And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city. Revelation 21:15
Autumn trees are never more beautiful than when they burst into gold. It seems incredible that the leaves of summer should change into colors that remind us of wealth.
Few things are more valuable than gold. It’s the only metal on earth that is yellow or golden in color, and it is extremely pliable. Almost half of all the gold mined today is used in jewelry. Maybe you have some of it in your dresser drawer. If not, you might want to check with the U.S. Federal Reserve. They have 530,000 gold bars laying around somewhere.
God created gold to delight us, and the Architect of New Jerusalem is using it as a primary building material as He prepares a place for us. Revelation 21:18 says, “The city was pure gold, like clear glass.”
If you have a gold ring (or if you simply see a golden tree this fall), let it always remind you of the City of Gold—the City of God—the eternal inheritance for His children.
We are all going to emigrate in a very little while to a country that is very far away…. A grand and glorious world where God reigns. D. L. Moody
Revelation 21:9-21 – The New Jerusalem
By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. Acts 3:16
Author Mark Twain suggested that whatever we look at in life—and how we see it—can influence our next steps, even our destiny. As Twain said, “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
Peter too spoke of vision when he replied to a lame beggar, a man whom he and John encountered at the busy temple gate called Beautiful (Acts 3:2). As the man asked them for money, Peter and John looked directly at the man. “Then Peter said, ‘Look at us!’ ” (v. 4).
Why did he say that? As Christ’s ambassador, Peter likely wanted the beggar to stop looking at his own limitations—yes, even to stop looking at his need for money. As he looked at the apostles, he would see the reality of having faith in God.
As Peter told him, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (v. 6). Then Peter “helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk” and give praise (vv. 7–8).
What happened? The man had faith in God (v. 16). As evangelist Charles Spurgeon urged, “Keep your eye simply on Him.” When we do, we don’t see obstacles. We see God, the One who makes our way clear.
Reflect & Pray
What are you focused on instead of God? With refocused faith, what could you see in Him for your life?
Heavenly Father, when my eyes wander from You, focus my gaze on Your unlimited power
Have you ever had heartache so deep or hardship so difficult that it’s almost impossible to stand? Like a giant wave crashing on the shore, some trials threaten to overwhelm us.
We all experience valleys in life. They might be of our own making—for instance, when we choose to disobey God and our fellowship with Him grows cold. Or perhaps other people cause our suffering, in situations such as job termination, marital infidelity, or betrayal by a friend. And sometimes our heavenly Father Himself leads us into the valley. Although He could steer us around suffering, He chooses not to because He has a specific purpose in mind.
Psalm 23 uses four words to describe these valley experiences: shadow, death, fear, and evil. These terms evoke images of oppressive circumstances, grievous affliction, and deep discomfort, and there is no way to hurry through them. That’s because both the depth and length of the trial are determined by the Lord.
Thankfully, God promises to be with us and to use every valley—even those of our own making—for our benefit (Rom. 8:28). It is our job to walk steadily, attuned to His presence and trusting in His promises.
“Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.” (Psalm 119:33)
This eight-verse section (vv. 33-40) closely parallels a similar passage in Proverbs 2:1-5. Both focus on being taught, gaining understanding, and keeping “the way” of God’s Word.
Certainly worth noting is the manner in which the psalmist asked to “go in the path of thy commandments” (v. 35). In every case, the request is for God’s hand to control the process. There is no indication that the psalmist assumed the capability of finding these truths on his own.
- “Teach me, O LORD” (v. 33).
- “Give me understanding” (v. 34).
- “Make me to go” (v. 35).
- “Incline my heart” (v. 36).
- “Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity” (v. 37).
- “Stablish thy word” (v. 38).
- “Turn away my reproach” (v. 39).
- “Quicken me in thy righteousness” (v. 40).
However, having prayed for God’s intervention and oversight in his life, the psalmist promised to act on the given insight and order his life around “the way” so illumined by God’s instructions. He acknowledged his “delight” and his “longing” in the holy life and character revealed in the Scriptures and, like the Proverbs 2 passage, showed a willingness of the spiritual consciousness of his heart and mind to “understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2:5).
May our prayer always be like this: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). HMM III