OCTOBER WEEK 4

NEW EDEN

In the beginning, God made a beautiful garden in which he could live in harmony with his earthly family. Humanity was tasked with expanding this sacred space to cover the earth. After an act of rebellion, humanity lost this garden. At his return, Jesus will establish a “new Eden” (called the New Jerusalem in Scripture) to make perfect the fulfillment of the creation mandate for the garden in Genesis. In this new creation order, God’s resurrected people will dwell with him for all eternity, functioning as his priests in sacred space, as God desired from the beginning. 

Family Formation

Weekly Takeaway: We will live with YHWH in the eternal new Eden.

Main Scripture: Revelation 21:1-5

Questions: 

  1. What is eternity?
  2. What will the new Eden be like?
  3. What will it be like to live with YHWH for all of eternity in the new Eden?

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Instructions for Daily Reading

Each day as you engage the Scripture, we recommend following this pattern of devotional reading.  

[Take a brief moment of silence to quiet your heart.] 

  1. Read the Scripture aloud.
  2. Seek out where King Jesus is at work in the Scripture.
  3. Pray over the Scripture.
  4. Discern how this Scripture impacts your life.

[Demonstrate loyalty to Jesus in one tangible way today.] 

DAILY READING

MONDAY - 10/28

Monday: Galatians 4:21-26

 

Group Discussion & Reflection: In Galatians 4, Paul draws a parallel between the songs of Abraham and Jerusalem. The flesh-driven desires of the world resemble a temporal promise of that which can – and will – pass away. The desires that are motivated by faith in Jesus, however, resemble that which will last forever in a Jerusalem that is from “above.” How does Scripture describe the differences between the current created order and that of new creation?

 

Today’s Reading: 

 

21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise.

 

24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.

 

27 For it is written, “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than those of the one who has a husband.”

TUESDAY - 10/29

Tuesday: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

 

Group Discussion & Reflection: In new creation, there will be no more suffering, but instead, only peace under the rule of King Jesus. How does this renewing of all of creation provide hope in your everyday life? What will be it be like to live in the New Eden with a new body?

 

Today’s Reading: 

 

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

 

15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

 

17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

 

WEDNESDAY - 10/30

Wednesday: 2 Peter 3:8-13

 

Group Discussion & Reflection: At the Day of the Lord, King Jesus will bring judgment upon the world, and will establish his eternal kingdom on earth. What do you think it means that the heavens will be set on fire? How will righteousness dwell in the new heaven and the new earth?

 

Today’s Reading: 

 

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

 

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

 

11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

THURSDAY - 10/31

Thursday: Romans 8:18-25

 

Group Discussion & Reflection: As we set our sights on the new Eden, we must graciously dwell in the “Babylon” in which God has placed us. In Romans 8, Paul offers profound perspective when he says that the present suffering is but a precursor to the blessing that will come in new creation. Even Babylon cries out for the freedom that will come in the New Eden. How does Paul’s perspective provide hope in every situation? In what ways do your present sufferings cry out for the new Eden?

 

Today’s Reading: 

 

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope

 

21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

 

23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

FRIDAY - 11/1

Friday: Revelation 21:22-27

 

Group Discussion & Reflection: In Revelation 21, John provides us with an amazing description of the new creation. It is important to notice that there is no need for a temple, light, or closed gates. These metaphors help us understand the transcendence of God’s presence and the peace that his eternal rule will establish in the earth. How does the hope of the new heaven and the new earth provide hope for you?

 

Today’s Reading: 

 

22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.

 

26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

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