Tonight I Pray that we come to You Father with a thankful heart for allowing us to be alive during this special time in the history of this world!!! We are so grateful that we were chosen to be the generation that ends the time of the church and gets to be swept up into the Rapture. Please dear Father give us a humble and thankful spirit. Give us Your strength so that we can make it to the finish line racing like sons and daughter of the Living God Almighty!!! That we share the Good News of Jesus Christ and His Saving Grace with all that we meet. Gives us all a great hunger for Your Word so that we can be the mighty men and women of God that You planned for us to be in these last days. So that we can all live in Your Will, Word and Way for our lives even until the end. In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen. God bless you!!! ♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/6Qzxrw
What on Earth Is Going on in Heaven?
by Skip Heitzig
I want you to know something: Satan has a vested interest in lying to people about heaven. It must drive him nuts that our future home is his ex-home, so he tells all sorts of misconceptions about what it’s going to be like—especially when it comes to worship. Last week, we looked at what happens to Christians when they die. This week, let’s look at one of the things we’ll be doing in heaven: worshiping.
One of the things you can do right now that you will do forever is worship God. It’s pretty exciting to even think about. In Revelation 4-5, John described the inhabitants of heaven and their worship. Let’s consider the kind of worship going on in heaven and how our worship here can reflect that.
First, worship must be intellectual. “Now when He [the Lamb] had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp…. And they sang a new song” (Rev. 5:8-9). The Lamb, Jesus Christ, took the title deed of the earth—implying full redemption through a series of judgments and His second coming—and when the inhabitants of heaven saw this, they worshiped. Worship is the human reaction to a divine action, and it involves the mind: we must think about who God is and what He has done. Jesus said in Mark 12:30, “You shall love the Lord your God…with all your mind” (emphasis added). Please dismiss the idea that worship is a mindless activity. Powerful worship is when your mind is stretched to a fuller understanding of God.
Second, worship is physical. “The twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever” (Rev. 4:10; see also 5:8). The most common Hebrew word that is translated as worship is shachah, which means to bow down, to fall, or to stoop. It’s a physical affirmation of honor, authority, and respect. There are other things the Bible talks about that enhance the physical expression of worship: the raising of the hands (see 1 Tim. 2:8), kneeling (see Ps. 95:6), standing (see Ps. 135:1-2), and the lifting of the eyes (see Ps. 123:1; John 17:1). Somebody once asked me, “Can Christians dance?” My answer: “Well, some can, and some can’t.” I’ll tell you what the Bible says about it: “Let them praise His name with the dance” (Ps. 149:3; see also Eccl. 3:4). Closing your eyes and folding your hands aren’t even in Scripture. That doesn’t make them wrong; they just didn’t make God’s top five.
The third thing I’d like you to notice is that the worship of God is musical. The inhabitants of heaven have harps (see Rev. 5:8). The first time I read this, I thought, Great, I’m going to be sitting on a cloud with a harp all day long. But I found out that the harp is an ancient trapezoidal instrument with strings that are usually strummed with a pick. Hmm, sounds like a guitar. Heaven sounds a little cooler to me now than when I first read that. Throughout the Bible, the worship of God is musical. And we love music, don’t we? It’s how we’re made. And it’s going to be in heaven.
Finally, worship is emotional. When you read these two chapters, you get the idea that the inhabitants of heaven put their whole being into worship. Why is it that in this one area, we feel we have to shut it off? Have you ever been to a sports game or a concert? Pagans know how to get excited, so why do Christians think that enthusiasm about the most worthy thing in the universe must be carefully contained?
There are a lot of things God allows in our lives that we can look at and say, “Thank you, Lord. I worship you, Lord.” If you do that throughout the day, I can almost guarantee you that by the time we gather corporately, your worship will be exuberant. And when we get to heaven, we’ll have all of eternity to live that out and worship our awesome Lord.
I couldn’t agree more Pastor Skip. I believe worship in heaven will be unlike anything we have known on earth. It will be amazing!!! I hope you all have a Simply Heavenly day and keep your eyes on Jesus!!! God bless you!!!
The Nut Has Gone
Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. —1 Corinthians 15:20
A minister who was conducting a funeral service wanted to speak of some of the wonderful things about the deceased. But this poor guy said the wrong thing. He boldly proclaimed, “What we have here is only the shell,” gesturing toward the coffin. Then he added, “But the nut has gone.” He didn’t want it to come out that way. But that is a pretty accurate statement of what happens when we die.
God will give us new bodies one day — resurrection bodies. And we will need these new bodies because we will be in a new place called heaven. Of course, we wouldn’t think of sending astronauts into space dressed like they are going to the beach. They must have special suits that are designed to allow them to breathe and function in their new environment. Our earthly bodies suit us fine for life on earth. But in heaven, we will need new bodies.
We will need new bodies for our new environment because, to begin with, if we were to see God in the bodies were are living in right now, we would disintegrate on the spot. Why? Because we aren’t perfect people. Our bodies are limited by the effects of sin. The very fact that we age, can get sick, and will one day die (if the Lord does come back for us first) means that we have bodies that are tainted by sin. We need new bodies, made into the image of Jesus.
You will leave the shell, but the “nut,” the real you, will go into the presence of the Lord. Thank you Pastor Greg for this devotional!!! I love how you can always make my devotional time an enjoyable experience!!! I hope that all of you who read this enjoy it as much as I do. Have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
A Heavenly View
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. —2 Corinthians 4:16–17
In his final words to the elders of the church at Ephesus, Paul essentially laid down the principles that really mattered to him and said the desire of his heart was to finish his race with joy (see Acts 19:24). It was an emotional good-bye, and Paul left, sailing on to Caesarea. When he arrived there he stayed with the evangelist Philip, where he encountered the prophet Agabus. Agabus tied his own hands and feet with Paul’s belt and warned him, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles’ ” (Acts 21:11). In other words, “Don’t go. Danger is waiting.”
Paul responded and said, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (verse 13).
Now, what kind of a statement is that? That is the statement of a man who has been to heaven (see 2 Corinthians 12:2). Paul left this earth, went into the presence of God, and was called back to the earth again. That is why Paul was able to say that he had “a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better” (Philippians 1:23).
If you had been to heaven, it would change everything about you. It would change the way you see everything and the way you respond to everything. And certainly, it would change the way you view death.
I don’t think that Paul had a death wish, but I do think he recognized that what was waiting for him on the other side was far better than what he was experiencing. The same can be true for you and me. This is a great teaching by Pastor Greg Laurie. What a great way to start my day!!! I hope that you are all blessed by it and I hope you all have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Four Things We Should Know
He has planted eternity in the human heart. —Ecclesiastes 3:11
There are four things we should know about every person on earth. No matter how successful or unsuccessful they are, how famous or obscure they are, or how attractive or unattractive they may be, everyone shares these four traits.
One, there is an essential emptiness in every person who hasn’t yet come to Christ. Everyone is essentially empty. No matter how much money or prestige someone has, he or she has to deal with that emptiness. Scripture says that God made His creation subject to vanity, or emptiness, meaning there is a void, a hole if you will, inside every man, woman, and child.
Two, people are lonely. We can assume there is a sense of loneliness in every individual. Albert Einstein once wrote, “It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely.” People are lonely. We need to know that.
Three, people have a sense of guilt. They may try to mask it with alcohol or have a psychologist or psychiatrist tell them it is not there. But they have to deal with their guilt over the things they have done wrong. The head of a mental institution in London said, “I could release half of my patients if I could find a way to relieve them of their sense of guilt.”
Four, people are afraid to die. Some may strut around and say, “Not me. I’m not afraid to die.” But they are.
So don’t be so intimidated by the facades that people hide behind and assume they don’t want to hear what you have to say about your faith in Christ. Remember, you used to be one of those people. I used to be one of those people. We responded to the gospel. And so will they.
This devotional from Pastor Greg really hit home with me today. Yesterday I received a call from a very close friend of mine and she told me that her husband’s lung cancer had returned with a vengeance. That he was in the hospital on a drug induced coma and he would not live long.
This was the man who gave me away at my wedding and one of my husband’s very best friends from childhood. When we arrived there after a few minutes of talking, crying hugging each other I asked his wife if I could pray for him. You see even in a coma people can hear and I believe strongly that the Lord was leading me to pray the sinners prayer with him to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. I told him that he could accept Jesus right where he was and if the Lord took him that he would be in paradise with Jesus that same night.
After the prayer my husband told him to just go to Jesus and not to be afraid because He loves us so much. He called out to him and said “David I love you!” it was right then that he opened his eyes and I could see his lips moving even though he had a respirator in his mouth. He was trying to speak to my husband and then the nurse came in and sedated him.
I like to think that this was the Lord’s way of letting us know that David had prayed and asked Jesus into his heart and that we would see him again one day very soon. Death for the unbeliever is sad and very scary. But for the child of God it is a homecoming. The Bible tells us that to be absent from the body is to be home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8).
If you would like to be sure of where you are going when you die, I would be happy to pray that same prayer with you.
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” 4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second into their mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. John 3:3-6
If you want a new life in Christ Jesus, ask Him into your heart today. Simply pray this: Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that You took the pain and the sins of world on the cross to give me new life. I ask You to come into my heart and to give me Your peace and joy. I confess that I am a sinner that I have gone my own way and have done wrong. Please forgive me for my sins. I receive You now as my Lord and Savior. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Help me to follow You and to serve You all the days of my life. Thank you so much for loving me, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. If you prayed that prayer you are a new creature in Christ Jesus! You are Born Again! Welcome to the family and I Hope that you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!! ♥♥♥
A Meaningful Love
For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 1 Peter 1:20
Before God created the world, He planned to create man and to place him in this world so that he might have meaningful love with Him.
In His foreknowledge, God knew that man would make wrong choices. God knew that man would fail. Yet God still gave man the capacity to choose because without choice, man becomes nothing more than a robot and you cannot have a meaningful relationship with a robot. It may do what you say, but it cannot give you meaningful love.
You can choose to love God or to hate God, but a choice must be involved if there is going to be a meaningful relationship.
So many times I hear people saying “how can you love a God that sends so many people to hell!” I have to answer them by saying that God does not send anyone to hell, we each make the choice where we will spend our eternity. I love that I serve a God that gives me the choice to love Him or not to love Him. I choose Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I hope that you are happy with the choice that you make for your eternity. Have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
You will not fear the terror of the night.
What is this “terror”? It may be the cry of fire or the noise of thieves or intrigued appearances or the shriek of sudden sickness or death. We live in the world of death and sorrow; we may anticipate facing ills and difficulties during the night as well as in the glare of the noonday sun. This should not alarm us, for whatever the terror may be, the promise is that the believer shall not be afraid. Why should he be?
Let us put this more closely—why should we? God our Father is here, and will be with us all through the lonely hours. He is an almighty Watcher, a sleepless Guardian, a faithful Friend. Nothing can happen without His direction, for even hell itself is under His control. Darkness is not dark to Him. He has promised to be a wall of fire around His people—and who can break through such a barrier?
Unbelievers may well be afraid, for they have an angry God above them, a guilty conscience within them, and a yawning hell beneath them. But we who rest in Jesus are saved from all these by His rich mercy. If we give way to foolish fear, we will dishonor our testimony and lead others to doubt the reality of godliness. We ought to be afraid of being afraid, in case we should grieve the Holy Spirit by foolish distrust. Down, then, you dismal forebodings and groundless apprehensions—God has not forgotten to be gracious, nor held back His tender mercies. It may be night in the soul, but there need be no terror, for the God of love does not change.
Children of light may walk in darkness, but they are not therefore cast away. No, they are now enabled to prove their adoption by trusting in their heavenly Father in a way that hypocrites cannot do.
Though the night be dark and dreary,
Darkness cannot hide from Thee;You are He, who, never weary,Watchest where Your people be.
I really enjoyed this devotion today from Truth for Life by Alistair Beggs. He is really good pastor that I enjoy listening to daily. I hope that you are as blessed by this as I was. Have a Simply Heavenly Day!!! God bless you!!!
I Pray TONIGHT that you are overwhelmed by the love, presence and power of God! That your passion for Him is renewed with a burning desire to seek and know him to worship Him with all of your being!!! Your eyes see with revelation and illumination in the realm of the spirit as deep calleth deep! God is taking you to a higher place in Him an ascended place where you are seated in heavenly places! I declare a host of angelic beings are dispatched for your supernatural help and aid you are not alone for the Lord is with you, strong and mighty! I command every mountain of problem (in whatever area of your life) to move and be cast into the sea in Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I Love you all… God bless you!!! ♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/4xPkX9
If you’ve ever gone camping, you know it’s a lot of fun…but not for very long. I once went camping for three months when I took a trip around the United States. I had a truck and a tent, and I’d set it up every night. You know, honestly, I had fun, but I’m over it. After a few days you start longing for things like a shower, walls, a real bed. It’s a temporary situation.
In 2 Corinthians 5:1-8, Paul compares our physical bodies to a tent. “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (v. 1).
When we leave earth as Christians, we go to heaven. When we move from this tent, this physical body, we go to a permanent temple, a house. Paul was a tentmaker, and his analogy was simple. In the Middle East there are nomadic peoples who live in tents. They pitch their tent for a while and then move on to somewhere else. So, the analogy in this passage is clear. One is temporary (the tent), one is permanent (the house, the building). One is flimsy, one is sturdy. One is weak, one is strong.
Your body is like a tent, it’s temporary. After a while the threads start to unravel, the flaps become more prominent, it starts to leak. It’s just the nature of this temporary body. It’s interesting how some people want to make their tent look like it’s a brand-new model, younger than it really is. So they’ll stretch the flaps, and nip and tuck, and dye the threads. But it’s only temporary.
James goes a step further and says, “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).
Our bodies are not meant to last. The tent will be taken down. In the last letter Paul ever wrote, he said, “The time of my departure is at hand” (2 Timothy 4:6). In the Greek, the word departure means it’s time to take down the tent and move on.
And we trade in the tent for “a building from God.” This is referring not to a mansion in heaven but, in context, the building must be a reference to our glorified, resurrected body.
We are sure that’s really going to happen because verse 5 says, “He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” The word guarantee could be translated down payment or first installment. If you give a down payment, it means you’re going to pay the rest off. Or if you give your girl an engagement ring, it means there’s going to be a wedding. And we’ve been given the Holy Spirit, who lives inside of us. You’ve noticed that you’ve changed since you gave your life to Christ. You have new desires, new hopes—the hope of heaven. All of that is a foretaste of what’s to come.
And, as Paul says in verse 8, we’re confident, whether we’re in this body or in heaven. Because those are only two places where God’s people are—not soul-sleeping somewhere or in purgatory. You’re on earth as a believer, and the moment you leave this earth you are in God’s presence.
We are only camping out here. There’ll come a time when the vapor will disappear, when the tent will be taken down for something more permanent. Those who don’t know Him will have a body fit to endure everlasting punishment, and those who do know Him will have a body fit to experience and enjoy everlasting heaven. I pray if you don’t personally know Jesus, that in this interim we call time, you would make a choice to follow Him.
This morning I had to share this from Pastor Skip Heitzig. This is so on point that I believe we can all learn from it. We are all only camping out here and pretty soon it will be time to pack it all up and head home!!! So keep on fishing while there is still light. Pretty soon it will get dark and it will be time to head home. God bless you!!!
Even the sweetest glimpses of Christ are short-how transitory they are! One moment our eyes see Him, and we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory; but then the moment passes and we do not see Him, for our beloved withdraws Himself from us. Like a roe or a young hare He leaps over the mountains of division; He is gone to the land of spices and no longer feeds among the lilies.
If today He deigns to bless us
With a sense of pardoned sin,He tomorrow may distress us,Make us feel the plague within.How sweet the prospect of the time when we will no longer see Him from a distance but rather face to face-when He will not be like a traveler staying only for a night but will enfold us in the bosom of His eternal glory. We will not see Him for a little while, but Millions of years our wondering eyes,Shall o’er our Savior’s beauties rove;And myriad ages we’ll adore,The wonders of His love.
In heaven we will not be interrupted by care or sins; no weeping will dim our eyes; no earthly business will distract our happy thoughts. We will have nothing to prevent us from gazing forever on the Sun of Righteousness with tireless eyes. If it is so sweet to see Him now and then, how wonderful to gaze on that blessed face forever, and without a cloud rolling between, and never have to turn one’s eyes away to look on a tired and sinful world. When will this blessed day dawn? Rise, unsetting sun! If to die is to enter into uninterrupted communion with Jesus, then death is swallowed up in a sea of victory and is definitely gain.
Finally in Focus
For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. —Hebrews 13:14
Think back on the best moments of your life so far—those times with your loved ones or that gorgeous sunset or that precious thing your child said to you. These are just glimpses of what is to come.
That is why C. S. Lewis described earth as “the shadowlands.” You see, we tend to think of heaven as something surreal, while earth is real. But heaven isn’t a lame version of earth. Earth—the best moments of it, at least—is an incomplete version of heaven. Earth is like a copy of heaven, not the other way around.
Referring to the priests who would offer sacrifices according to the Law, Hebrews 8:5 says, “They serve in a system of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. For when Moses was getting ready to build the Tabernacle, God gave him this warning: ‘Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.’ “
Our problem is that we start with earth and reason up toward heaven when we ought to instead start with heaven and reason down toward earth. This little span of time on earth is what the Bible describes as a “vapor” or “a morning fog” (see James 4:14) or a story that already has been told. Life isn’t just a date of birth to a date of death. Life goes on. God’s plans toward you are good, and the ultimate plan is heaven. When you get there, everything will come into focus for you. When you get to the other side, you will see things clearly.
God knows where you are at this very moment, and God has a future for you. And it is going to be beyond your wildest dreams. I had to share this devotional from Pastor Greg with you. It warmed my heart and I hope that it does the same thing for you. I agree with Pastor Greg. God has a plan for us far beyond anything we can dream of. We just need to be open to hear His voice when He speaks to us.
For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13
I am going to be open to the Lord and put all of my trust in Him. I believe He will not only care for me here on earth but for all eternity. My hope is in Him! Have a Simply Heavenly day!!!
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