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!!!
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 Sunday!!! I hope that you are all blessed by it!!!
So Great a Salvation
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.” —Matthew 7:13
People believe in hell for other people, for those who do awful things. Maybe someone has gotten away with a horrible crime and hasn’t been caught. So we say, “Well, they will get theirs.” What we are really saying is there is a final judgment.
However, we don’t like the prospect of facing judgment ourselves. Yet if a person ends up in hell, that is his or her own choice. This is not what God wants. Hell is a prison in which the doors are locked from the inside.
Heaven is not the default destination of every person. Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13–14).
We go to heaven because we make a choice to do so by putting our faith in Christ—and Christ alone. There is no other way to get to heaven. No one was uniquely qualified to meet God’s righteous demands apart from Christ. No prophet, no guru, no religious system is going to do it. Jesus was fully God, and He was fully man. Thus He, and He alone, was able to stand in the gap for us and pay the price for our sins.
That is why the Bible asks, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him … ?” (Hebrews 2:3–4). If you blow off God’s offer, that is your choice. But you are going to face the consequences.
This was a powerful Devotional from Pastor Greg Laurie today. All I can add is that I am so happy that I have Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior!!! I can’t imagine my life without Him as my Lord and Savior. God bless you!!!
Not Home Yet
For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.—Hebrews 13:14
Here is another great devotion from Pastor Greg that I had to share. I really like his style of writing. He really has a way of writing so it is personal to each one of us. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
I heard a story about an old missionary couple who had been serving in Africa for years and were returning home to retire. Their health was broken down, and they had no pension. As it turned out, the same steamer ship they were traveling on had a very well-known passenger, President Teddy Roosevelt, who was returning home from a hunting expedition. As the passengers disembarked, there was a crowd of admirers. They were all there to greet the President of the United States. A band was playing, and the cheers of the crowd were deafening.
But when the missionary couple came ashore, there was no band playing for them. There was no applause. There was no one to welcome them home—not a single soul to meet them. Discouraged, the husband buried his face in his hands and moaned, “God, I didn’t expect a band or a parade, but someone could have seen to it to welcome us home.”
Hearing this, his wife looked at him and said, “Now Honey, we are not home yet.”
That is what we need to remember. We are not home yet, but one day we will be. Our job, until that day, is to be faithful with the opportunities and resources God has given to us. There are some people who simply go for it as Christians. They take risks for God. They want to do great things for God. They give it everything they have. Then there are others who want to serve the Lord, but they are more cautious, more careful. Some people are setting the world on fire while others are still looking for a match.
Here is what we need to focus on: being faithful to the Lord and using the gifts, opportunities, and resources He has given us. i hope you have a Simply Heavenly day!!! God bless you!!!
Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. —Matthew 24:30
I read this today and was so blessed that I wanted to share it with you. I think that many Christians forget that we will also stand before the Lord at the Bema seat someday and we are going to have to account for how we lived while on earth. I want to hear “Well done my daughter!!” If I am lucky enough to get a crown I will lay it right back at my Savior’s feet.
Some people really get into Bible prophecy, attending every Bible prophecy conference and reading every Bible prophecy book. But if it isn’t changing the way they live, then they are missing the point. Prophecy wasn’t given to inflate our brains; it was given to enlarge our hearts. It was given to draw us closer to God. And the bottom line is that judgment is coming.
As believers, we will finish our lives on this earth one day and will give an account for how we have lived. We will give an account for what we have done with our time and for what we have done with the gifts that God gave us. Did we develop them? Did we cultivate them? Did we use them for His glory? What did we do with our resources? Did we invest in His kingdom? What did we do with our lives in general? We will be rewarded—or not rewarded—according to how we have lived.
There is also coming a day when nonbelievers will stand before God. The Book of Life will be opened, and for them it will be too late. They will not be judged on the basis of their deeds, but according to what they did with Jesus.
In the end, it is not so much a sin question as it is a Son question: What did you do with Jesus Christ, the Son of God? If you believed in Him, then you have been forgiven. You are going to heaven. But if you rejected Him, then you won’t be.
The first time, Jesus came to this earth in humility and died on the cross. But the second time, He will come to this earth with power.
So live your life well. Live it for the glory of God. Have a Simply Heavenly day and may God bless you!!!
I speak to you from deepest heaven. You hear Me in the depths of your being. Deep calls unto deep. You are blessed to hear Me so directly. Never take this privilege for granted. The best response is a heart overflowing with gratitude. I am training you to cultivate a thankful mind-set. This is like building your house on a firm rock, where life’s storms cannot shake you. As you learn these lessons, you are to teach them to others. I will open up the way before you, one step at a time. ~Jesus Calling~
Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me. —Psalm 42:7 nkjv
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. —Psalm 95:1–2
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” —Matthew 7:24–25
Citizens of Heaven
But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. —Philippians 3:20
I am reading this chapter right now and am so blessed!!! Then I opened my e-mail and here is a wonderful devotional from Pastor Greg Laurie! I had to share this because it fits in perfectly with what I was reading this morning. Not only that my husband and I went through the exact same thing when we had our grandson Alaka’i and our two granddaughters, Kaliko and Alohilani over last weekend. God is good all the time!!! I think you will enjoy it as much as I did.
I have four granddaughters and one grandson. The youngest of the girls, Allie, age two, is always so excited to visit our home, which is filled with all kinds of toys. Allie will be happily occupied with the toys for a while, when suddenly she will say, “Home!”
“What?” we will ask.
“Home!” she declares again and walks out the door, as though she had just grabbed the car keys and was about to drive away. When Allie wants to go, she wants to go. She is a bit of a homebody. I’ve never seen this in a little child.
When you become a Christian, you become a citizen of your real home, heaven. Philippians 3:20 tells us, “But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.”
Sometimes we will look at life, and it all just leaves us cold. We will think, Home! But the “home” we are actually longing for is our heavenly one.
E. M. Bounds wrote, “Heaven ought to so fill our hearts and hands, our manner and our conversation, our character and our features, that all would see that we are foreigners, strangers to this world, natives of a nobler clime, fairer than this… . Heaven is our native land and home to us, and death to us is not the dying hour, but the birth hour.” David said, “We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace” (1 Chronicles 29:15).
The world is not our home, but it is our present location. And one day, we will go to our real home. I don’t know about you guys but I am getting really homesick!!! I hope you all have a Simply Heavenly Day!!! God bless you!!!♥♥♥
Glimpses of Heaven Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. There he ministers in the heavenly Tabernacle, the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands. —Hebrews 8:1–2
When I read this devotion from Pastor Greg Laurie, I knew it was one that I wanted to share with all of you. Sometimes as humans we get bogged down with the business of living and take our eyes off the Lord. We forget that Heaven is very real and it will never be boring!!! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
It is important to remember that heaven is a real place. Many times we think of heaven as some sort of translucent, spacey, endless church service. Some may think, I am not sure … . I don’t know if I am going to like heaven and just sitting around on a cloud, strumming a harp, singing forever. I kind of like earth. But that is a misunderstanding about heaven.
What do we like about earth anyway? We like the beauty. We like the joys. We like the love of family and friends and companionship. There are so many things that we enjoy on earth. God has given us these things; therefore, we don’t have to feel bad about them. But here is what we need to know: Earth is not the original with heaven being a copy; heaven is the original, and earth is the copy.
The temple built in Jerusalem was a copy of the real temple in heaven. Hebrews 8:5 tells us, “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.’ “
As C. S. Lewis wrote, “All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of [heaven]—tantalizing glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear… .” The real thing is heaven.
The things that we enjoy most on earth will be waiting for us in heaven, but in a perfected state. We will not miss out on anything. Heaven is the real place for real peace.
Woo Hoo!! I don’t know about you but I just can’t wait!!! God bless you all! Maranatha! ♥
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life. Revelation 22:17
“And the Spirit of the bride says, Come! And let him who hears say come, Come! And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”
God’s Spirit is giving the invitation. We are invited to come to Jesus, to receive forgiveness and cleansing. Come! Come to Jesus! Come and receive God’s love. Come and be made a child of God. Come and be blessed by becoming an heir of God, a joint heir through Jesus Christ.
The offer is open to everyone! God hasn’t closed the door on anyone. It is “whoever desires.” God created you with that ability to choose. You can determine your future by exercising your free will to come to Him. It cannot be easier than that! God is left it up to you. You will have no excuse for rejecting as offer of salvation. Whoever desires take the water of life freely! Come to Jesus!