20 Jan Day 20 – Sign of the Kingdom – Unity and Peace
Revelation 7:9-10 “I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb … And they were shouting with a great roar, ‘Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!’”
Imagine this scene. A crowd with people from every nation, every tribe, every people, every language. All standing in front of the throne joyfully worshipping at the top of their lungs. That scene sounds like the most electrifying, exciting, chaotic, joyful, unified display of life I can think of.
How did John know they were from different tribes, tongues, nations, and people groups? He knew because he could see it and hear it! It was a joyful celebration of different people with different languages and colors and expressions of praise.
There were differences of all kinds, but there was something they had in common. They had all been bought with a price and brought into the family of God. They had been redeemed and restored and made whole. And they were unified in who deserved their affection and praise.
Often, when we talk of heaven, we talk as if we will be changed into someone other than who we are. But that is not what happens in heaven. The Kingdom of God is about completion. It is about restoration. It is about returning everything to the original plan – God’s original dream!!! Of course, where sin and trauma and illness and evil of all kinds have twisted us and marred the original design God had for us – that will be removed forever. But Jesus did not come to turn us into someone else. Jesus came to bring us into OUR fullness.
We also might imagine that the harmony in heaven will be a result of us all being the same. But that is not what John saw around the throne. No, he saw a vast multitude of diversity. God’s perfect will is for us to be uniquely different but unified under him.
That is heaven. Everyone different in size and shape and color and background but everyone the same in the spirit of adoption – one God, one King, one Lord, one Father, one Savior. No need to compete for attention or control for security. Instead, in the Kingdom, everyone is satisfied in God’s love and able to fully celebrate and honor the beauty and uniqueness of all God’s children.
Am I afraid of people who are different than me? What differences make me the most uncomfortable? Ask God why. Talk to God. Let him transform your thinking through His kindness.
God, you came to restore me. You came to reconcile all things to yourself. Give me eyes to see your original design for me. Give me a heart to embrace and even celebrate the differences in race, color, personality and nationality of others. Exchange my fears for your peace. Teach me to love as you love.
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