoy the work of their hands” (65:22). The full goodness of work, lost when human beings sinned, will be restored in God’s new creation… Divine blessing does not mean we no longer work, but rather that our work is fruitful and meaningful.

What’s Wrong with Heaven?

What’s Wrong with Heaven?

August 13, 2018By Mark D. Roberts

My boyhood vision of Heaven came not so much from Scripture as from popular Christian tradition and imagination. If I had read Revelation 21-22, for example, I would have learned things that both contradicted what I assumed and gave me hope that the life of the future would be much better than anything I had imagined. Yet, for some reason, I completely missed the heavenly vision in the end of Revelation until I encountered it later in life.

iForgive: Introduction

iForgive: Introduction

August 12, 2018By Breon Wells

“Well how do I forgive anyway!?” I said aloud. I was off a lake in Zambia, talking to God during my devotion time. My tone was slightly annoyed, almost in contradiction to the serene environment of my morning meditation. My prayer time had been going smoothly, up until the point when the Lord began to uncover instances in my life that warranted forgiveness… “You’re going to have to show me what forgiveness is!” I demanded out of frustration.

God of the Ordinary: All Things Reconciled

God of the Ordinary: All Things Reconciled

August 11, 2018By Jerome Blanco

In Colossians 1, Paul says that all things were made in Christ, all things were made for him, and all things hold together in him. Finally, Paul says, all things will be reconciled to him. No language can be plainer: all means all. For Paul, the Gospel of Jesus is not only about getting human souls right with God, but getting every single part of his very good creation right with him. When we think about it, doesn’t it make such wonderful sense that the redemptive story of the Bible is not only for everyone but for everything?