Welcome to this Come to Jesus Daily devotional. For the near future, we put our Luke series on pause as we have some stand-alone summer devotionals. I hope you find them helpful.
‘They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.’ (Exodus 29:46)
Lesson: Our salvation in Christ is to restore what we’d lost - the knowledge of and the presence of God.
How would you answer: what is the grand end goal that God has in mind in making me a Christian? If we want to find our true purpose in the micro, we must understand the macro (the big plan). All of our individual days are to centred on the theme of God’s grand plan. For example, if we were going to move house next week, we had better be about packing and getting ready - our daily tasks should be centred around that theme!
God’s big plan is that He ‘might dwell among [us].’ Being eternally in the glorious presence of God and enjoying Him is our eternal destination as Christians. This is not boring because God is infinite and infinitely beautiful and satisfying!
God said to Israel that they were to ‘know’ that He ‘brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them’. To bring it into our New Covenant era, God wants us to know that He redeemed us from sin, death and darkness (Egypt) so that we may experience His presence in us personally and as a church. Added to this, we are to understand that Israel’s experience and our experience of God’s presence are progressive eras that will end with the fulness of God’s presence filling the earth at Jesus’ return. The Book of Revelation presents that eternal age:
‘Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.’ (Revelation 21:1-3)
Tyler Stanton writes:
The biblical story ends in relationship. Currently, the work of the church includes mission, evangelism, perseverance, and justice, but a day will come when all those things will be done away with. Heaven, at its simplest, is eternity with God with no work left to do. The mission is accomplished, the evangelism done, justice the forever reality, and perseverance no longer needed. God’s end game is just to be with you, to enjoy you forever, and to be enjoyed by you forever. (Tyler Stanton. Praying like monks, living like fools)
Our salvation in Christ is to restore what we’d lost - the knowledge of and the presence of God.
In the beginning, we read of how we enjoyed God’s presence:
‘Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.’ (Genesis 1:8)
Hidden in the failure that this text points to is the reality that mankind walked with God in the garden of God. This is what we lost and, in Christ, this is what we’ve found in measure and will experience in fulness at the end so let’s be aware and enjoy God’s presence right now.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
Until September I'll not be producing a group study. However, if you meet with your group why not simply use one of the devotionals as a basis for your discussion together?