Duration: 365 days
RESTORATION INSIDE AND OUT
Today’s Bible Reading: Ezekiel 36:24–38
Did you know that heaven isn’t the Christian’s final destination?
The Bible makes it clear that when Jesus comes again we’ll receive new bodies and that God will restore the earth. The echoes of this promise are heard in Ezekiel’s proclamation of a coming Messianic age. We can call the “new” earth our final home. We won’t float on clouds, strum harps of gold or sing some never-ending worship song. Rather, we’ll find ourselves in a very real place, more real and alive than this world could ever be.
The prophet Ezekiel challenges the stereotypes of God’s restoration. God will purify and recreate what’s inside of us. He will give us a new heart and a new spirit (verses 25–26). Certainly we should embrace and cherish these promises.
However, Ezekiel’s prophecy of restoration doesn’t end with our bodies. God will also restore the earth: “The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. They will say, ‘This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited’” (verses 34–35). Ezekiel also describes the physical abundance and fruitfulness of the renewed earth (verses 29–30).
God accomplished the purification of sins in the death of his Son, Jesus. But he hasn’t restored the world yet. That great work still lies ahead; still today we wait for God to fulfill the second half of Ezekiel’s prophecy.
As we wait for that glorious day when God will make all things new, we do well to remember that God won’t forget the physical world he has created. His work of restoration moves from the inside out.
To Take Away
- Why won’t God abandon the world he has created?
- What do you think the renewed earth will be like?
- One day all of God’s people will be fully restored and will live in a new, perfect world. How might this knowledge affect your life today?
In Other Words
“We should stretch our vision of what’s in store for us. God’s redemptive work is far greater than we imagine because God himself is far greater than we imagine.” —Randy Alcorn
Copyright © 2006 by Zondervan.