Heaven is Waiting for Us, [Anticipation]

There is a place…

“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven,  Hallowed be Your name.”

 Matthew 6:9

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 3:20

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!”

– CS Lewis, The Last Battle

We often struggle.  Life frustrates us and we really don’t understand why it seems so bitter and confusing.  There doesn’t seem to be any way to get an answer.  The scriptures open up for us at this point.  The answer is ‘heaven’.  Heaven is a promise from Jesus to you.  In that light of heaven we are to live our life anticipating that place.

The assurance of heaven is, is to lift us, and then connect us to that which is eternal.  On earth, life is to a degree, intriguing.  There is, in spite of many conflicts and issues, a certain random pleasure in our lives.  We seem to know that our existence here  is somewhat charmed.  But believe it or not, heaven is so much more, its going to be a ‘kick in the pants’.

The reality of ‘heaven’ is what keeps us moving.  Heaven is the realm in which our Father dwells.  From heaven there is a concerted effort to hold and maintain us as we stumble through life.  Heaven is the provision that is given to faithful hearts who are being transformed by grace.

I hold on to this feeble life because I know and understand the glory of heaven.  Heaven is the place where glory is at home, and heaven is the magnetic pull that will lead me into eternity.  If I am looking for a connection to something way beyond my senses, heaven gives me that wonderful reality. Heaven is where the Lord Jesus is enthroned and is waiting.  When we are once again united with Him, it will be in heaven.

The idea of heaven holds us and inspires us as we try to figure out our walk of discipleship.  It is that promise that compels us, and brings us into a spiritual compatibility.  He is reaching out for us as we are pressing to meet Him.  The very hope of heaven turns our head, and lifts up our vision.  Jesus is the Lord of heaven and He gives us the privilege to dwell in the place where He is.

Heaven is the place where I really belong.  There is nothing that can take its place.  Heaven is a place where all of the redeemed will find a homecoming.  This is where we belong.  Eternity is the force which drives heaven, it is not a ‘static’ place or an existence above time.

Our decision to abide in eternity gives the Father great joy.  He is anticipating our arrival with a great deal of joy.  Heaven will help us forget all the tribulation of our lives here on earth.  It will seem like a bad dream as we step into eternal reality.  Brethren, we are standing on the threshold of eternal life.  Let us press into it, where joy and peace will ambush us in a special kind of wonderful grace.

P.S. I had fun with today’s artwork. The rabbits seem thrilled, and their joy is palatable. 🙂

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Consider Kindness

Love-shaped-SunBy faith we have been made acceptable to God. And now, because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace with God. Christ has also introduced us to God’s undeserved kindness on which we take our stand. So we are happy, as we look forward to sharing in the glory of God.

Romans 5:1-2, CEV

 Have you ever felt unwanted?  Maybe coming from a club, or a meeting or even a church.  Being undesirable or unwanted will obviously brings a sense of bad feelings.  We’ll struggle with bitterness and even a simmering kind of anger.  Rejection has a special way of penetrating our thinking like nothing else can. It is a nasty thing.

Those with disabilities are often excluded from many things. We are often overlooked or maybe even shunned. This hurts but we get used to it [sorta]. Often we build robust internal worlds where we belong. But that seems like a poor substitute.

Our faith has made us acceptable to God. 

We are suitable only because of what Jesus did for us.  Jesus makes a connection between God and us. Jesus picked up all of my sin, shouldered it and then carried it far away from me.  He died for my sin , now I will not have to. He took my place, in the ‘greatest mystery’ in the history of man.  ‘Why Him, and why me?’

Romans 5:2 develops an idea of getting an introduction to God and His ‘overboard’, extravagant kindness.  I’ll let you know right now, I am a big fan of ‘kindness’.  There is a goodness that the Father now shows us.  He is gracious, gentle and cordial to me as I struggle along.  But, more then anything, He is completely kind.

motherteresa-kindness-quoteKindness and tenderness fit precisely together.  Both together are quite a force to be reckoned with.  But there is one thing more.  If we delight in all the kindness shown to us, we need to practice pouring it on others.

A 100,000 tons of kindness has just been detonated on you.  Look around you, and then ‘share the wealth’. It’s simple, I have been given a vast amount of kindness for this sole reason– that I might give it away to those around me.

 

ybic, Bryan

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Doctor’s Orders

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And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Mark 2:17

I am convinced that as strugglers who just happen to be believers, there is a deep truth we need to know.  Simply that we are the ‘audio-visual’ (AV) department of the Church.

We display for all who can see with seeing eyes, the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We can be mixed up, and very confused at times. But in contrast, He is everything, our all in All. As the AV people, we show and declare (out of our very lives) the profound kindnesses of God.

We are meant to be see and heard, because that is what the AV department does best. But that is really not our natural tendency or inclination. Jesus spoke of a “candle on a lampstand,” that gives light into the house. Frightening as this must seem, this is our certain place.

We stand (only because He makes us) and proclaim the solid mercy and kindness of God, for awful sinners. Maybe in this short life– that is all we can really do. Fair enough. But still we hear that compelling call to become visible for Him– His fantastic glory.

We may become quite intimidated. It seems we know far more about sin than we do about holiness. Quite a few of us are expert sinners. Some of us have our  Ph.D in evil. We have taken training in sin, and are quite proficient in it.

“This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.”

1 Timothy 1:15, NLT

When it comes to holiness or purity, we discover that we are totally out of our league. We will often try to “fake” it, but we are surprised when the Holy Spirit resists us. He will not let us deceive ourselves in this way. We have no claim to self-righteousness.

Our sins and weaknesses, depressions and sicknesses become even more evident in time. We are the ones who walk with a definite limp. We will falter, and we will stumble. But we continue to turn to Jesus. And in this action, others will see mercy that is poured out on rascals such as us.

But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’”

Luke 18:13

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