Our Field Is Our Playground And Our Playground Is Our Garden

 
The book of Revelation is clearly my favorite book in the Bible. I cannot open this scroll of parchment filled with horrifying visions of fiery judgment, without being struck by the awesomeness of God manifested in the simplest, most personal expressions of love!
 
At the opening of the story, when John sees the risen Christ in glory, he falls to the ground as a dead man. Jesus who is described as holding the seven stars of the seven churches in his right hand, in a manner of speaking, pauses, brings his full attention to John, touches him with that same right hand and gives him assurance and comfort and tells him not to be afraid! *1*
 
A little further along, God is described as holding our prayers in “golden bowls”. He doesn’t store these Holy utterances in discarded styrofoam cups! But rather, He treasures these whispers of affection, shouts of frustration and cry’s of anguish as gifts, and saves them in his most sacred of places. *2*
 
Than there is the touching seen where God tenderly wipes every tear from the eyes of every believer. *3*
 
Yes, there is wonder to be found in greatness, and we are all called to taste grandeur on different occasions. Like all Christians, I delight in seeing dynamic answers to my prayers — and I have seen my fair share (when the focus is meeting real needs, I am gathering unto Jesus, and I have aligned myself with His will). But it has been my experience, when I try to walk on water in my bathtub (or at the lake), I fail miserably! And this is for my benefit! While mountain top experiences might fill us with awe, for the most part, real beauty is found in integrity and small, personal expressions of love!
 
Yes, Jesus could stand up in a boat and command the elements – the raging winds and waves would obey him. After all, like everything else, they are subject to his command. These mighty acts of power demonstrate beyond any doubt that He is the Great “I Am”. But his greatest moment was not in calming the storm, but as a mere man, spreading his arms and allowing us to nail him to a tree.
 
This journey in writing these eight chapters has been a most profound experience for me!
 
It started as I contemplated John’s vision of the New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven, “….prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” *4*. Through this one verse, I realized that when God looks at a city, he first and foremost sees the people (living stones) — to Him, they are the city! Until now, when I have looked at a city, I have seen the iconic elements, the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge. To me, skylines and buildings have been the city.
 
This pattern applies to states and nations as well. Like every state, California and Arizona are in reality, their citizens. Yosemite and the Grand Canyon just happen to be delightful features in the gardens in which He has placed these people. These concepts extend significantly to His patterns of judgment as we shall later see.
 
Yes, God created Adam and Eve to live in and work in a garden. There is great dignity, meaning and purpose to be found in cultivating beauty in and through the soil (or whatever we put our hands to).
 
Yes, Rose Bowl Parades are spectacular, but there would be no grandeur were it not for the people who nurture the millions of plants that provide the blossoms for this festival.
 
1 Corinthians 12 speaks of the use of the gifts God has given as manifestations of His presence with His people, but this telling chapter is followed by one of the greatest writings of all time (chapter 13) which starts with the phrase, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, if I have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging symbol!” *5*
 
In these last 8 chapters, I have attempted to call attention to “8 Irresistible Characteristics Of God…” I wrote about His Great Demonstration Of Love in Chapter 6.1. In bringing these chapters to a close, I circle back again to the MOST IRRESISTIBLE CHARACTERISTIC OF GOD expressed in the last verse of 1 Corinthians 13, “so these three remain, faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love!” *6*
 
God is Love! *7*
 
Amen and Amen!
 
 
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Notes And References:
 
*1*. Revelation 1:17 (NIV)
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.
 
I would add a comment here that I think warrants mention. When I wrote the phrase above, “…. in a manner of speaking, pauses, brings his full attention to John, touches him with that same right hand and gives him assurance and comfort and tells him not to be afraid! I was writing from a human perspective seeking to portray the infinitely personal nature of God. In reality, because He is God and not subject to human limitations, there is no doubt that He could have 10,000 such conversations at the same time and have each person depart, convinced that God was speaking only to them at the moment!
 
*2*. Revelation 5:8 (NIV)
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.
 
*3*. Revelation 7:17 (NIV)
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ ”
 
*4*. Revelation 21:2 (NIV)
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
 
*5*. 1 Corinthians 13:1 (NASB)
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
 
*6*. 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
 
*7*. 1 John 4:8 (NIV)
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
 
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–©️2020, Dale Petersen, all rights reserved. Published for Non-profit by  Pleasepraywithus.info
 
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