Pastor Bruce Rauma
Christmas HOPE - Day 8
Matthew 6:33 - "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all this will be added to you as well."
I don't know if you're like me, but I love to put what's known as "tracks" around my house. Meaning, a bible verse that really stands out and gives me hope that I'll write on a note pad and stick on my mirror. For me, when I go to freshen up I'll see that verse and remind myself that is a promise of God and He speaks that over my life. The verse today is one of those verses/tracks I've posted. It's a great reminder that this life is so temporary but there is HOPE for an amazing future called eternity forever with Christ.
Now, I'd like to take it to another level today. When you envision what heaven is like what comes to mind? Do you see a big throne where God sits and a bunch of angels flying around and we're all walking around on a cloud forever? Maybe for you there's a big gated community that you approach and ask for entrance. Maybe there's a lake, a mountain, or maybe it's just flat out confusing. What do you imagine it'll look like?
I'm going to give you my hopeful thoughts of heaven. I believe heaven is a place first of all that doesn't have tension. The bible says there's no more crying. What a huge deal because that means - no more sadness! Rather, there's JOY because we're in the presence of God. It also says there's no more mourning. Meaning, the grief that comes from the loss of a loved one, perhaps a still born child, maybe a pet, relationship, or even a job - there is no more waves crashing at random times to strike us emotionally. Further, the bible says there's no more death. As a theologian I honestly can't wrap all of my understanding around what that can look like. Plants always in bloom? Green pastures? No more wrinkles or health issues? WOW! Lastly, the bible says no more pain. Recently I had a bunion fixed on my left foot. The surgery hurt, the recovery has been worse. But, the most painful part has been the inability to move about and be part of the community that I live. Not so in heaven. Healthy body, whole, forever healed, without scars and scabs.
Even more thoughts of heaven that I believe in would be this; I think it is so breathtaking that we as a human race can't articulate the splendor of it. Yes, lakes and rivers, mountains, prairies, wildlife, the most beautiful landscaping, awesome jobs we get to be part of and actually love doing it, conversations that can go on forever and are limited to a clock or schedule, reunions with ancestors we've never met and relationships formed with our great, great, greats. I've got to believe there's great music, there's good fishing, good four wheeling trails. But that's my human mind trying to imagine the things that bring me joy are going to be in heaven. Once again, I don't think we can even wrap our heads around what it'll be like.
So here's my encouragement of hope for you today. Keep His kingdom in mind. Wrap your thoughts around your security of living there forever. Identify what you can do to keep investing into it. Maybe that's telling your friend about Jesus, giving some extra cash to your church to carry out ministries, praying for people more, etc. But keep His kingdom in mind. Seek kingdom mindedness. Know Christ will provide for you in this temporary life. Seek heaven. You're going there forever if you believe and have received Jesus Christ into your life. Heaven brings me hope this Christmas, I pray it does for you as well.