GET TOGETHER – REFLECTIONS FROM A VACATION
Re 2:7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”‘ (NKJV)
As many of you know we had a family vacation last week. I think that it was the best one that our family has ever had. We got to spend quality time with our children and grandchildren. Everyone got along really good and seemed to be enjoying being with one another. In some ways I was very sad that it came to an end.
That made me think more about a time and a wonderful place where the love, peace, joy and fellowship will never come to an end. That is when the believer in Jesus Christ will live with Him forever and ever.
In Revelation 2:7 we see the word Paradise. The Greek term for that word is paradeisos. It is a place of future happiness. The Apostle John had spoke of a place of future happiness in Re 21:1-6 :
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, 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 tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
We had some wonderful experiences on our vacation. There are really too many for me to list here. It was special when during my quiet time in the morning that our children came out and sat with us. It was special spending time on the beach with our children and our grandchildren. We played putt-putt and raced the go karts.
One day at the beach some people beside us had their radio on a station that I guess was playing oldies, or it may have been CD’s. Some of the songs that came on were songs that I used to listen to when I was using drugs. It was a very dark and lonely time in my life. Then one song came on that was an old song about a guy that had given up on life. The name of it was Sitting On the Dock of The Bay by Otis Redding. Some of the words to that song are “ I have nothing to live for and it looks like nothing is going to come my way. Sitting here resting my bones because this loneliness won’t leave me alone.”
In 1968 I had just flunked out of Jacksonville State University. That song by Otis Redding kind of became my theme song for a while. I can remember going to the beach and wondering if I would ever have a decent future. As I heard the song last week I began to weep. I thought about what a Redeemer that we serve! Not only does He save us from hell, but He delivers us from the power that hell has had over our lives. He also heals us from the damage that hell has wrought upon our lives.
He gives us a life more than a decent life. He gives us a life with meaning and purpose. Jesus describes this life in Joh 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. In the Old Testament it is prophesied of what the Messiah will do in the lives of those who submit to Him: Isa 58:12 Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In. (NKJV)
He also promises us that this life will never end: Joh 3:14-16 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
If you are someone that has given up on life it is my prayer that these reflections from my vacation will give you hope that our Lord Jesus if He can turn my life around that He can turn yours around. If you are already walking with the Lord Jesus Christ rejoice that no matter what you may be experiencing at this time that He is with you. Jesus told His disciples to rejoice that their names were written in Heaven in Lu 10:20 “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” We can rejoice about that as well. It will be better than any vacation here on the earth. There is so much more that I can say, but maybe we will talk about it later here, or someday up there.
Let us Pray:
Lord Jesus we praise You that You are a mighty Redeemer! You do raise up the age-old waste places. You save to the uttermost. May all that read this walk with You knowing that You have prepared a place for us and that we can rejoice in that now and forever.
In Jesus Name