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Longing for Jesus

Revelation 22:17
The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let the one who hears say, 'Come!' Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. (NIVUK)

Jesus had already announced that He is coming back soon (Revelation 3:11; 22:7; 22:12). That message is for the churches, to encourage them in times of trouble and encourage them to stay true to Jesus until He returns. In today's verse, there are answering cries. The first call is from the Holy Spirit whose home is in heaven and work is among people. The return of Jesus is the culmination of all that God has planned, leading into the uncontested reign of Christ and the glorious unfolding of the kingdom of God.

The Bride of Christ, all those who have put their trust in Him, are also longing for the appearance of their Bridegroom (John 3:29). Like the passionate anticipation in the Song of Songs, it is right for the church to be very eager to see the Lord. We only love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19), and how lavishly He has loved us that we might become children of God (1 John 3:1). If the corrupted creation is eager to see the Lord, how much more should we be bursting with anticipation (Romans 8:22-23) - we who were once sinners and now welcomed as His family (Ephesians 2:13).

The Spirit and the bride not only call out their welcome to Jesus, but also call out an invitation to anybody who has yet to be included in the family of God. 'Come to Jesus', echoes Jesus' words, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28). The invitation is that of Isaiah 55:1, extended to all and received by some: "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David." Not everybody will come, but all who want to come, and know they need to come, and that they will die if they do not come … are welcomed by Jesus (Luke 15:18-20).

All who come to Jesus receive the free gift of eternal life (John 3:16). It is not forced upon anybody, but the invitation is for all. It may be that some who have been reading through Revelation with Word@Work have felt uneasy, fearing God's judgement and unconfident about their own salvation. Do you know that You can personally receive forgiveness and new life in Jesus by welcoming His death as Your substitute sacrifice, and welcoming Him as Your Saviour and Lord? The details of the gospel are at www.crosscheck.org.uk. Watch it and ask the Lord to speak to you. He is calling You, not to be religious but to belong to Jesus as You receive Him into your life and heart (Revelation 3:20). It is good to be thirsty for truth, reality and God: it is far better to be satisfied as you are pardoned from all sin, receive the Holy Spirit and step out into the future with Jesus. Going to church, holding a Bible and doing good cannot save you: only Jesus has the power and authority to save you because His blood was shed for you. Take all your sins to Him - He has already paid for them. So come to Him and let Him release you from the burden of guilt (Romans 8:1) and give you the joy of salvation (Psalm 51:10-12) … today.

Welcoming God. Thank You for calling me to come to You. I repent of my sins and ask that the blood of Jesus shall be a sufficient sacrifice for them. I welcome You into my heart and life and eagerly look forward to Jesus coming again so that I can be with Him for ever. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams