Heaven on the Horizon

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As consciousness dawned this morning, I thought of Heaven!  There is the obvious reason. Today, Bev and I would have celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary. And, there are other reasons, too. In so many conversations in the last few days, I have realized in a new way, just how important it is to keep eternity in the forefront of my mind. I walked the rituals of grief with a family who lost a young son last week. I spoke with a young woman who is struggling with hopelessness. Another person shared the brokenness felt after great disappointment and the difficulty of finding the way to healing.

Yes, often life grows dark, but our hope of Heaven is like the ancient navigator’s North star. It keeps us from wandering, infuses us with purpose, and whispers assurance to us in the disappointments that inevitably come our way.

Peter’s inspired words to us teach us that “Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.” (1 Peter 1:18-21, The Message)  Other translations begin this way- “live as strangers with reverence.”

 We are not ‘home,’ we are going home. Our Father restored us to Himself through the sacrifice of Jesus and He has prepared a place’ (John 14) for us in His house. When I travel, I love seeing new places, meeting new faces, but I love to go home. Home is where I can relax, feel safe, kick off my shoes, raid my fridge, and turn up the music. Home provides an identity for me, giving me roots that keep me from drifting.

Christian, are you anticipating going HOME?  Before you conclude that I have a death wish, know that there is much to live for, joys to be known among friends and family that surround us, and yet … yes, and yet we need to anticipate that eternal Home.

When we cultivate an awareness of the Presence of God with daily worship, Heaven becomes closer. When we choose to worship Him, beyond form, with a love that encompasses ‘heart, soul, mind, and strength’ eternity takes hold of us even while we are creatures of time and space. Heaven in our heart changes us in our ‘walking around, everyday lives.’

So today, friend, invite the Spirit to come close. Give thanks for Jesus and the blood of His sacrifice that makes you holy. Look past the “empty way of life” that blinds those without God to things eternal.

Here is a word from the Word. “If only for this (present) life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a Man.” (1 Corinthians 15:19-21, NIV)  “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58, NIV)

__________

Build My Life

(a beautiful song of worship)

Worthy of ev’ry song we could ever sing
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You

 Jesus the name above ev’ry other name
Jesus the only one who could ever save
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
We live for You

 Holy there is no one like You
There is none besides You
Open up my eyes in wonder and show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me

 I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken

 Brett Younker | Karl Martin | Kirby Elizabeth Kaple | Matt Redman | Pat Barrett
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