This post has been written for the #FiveMinuteFriday Link-Up:
Since the dawn of this New Year, I’ve been meditating on and writing about Our Great Hope in a January of Unwrapping Hope. I’ve been purposely shifting my heart and mind from earthly circumstances to eternal expectations. And in this shift, I’ve been heeding our call to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness”, or as the Message version puts it:
Matthew 6: 33 – 34
Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
My sinful human inclination is to seek first after human acceptance and approval. It is to clench first my fists tight in self-preservation and self-protection, rather than seek first to feel God’s Love in the pain. It is to shut first my eyes tight to the wonder of God, living paralyzed by human busyness, rather than seek first after the “gentle and quiet whisper” of my eternal Assurance in reverent and responsive silence. But this year, as I seek first to BEHOLD the Lord in all I do, I am committed to pursuing FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, to lean deeply into the promises of His Word, opening my eyes to His Presence ever:
Psalm 46: 4 – 7
There is a river whose streamsmake glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdomsfall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
AND eternally with and before me:
Revelation 5 (NIV)
Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angelproclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”
11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”
13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”
14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,”and the elders fell down and worshiped.