New Free Bible Reading Advent Guide over at Scripture Union USA


Scripture Union USA is providing a free online Bible reading guide for Advent called "Journey to Bethlehem".
"Follow the Bible's Story of Jesus' Birth

Spend just a few minutes each day following the Bible’s story of Jesus’ birth.

Journey to Bethlehem provides you with one short scripture reading each day followed by a reflection question or two designed to help you see how God promised the world a Savior and then kept that promise.

This daily devotional will be running during Advent from November 30 to December 25." (Journey to Bethlehem @ Scripture Union USA)
It is free! You can read the guide online at

E100: 100 | The End of the Story is The Beginning

STARTING OVER #END
"In the final E100 reading, in revelation chapter 21 to chapter 22 verse 22 John describes the new Jerusalem, the capital of heaven signifying the presence of God. John then hears a loud voice that says, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)

Read Revelation 21:1-22:21 | (ESV)

Well this is number 100. The last passage reading of the E100 Challenge. What a trip this has been for me. I would encourage everyone who is working through the E100 Challenge to keep going. It is worth it! I know everyone is going at a different pace, in fact, I am sure you noticed my paced over the course of the 100 passages. Sometimes because of the content, sometimes because of life and practical reasons. But the pace is not what is important it is the time your spending reading these personal letters from God. Letters and notes about life and it's meaning. Words that spell out God's plan and purpose.

For those who are continuing to work through the 100 verses I have listed out all of the 100 posts for the E100 here: E100 Bible Reading Challenge. Each one is numbered to match the 100 passages of the challenge. There is also a tab for the E100 at the top of this blog.

Then I saw "a new heaven and a new earth," for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away ... I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God ... And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 'He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" ...

He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.

... No longer will there be any curse.
I AM the Alpha and the Omega
The greatest story every told ends where it began in the Garden -a perfect beautiful place. A place where God and humans live together in peace. A place without death, pain, and tears. A place where there is no murder, rape, and greed. No hate, no jealousy, no ugliness. A place without the curse. A place where sin doesn't exist. A brand spanking new place that will not age or decay but stay new and beautiful forever. A "new heaven and a new earth" with a new city -Jerusalem.

In the last two chapters of the bible John does his best to describe the indescribable. Limited by human language and that which he has seen in this world he describes what Jesus shows him in this vision - the very coming of the kingdom of God to this earth. A earth re-created, redeemed, renewed by God!

Reading through the Bible gives you a great perspective of the whole story. It put things into context and gives proper meaning to everything. It gives one a better understanding of God's purpose for his entire creation. God's purpose put simply

E100: 099 | Here Comes the Groom

The Jump Game III
"As we near the end of the E100 Challenge, we come to one of the most incredible pieces of scripture in the entire Bible. Today’s reading in Revelation chapter 19 to chapter 20 verse 15 describes the second coming of Christ. The heavens open revealing Christ on a white horse, with the armies of heaven following him. Christ delivers judgment on the earth and an angel from heaven binds the devil for a thousand years. Anyone whose name was not found in the book of life is thrown into the lake of fire." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)

Read Revelation 19:1-20:15 | (ESV)

Then a voice came from the throne, saying: "Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both great and small!"

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God's people.)

Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God."
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (Ephesians 5:25-27)
In chapters 19 and 20 we read about 4 events that will happen at the end of history. In a sermon delivered at Valley View Community Church back in 2005, titled Here Comes the Groom, Bruce Carter points out the importance of these four events and the incredible meaning of the Wedding.
"These are future events we all need to understand if we're going to make the most out of our lives here on earth. This is the end of the story. The four events are the wedding supper of the Lamb, the second coming of Jesus Christ, the thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ, and the Great White Throne Judgment.

You see in order to understand what God is doing in human history and in our own lives right now, we need to understand the end of the story as well as the beginning of the story. And the Bible helps us do both. The book of Genesis tells us what happened at the beginning of the story and the book of Revelation tells us what's going to happen at the end of the story and that helps to put into perspective everything that's going on in our lives right now.

...When the Bible talks about this great wedding supper of the Lamb, the Lamb is Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He's the bridegroom who is coming back for his bride. And the bride is the church. It's us! This royal wedding is between Jesus and his followers. ...

And why is the return of Christ pictured as a wedding? It's pictured as a wedding for the same reason that most weddings happen, because two people love each other. The groom loves the bride and the bride loves the groom. Jesus loves his church and gave his life for her and because of that we love Jesus. We love him because he first loved us. And a wedding is the perfect picture of love and intimacy between Christ and his church."
To be honest I find reading the Book of Revelation difficult. Fascinating but difficult. The imagery for me is intense

E100: 098 | All Encompassing Worship

Farley_50
"Today’s reading in revelation chapter 4 to chapter 7 verse 17 describes both the great and terrible things that are to come. Only the Lion of Judah, is worthy of opening the scroll. Christ is in the midst of the throne and takes the scroll from the Father. As he does, worship breaks out among the millions of angels. Christ then opens the first six seals, sending God’s judgments upon the earth." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)

Read Revelation 4:1-7:17; | (ESV)

Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" (Revelation 4:11-13)

... After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."

All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!" (Revelation 7:9-12)
In his book Heaven Randy C. Alcorn points out that Heaven will be a place of "all-encompassing worship". Here are some extend quotes from the book.
Most people know that we'll worship God in Heaven. But they don't grasp how thrilling that will be. Multitudes of God's people -of every nation, tribe, people, and language -will gather to sing praise to God for his greatness, wisdom, power, grace, and mighty work of redemption.

... Will we always be engaged in worship? Yes and no. If we have a narrow view of worship, the answer is no. But if we have a broad view of worship, the answer is yes.

... Scripture depicts people standing, walking, traveling in and out of the city, and gathering at feasts. When doing these things, we won't be on our faces before Christ. Nevertheless, all that we do will be an act of worship. We'll enjoy full and unbroken fellowship with Christ. At times this will crescendo into greater heights of praise as we assemble with the multitudes who are also worshiping him.

Worship involves more than singing and prayer. I often worship God while reading a book, riding a bike, or taking a walk. I'm worshiping him now as I write. Yet too often I'm distracted and fail to acknowledge God along the way. In Heaven, God will always be first in my thinking.

... Have you ever spent a day or several hours when you sensed the presence of God as you hiked, worked, gardened, drove, read, or did the dishes? Those are foretastes of Heaven -not because we are doing nothing but worshiping, but because we are worshiping God as we do everything else."
Bob Dylan may have said it best in one of his songs on his album from 1979, Slow Train Coming. His song called

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