People of Pure Delight
By Sharon Musgrove
“Look ahead with joy. Anticipate what I’m creating:
I’ll create Jerusalem as sheer joy, create my people as pure delight.
I’ll take delight in my people:
No more sounds of weeping in the city, no cries of anguish.”
Isaiah 65:18-19 MSG
When you think of heaven, what do you imagine? Do you envision a city of pure gold? Or maybe you wonder who’s going to be there?
Heaven is commonly described by the portrait painted in Revelation 21; a city built with gleaming gemstones and streets of gold. Less often do we depict the New Jerusalem by the characteristics of the people there. While we may be anxious about who gets to pass through those pearly gates, let us not overlook that God is not just renewing places, but is polishing His people into “pure delights” for that reunion.
In the Old Testament, Isaiah prophesies over the new heaven and earth. And unlike the Apostle John’s vision recorded in the book of Revelation, Isaiah’s account speaks more about the inhabitants of paradise than the habitat. God’s words tell us how He is renewing His children.
“All the earlier troubles, chaos, and pain are things of the past, to be forgotten.”
Isaiah 65:17 MSG
Reading the book of Isaiah points out that God’s children can be a source of pure pain. Pain to God and to the rest of humanity. Mankind’s bad behavior brings about trouble and chaos. And we continue this malicious conduct generation after generation.
God announced, generations in advance, that Jesus would come and save us from our wickedness. And not only did Jesus pay the price of our sin with his life on the cross, not only did Christ open the gate for us to enter God’s Kingdom, but he taught how we can be practicing the characteristics of the new life now.
“Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10
The Lord’s prayer is that we participate today in the reality of tomorrow. And we can cooperate with becoming people of pure delight by ingesting and enacting the teachings of Christ, beginning that transformation from the inside out.
“Look ahead with joy. Anticipate what I’m creating....” Isaiah 65:18 MSG
Do you look ahead with joy? Are you anticipating that new life while feeling the challenges of change now? The job of a prophet like Isaiah is to get us to focus on the future. And the feeling of the future is delight!
We can be certain that the attributes of the new heaven and earth will indeed be awesome, but, as always, the true delight of God’s kingdom will be people who are finally unified with both the Creator and to one another.
“I’ll create Jerusalem as sheer joy, create my people as pure delight.”
Sharon has been writing and teaching biblically based curriculum, Bible studies, and devotionals since 2007.
She has had the unique position of writing curriculum and teaching for two private, Christ-based, residential recovery programs. Both programs primarily served women in the homeless community.
Sharon has traveled multiple times to Kenya, serving on medical teams and teaching in the rural Maasai communities. She’s been privileged to speak in Leadership camps intended on encouraging and empowering the impoverished, underprivileged, and often abused young women.
Within these ministries, Sharon has witnessed the transformative power of loving words spoken to the broken-hearted. Sharing God’s love and witnessing its transformative power has become her passion.
Sharon and her husband, divide their time between Oregon and Hawaii. They have two grown children.
Currently, Sharon is encouraging others via her inspirational blog, but prefers sharing face to face. Additionally, she is working towards a degree in Ministry.
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