Week of Sept 1st

Is heaven for real?  What is heaven like?  There is a lot we do not know about heaven.  Partly because if we did know, how would we describe it.  I suspect it is far beyond my ability to comprehend, let alone put into words.  And partly because some of the things I would want to know are not likely the most significant truths.  Here is some of what the Bible teaches about heaven.

PRAYER:  O God, You move in mysterious and wondrous ways from before the beginning to long after the end.  To be in your grace and to be filled with your joy is heaven.  Keep my eyes and my heart focused on Jesus – the way, the truth, and the life.  Amen.

Monday- John 14:1-6, 15-18, 27-31

Jesus was facing his own death.  I suspect there was so much more that Jesus wanted to teach them, but time was running short.  So he focused on the most important.  The promise was not that their wildest dreams would come true, or that they would live happily ever after.  What was the promise Jesus gave them?  Jesus offered this promise several times.  How would this promise sustain them through all the challenges and difficulties they would face?  How does this promise sustain you?

Tuesday – 2 Corinthians 4:7-18

Okay, Paul is not talking about heaven.He is writing about the difficulties he is facing, and has done so on behalf of the believers in Corinth.But the last three verses reveal what motivated and sustained him through all those troubles.His relationship with God through Jesus Christ focused his attention farther out and farther up than before.On what did Paul focus?How does your focus give you hope and strength for each day?

Wednesday-  2 Corinthians 5:1-10

Paul had been through a lot, but his hope was in a future that could not be threatened by the troubles he endured.  This was a future he embraced when he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus.  It changed his life.  How do these verses picture his hope?   What is the meaning of an “eternal dwelling in the heavens?”  Paul is very Greek in thinking about being in the human body vs some kind of spiritual being beyond.  But his mission is in verse 9.  How can this day be your gift to God?

Thursday – Revelation 4:1-11

John has a vision.  Perhaps it is a glimpse of worship in heaven.  Can you imagine what he describes?  Don’t let it sprain your brain.  Remember John is trying to describe in human terms what cannot be described.  It is so far beyond our imagination, let alone our reason; that it becomes incredible and even mythological.  But what can we gleam from this image?  It is fantastic!  Being in the presence of God is moving and passionate.  It is joyous!  And mere human words will be inadequate to describe it.  Would this encourage a people who are suffering?  Would this help someone keep the faith in danger?  Sound like something you would enjoy?  Who needs a video game when heaven is filled with this?

Friday – Revelation 21:1-8

John wrote this letter to encourage people in dangerous and difficult times.  In the midst of struggle and scuffle, John reveals who wins the cosmic battle between good and evil in the end.  What does John describe life will be like when God rules?  What happens to death, and grief, and pain, and sadness?  Who will receive these gifts?  Who will not?  How will you keep the faith in the difficulties you face?

Saturday – Hebrews 11:32-40

Did you notice the last two days devotions were the same as 2 weeks ago?  Those topics overlapped.  But this passage haunts me.  It not strictly about heaven.  There are many who have gone before us have not “received what was promised” so that we would have opportunities because of them.  Have their blessings been delayed so that I would receive the invitation of grace?  Is their heaven only complete upon my faithfulness?  For what blessings will I wait while others respond to grace?  Heaven is not a place for my gratification, but for the glorification and worship of God.