Heaven

Opening Prayer: 

 God thank you for the hope of heaven, a place you created for us. Help enlarge my understanding of what heaven will be like and may it serve as a motivator to love and to serve others.

 

Read: Revelation 7:16-17 (NIV)

“Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

 

Reflect: 

What an awesome reminder of the future that awaits believers. What I love about this verse is that it helps us get a further sense of the perfection of our heavenly experience. Not only are our spiritual needs met in heaven in a richer way than they are on earth, but some of us will experience, perhaps for the first time, the fulfillment of our physical and emotional needs. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)  that “God has set eternity in the human heart”. We instinctively recognize the wrongness of a child who goes hungry or a person who decides they have nothing or no one to live for. We cry out “It shouldn’t be!” and one day it won’t. Human history is littered with moral, political and economic philosophies all designed to bridge the gap between what the world is and what we know deep down the world ought to be. While some of these philosophies have worked better than others, they ultimately fail to bring about a world that will only be experienced in heaven.

 

Apply: 

Heaven can be a polarizing concept. Responses to the concept of heaven tend to fall into one of two categories, we either think too little of heaven and thus aren’t all that excited to go there or bring people with us or we think too much of heaven and forget that God wants us to be active participants in bringing heaven to earth in the here and now. A balanced perspective recognizes that heaven is the culmination of the life of the believer and not just the conclusion. We should eagerly anticipate the unique and glorious experience that awaits us in heaven. If we aren’t excited by it, then we likely don’t have a very accurate view of what heaven will be like. If this is you, I encourage you to spend some time studying heaven. While we look forward to the yet future experience of heaven, we shouldn’t give up on this world. When Jesus taught his disciples how to pray he said these words, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”. We are to use the gifts God has given us in the places he has put us to transform this world to be as similar to heaven as it can be. A place where all our needs are ministered to.

 

Closing Prayer: 

God help me to be active where you have placed me, doing my part to bring heaven to earth. May heaven continue to offer lasting and permanent hope to a world in need and motivate me to bring others with me.

 

Terry Schneider