I was asked to write a personal devotional about Advent by my Pastor David Keck and what that scripture means to me. Today I was asked to read it aloud to the congregation for the Christmas service here on the Sunday before Christmas. What I have written below is about the River of Life, Family and friends, Struggles, and reconciling your personal being with Devotion to God and the World we live in. Below is theScripture and at the bottom is my Devotional.
Revelations 22:1-12 - The River of Life
22 Then the angel[a] showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life[b] with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants[c] will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
Jesus Is Coming
6 And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”
7 “And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, 9 but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant[d] with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”
10 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”
12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.
James Thomas Shell:
I dedicate this to my grandmother Martha Shell, who was a great and righteous woman; who always sacrificed and provided for my family. When I would have struggles with darkness in my life, she would encourage me back to the light. My shame is a shame that we all must deal with. Her absence makes me ponder how I took her for granted as we take God for granted in knowing that he will always be there.
Revelations literally means that God's plan is being revealed to us. This verse tells us of the purity of God's Kingdom. We have to travel through the River of Life in order to get to the Kingdom. Things happen for a reason. Those things are God's plan. The tree bears fruit, which represents the different seasons of our life. They are learning experiences.
Over the past seven years my life has changed drastically. Most of the people who surrounded me seven years ago are either gone or not near to me. I have been forced to deal with constant economic and social challenges over these years. None of us would ever choose a path of struggle for ourselves. We all deal with issues of anger and frustration when we go through such times... It happens for a reason.
God allows me to choose the path of the Darkness or the Light. Darkness equals succumbing to negativity - fear. The "Light" is constantly referred to in the Bible. God is the "Light". Be righteous, trust and follow the Path of the Light through the seasons and you will be rewarded with God's Kingdom.