Heaven 101: Week 2 - Day 4
Lord Jesus, give me Your wisdom to make personal applications from this scripture today.
Read: Luke 16:19-22, 25-26 NIV
“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.”
“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’”
Have you ever thought much about who will be in Heaven when we get there? We will see a whole variety of persons, some we may not expect to see. This was definitely true for the rich man (we don’t even know his name.). While he didn’t make the cut to get into Heaven, Lazarus did. Before he died, he had not caught the vision of Christ in Matthew 25:37-40, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?”
I thought about this Scripture recently, when someone came into a church meeting I was in. This person didn’t fit my idea of someone with whom I wanted to interact. The clothes did not match the rest of the group and the person was boisterous, boastful, obnoxious, and monopolized the conversation. My thoughts were not generous or Christian. At that time, the Lord brought this Scripture to mind and I had to ask His forgiveness. I realized I needed to reassess my attitude on who should be in church (or Heaven).
Kenny Boles, retired Greek and New Testament professor at Ozark Christian College, in his book on Heaven states the following,” When God is honored, He deserves to have more than just a few people show up! Who will these people be? Some of them will be people we have been ignoring—the homeless, the beggars, the ‘losers’ of life. God seems especially eager to include folks like the beggar Lazarus in Heaven. Do you suppose we will feel embarrassed for all the times we have passed them by?” (Heaven pages 18-19). Whom have you walked by in your hurry to get to a meeting?
This Scripture is very encouraging to a close relative of ours who has an adult son who is pervasively developmentally delayed (PDD) and doesn’t communicate or interact with anyone. The parents have said several times that they are looking forward to the time when they get to Heaven and can have a meaningful conversation with their son. What a glorious reunion they will have.
This week as you think about the relationships you will have in Heaven, examine how you can create a little bit of Heaven here on earth for someone you wouldn’t ordinarily reach out to. Pathway has a myriad of opportunities that will allow you, your family or your Home Team to reach out to those who have some need. You will be surprised how God will bless you for it.
Lord Jesus, Your priority was always for the eternal good of people. Help me to rightly align my own attitude and priorities every day.