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Where Is History Headed To?

The Christian worldview tells us that all of history is heading to its final fulfilment because of the decisive victory accomplished by Jesus Christ at the cross. However, it can be difficult to describe what that fulfilment (or consummation) looks like, as the Bible uses much metaphorical language to describe it. But that does not mean we cannot say anything about it.

For this short introduction, where the Christian story is headed to is structured into four categories: its Concept, Content, Characteristics, and Core.

  1. Concept – The Kingdom of God. The Christian story envisions a future where the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of God and of His Messiah. Whereas the kingdom of God was inaugurated at Jesus’ first coming 2000 years ago, it will be consummated in its full glory at His second coming. At this time, all that was broken and torn apart because of sin will be gloriously restored to wholeness.

 

  1. Content – The New Jerusalem. Genesis 1-2 and Revelation 21-22 are like bookends to the whole Bible. It is worth comparing the pictures presented in both. For example, what was once two people in a garden becomes a flourishing city. Whereas there was one tree of life in Genesis, the river in Revelation is lined with the trees of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is nowhere to be found. The name of the city is the New Jerusalem, the place where God dwells with His people.

 

  1. Characteristics – Life, peace and righteousness. Imagine a world where there is no more death and sorrow, where physical and emotional wounds are healed. Imagine a world where wars have ceased and people and creation live in peace and harmony. Imagine a world with no more injustice, oppression and poverty, but instead filled with righteousness and joy. That is the Christian hope for the future when Jesus’ second coming radically transforms this broken world. Our minds may fail to grapple with it, but does it not represent our hearts’ deepest longings?

 

  1. Core – The presence of God. “The dwelling place of God is among mankind!” (Rev 21:3) At the core of the kingdom of God and the new Jerusalem is the presence of God. What began as a presence in the garden was quickly marred by sin, yet God chose to mediate His presence to His people through His covenants. Jesus Christ was the embodied presence of God among us during His life on earth. The Holy Spirit dwells in Christian hearts. But there will come a day when we will stand in the glory of the unabated, unmediated presence of God, and there the greatest hope that ties all Scripture together will be fulfilled as Creator and creation are fully reconciled and restored.
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Daily Devo

Daily Devotional Journal

Scripture:
Mark 12:28-34; Luke 6:27-36
Fri, 27 May 2022

Live a Righteous Life

Observation:

Why are the two commandments cited by Jesus in verses 29 to 31 so important?

Deeper Reflection
FOR CHRISTIANS, FLOWING FROM OUR RIGHT RELATIONSHIP with God (through faith in Jesus Christ) ought to be right relationships with the people around us. Regarding the latter, the Lord Jesus commanded a radical righteousness that involves loving our neighbours as ourselves and even our enemies (v.31; Lk 6:27, 31 and 35). May God enable us to live righteous lives for His glory!What is the relationship between our vertical relationship with God, our horizontal relationships with other people and the biblical concept of justice? Pastor Timothy Keller explains:56

The Hebrew word for “justice”, mishpat, occurs in its various forms more than 200 times in the Hebrew Old Testament. Its most basic meaning is to treat people equitably. It means acquitting or punishing every person on the merits of the case, regardless of race or social status. …But mishpat means more than just the punishment of wrongdoing. It also means giving people their rights. …Mishpat, then, is giving people what they are due, whether punishment or protection or care.

We get more insight when we consider a second Hebrew word that can be translated as “being just”, though it is usually translated as “being righteous”. The word is tzadeqah, and it refers to a life of right relationships…day-to-day living in which a person conducts all relationships in family and society with fairness, generosity and equity. It is not surprising, then, to discover that tzadeqah and mishpat are brought together scores of times in the Bible. …Therefore, though tzadeqah is primarily about being in a right relationship with God, the righteous life that results is profoundly social.


56 Cited by Joe Carter in this article The FAQs: What Christians Should Know About Social Justice. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/faqs-christians-know-social-justice/
Application:

In what ways can I love the people around me as myself (v.31) and do to them what I wish they would do to me (Lk 6:31)? (Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to do so.)

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for SGI leaders: That the Holy Spirit will empower them to love their neighbours as themselves and even their enemies
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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