Longing for Our Heavenly Dwelling

Longing for Our Heavenly Dwelling

Here’s a truth worthy of deep reflection: 

Our spirits within us long for our heavenly, eternal home.  We yearn to have our flawed, imperfect humanity swallowed up by eternal life and eternal love.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  (2 Cor 5:1-4 NKJV, emphasis added)

He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken.  (Isa 25:8 NKJV)

For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”  (1 Cor 15:53-54 NIV)

When Isaiah 25 speaks of God wiping away tears from all faces, I believe that He is referring to our arrival in heaven, when all of our past shame and guilt AND any possibility of future sin will be extinguished forever.

All sorrows, sins and shortcomings from our earthly lives will be forgotten, and the prospect of eternity in the presence of our God and King will be our entire focus and purpose.

Just think about eternity spent in an atmosphere of perfect, unconditional, unfailing LOVE!  That is our beautiful, blessed destiny.

Treasures

Treasures

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  (Mt 6:19-21)

Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death.  (Pro 10:2)

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.  10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.  (Ps 19:9-10)

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.  (Mt 13:44-46)

. . . that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  (Col 2:2-3)

We may think that wealth and riches profit us in this life.  In some ways, that is true.  However, we should remember that any so-called treasure that is a result of dishonesty or sinful pursuits will not bring us the joy that truly satisfies.  Such treasures will never profit us in eternity. 

But the righteousness that is born of faith in Jesus Christ will deliver us from many evils in this life as well as from eternal death in the next.

The Bible is packed full of precious promises (treasures) for the believer.  There are promises concerning health, healing, prosperity, the blessings of children, and the joy of relationships.  There are promises about every area of life; and all we need to do is to study them, meditate upon them, and to claim them for ourselves.  Here are several examples:

  • Children are a blessing from God.  (Ps 127:3-5)
  • Great wealth is in the house of the righteous . . . (Prov 15:6a)
  • Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  (Ps 103:5)
  • Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.  (Isa 48:17)
  • For I am the Lord who heals you.  (Ex 15:26)
  • . . . who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.  (1 Pet 2:24)

These are the true treasures of life and of eternity in Jesus Christ.

Accumulate Treasure in Heaven

Accumulate Treasure in Heaven

Do you like to be a good steward?  If so, this topic should appeal to you. 

(This is Part 2 of the article titled Treasure posted to this blog on 08-08-2019.)

. . . but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  (Mt 6:20)

Of course, this verse is talking about spiritual treasures.  What are spiritual treasures and how are they earned?

Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”  (Mt 19:21)

So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”  (Lk 18:22)

Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.  (1 Tim 6:18-19)

The three verses above are saying that such treasure will accumulate from believers performing kind and generous, God-glorifying acts.  We must not hoard wealth and riches. We should be ready to give, willing to share.  Spiritual treasures will also come through obediently following Jesus and bringing glory to the Kingdom of God.

There is another way to think about Matthew 6:20 and that is in light of the story of the prodigal son.  The prodigal son went to his wealthy father and asked for his inheritance.  After the son received his portion, he left home and went to live far away.  He spent all of his wealth on sinful, degenerate living.  When he was hungry and destitute, he thought of his father and his father’s household.  He determined that he’d rather be a slave for his father than to spend any more time looking for food along with pigs in a sty. 

When the father saw his son on the road near home, the father ran to the son and threw his arms around him.  With joy and celebration, the happy father bestowed gifts upon his son and held a party for him.  This depicts the fact that this son was his father’s treasure.  And the father rejoiced over the return of his beloved son, his treasure.

Does the Bible support this concept?  I think it does.  The Word reminds us that we are highly valued and cherished by God.        

“They will be mine,” says the Lord Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession.”  (Mal 3:17 NIV)

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  (Gal 3:26)

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people . . .  (1 Pet 2:9)

We are God’s treasure! When God the Father looked throughout the universe for something to give His only Son in reward for what He had accomplished on earth, the Father handpicked you!  You are the Father’s treasure—His priceless gift of love to the Son!      ~ Anne Graham Lotz
(Sourcehttps://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/joy-of-my-heart-with-anne-graham-lotz/joy-of-my-heart-with-anne-graham-lotz-january-11.html)

The Lord has chosen each one of us for Himself as His special treasure.  (Ps 135:4)

We, the children of God, are the treasure that God accumulates in heaven!  We are a gift of love cherished in the heart of God.

How Can I Go to Heaven? Part 2

How Can I Go to Heaven? Part 2

We are continuing with our topic from the last article. 

Here are various Bible passages that tell us what we need to do in order to go to heaven when our physical body dies.

  • Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. (Mt 10:32)  Jesus is speaking in this verse.
  • For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (Joh 3:16)
  • And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (Joh 6:40)
  • And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. (Joh 10:28)  Jesus is speaking here.
  • But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8)
  • For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lor (Rom 6:23)
  • . . . that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  (2 Cor 5:19)
  • For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor 5:21)
  • In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 Joh 4:9-10)

In order to enter into heaven, all of these Scriptures point us to the person of Jesus Christ.  Once we believe the truth of these verses and accept Jesus as our own, personal Savior and Redeemer, we are born again or “born anew.”  In fact, we become a new creation in Christ Jesus.  (2 Cor 5:17; Eph 2:10; Rom 6:3-4) 

Once we’ve accepted Christ as our Savior, we’re qualified to enter into heaven.  We also become eligible to receiving the benefit of every promise of blessing that is shown in the Bible!  Knowing that this is true prepares each one of us to lead lives of significance in the here and now.  Choose living for Jesus right now, and an eternity  in Heaven for yourself today!

How Can I Go to Heaven? Part 1

How Can I Go to Heaven? Part 1

People who have not been exposed to church attendance or religious teaching of any kind may not know how to answer our title question.  They may not even understand why anyone would like to go to heaven!  What is the definition of heaven

Heaven is

  • the dwelling place of the Deity and the blessed dead;
  • a spiritual state of everlasting communion with God;
  • a place or condition of utmost happiness;
  • the abode of God, the angels, and the spirits of the righteous after death; and
  • the place or state of existence of the blessed after mortal life.

One thing mentioned more than once in these definitions is that heaven is the dwelling place of God.  Since we believers know that God is love (1 Joh 4:8), the concept of living forever with the God who IS LOVE becomes a very appealing goal for us. 

A key aspect of our life as human beings is the understanding that God created all humans in His own image.  (Gen 1:27)  Since we’ve all been created in the very likeness and reflection of God, not only is a relationship with God important to us but love, itself, is important to mankind. 

We need to recognize these two facts because every human being needs to make a decision about faith in God, and every human being wants to receive and to give love. 

In the next article, we’ll continue with this subject.

The God of the Living

The God of the Living

But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?  (27) He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.  You are therefore greatly mistaken.  (Mk 12:26-27) 

Jesus is speaking with the Sadducees, who did not believe in resurrection from the dead.

In verse 27, the word mistaken correctly communicates deceived.  This indicates to me that there is an important point hidden in this verse that we need to investigate.

Jesus was discussing resurrection from the dead with the Sadducees, and the disciples were pleased with Jesus’ statement above in Mark 12:27, since they felt it was His verbal victory. 

We can see that the gospel of Luke echoes the main point:

 For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.  (Lk 20:38)

This verse reminds us that “all live to Him,” meaning that to the Lord, no human being is ever dead or will be, but all mankind sustain an abiding conscious relation to Him. (Source of italicized, bold type material:   Jamieson, Faussett & Brown)

The “all” who live to Him mean “those accounted worthy to obtain that world.”  (see Lk 20:35)  They maintain a loving covenant relationship with the Lord which will never end.   

How helpful is this to us in the here and now?  The Bible states that God made mankind in His own image.  (Gen 1:26a; 27; 9:6)  Because we’re made in the image of God, once a human being has been born on this earth, it means that their soul [the essence of their identity and consciousness] will live for eternity.

For we know that if our earthly house [our body], this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  (2 Cor 5:1, bracketed comment added)

We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.  (2 Cor 5:8, emphasis added)

That is why God provided our salvation through Jesus Christ, so that we could spend eternity with Him.  We live unto God while here in the flesh; and when we vacate our body, we go on to live with the Lord in Heaven. 

We serve the living God (1 Thes 1:9; Heb 9:14)—the God of the living.  Hallelujah!

Mediator & High Priest

Mediator & High Priest

Good day to you! 

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus. . . (Hebrews 3:1 NKJV)

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  (Hebrews 4:14 NKJV)

But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.  (Hebrews 8:6 NKJV)

But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.  Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.  (Hebrews 9:11, 12 NKJV)

For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us . . . (Hebrews 9:24 NKJV)

Jesus is our Mediator and High Priest.  With His blood, Jesus entered the Most Holy Place in heaven and poured His blood upon the mercy seat for us.  Now, He appears in the presence of God, representing us before the high court of heaven!

He is the High Priest of our confession, and the Scriptures tell us to HOLD FAST to our confession.  I recommend that you make sure that your confession agrees with the Scriptures so that you give Jesus material that’s trustworthy and eternal to use on your behalf!  Speak forth the promises of God’s Word for yourself and for those who need a miracle–an answer to prayer.  Stand upon the promises of God, and believe . . . KNOW that God’s holy Word is reliable and trustworthy.  It shall come to pass!

Remember that Jesus is the Mediator of a better covenant based upon BETTER promises, so make sure to use those great and precious promises that Jesus has given you!