January 30, 2015

New Heavens and a New Earth

Isaiah 65:17-25

“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth.”

—  Isaiah 65:17

The story of our journey with God begins with creation. God made the world, "and it was very good" (Genesis 1:31).

Sin colors our experience of this present world; it surrounds us with harm and destruction. Even those of us who know the gift of salvation in Christ still experience sorrow, mourn lives seemingly cut short, and invest in projects we may never enjoy in this life.

So God calls attention to his work of renewing the creation: "See!" Isaiah's words deliberately echo the creation story of Genesis, but they also move us beyond that story. The ongoing work brings "the kingdom of God" that Jesus preached (Mark 1:15) into ever-greater reality around us.

Our journey with God begins with creation, but it always takes us through the mission of Jesus. And in him, the Spirit helps us see the renewal that God has already begun—not just renewed gifts of health or prosperity, but a peace so complete that all creation is included. This is symbolized by pictures like that of the wolf and the lamb feeding together. As you look for signs of renewal, ask, "How is the creation being cared for? How are the poor and helpless spared from harm? How are the devil's schemes stopped or held at bay?"

Take time this year in your journey with God to look around, marvel at this new creation, and rejoice in the full work of Christ's salvation.

Father, show us where you are renewing both us and our world by the work of Jesus. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!