VIDEO The Best Thing About Heaven – Heavenly Promises

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2

In 1964, singer Dionne Warwick recorded one of her hits, “A House Is Not a Home.” The lyrics say that an empty house—not matter how beautiful—is not a home if the one we love isn’t there.

Think of the glories of heaven! The Bible speaks of its mansions, its streets of gold, its foundations of jewels, its luminescent glow, its river of life, its endless fellowship untouched by sorrow, death, pain, or tears. But think of this—what if Jesus were not there?

What would heaven be like without the Triune God?

Our priority after death isn’t so much heaven as it is our Lord—being with Him forever!

When we think of heaven, we should consider all the biblical descriptions of the wondrous environment. We should think about our blessed reunion with our loved ones. We should enjoy thinking about the endless riches we’ll enjoy.

But most of all—there is Jesus! As you go through your day, think most of all about Him—and pray: “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)

The most thrilling thing about heaven is that Jesus Christ will be there. I will see Him face to face. Billy Graham


Heavenly Promises (John 14:1–6)

A Flourishing Tree

Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. Proverbs 11:28

 

I’ve always had a collector’s heart. As a kid, I collected stamps. Baseball cards. Comics. Now, as a parent, I see the same impulse in my kids. Sometimes I wonder, Do you really need another teddy bear? 

Of course, it’s not about need. It’s about the allure of something new. Or sometimes the tantalizing draw of something old, something rare. Whatever captivates our imagination, we’re tempted to believe that if we only had “X,” our lives would be better. We’d be happy. Content.

Except those things never deliver the goods. Why? Because God created us to be filled by Him, not by the things that the world around us often insists will satisfy our longing hearts.

This tension is hardly new. Proverbs contrasts two ways of life: a life spent pursuing riches versus a life grounded in loving God and giving generously. In The Message, Eugene Peterson paraphrases Proverbs 11:28 like this: “A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.”

What a picture! Two ways of life: one flourishing and fruitful, one hollow and barren. The world insists that material abundance equals “the good life.” In contrast, God invites us to be rooted in Him, to experience His goodness, and to flourish fruitfully. And as we’re shaped by our relationship with Him, God reshapes our hearts and desires, transforming us from the inside out.

By:  Adam R. Holz

Reflect & Pray

When has an undue focus on material things become a major spiritual struggle for you? What helps you keep your desires in proper perspective?

Father, thank You for the good gifts You give. Help me to keep putting my trust in You rather than the stuff of this world.

The God of Grace

John 1:14-18

Imagine receiving a beautifully wrapped gift when there is no special occasion. Inside the package is something very special. Eagerly, you read the card to discover who could have been so generous. To your amazement, you learn that the giver is someone you’ve been unkind to and have even avoided! What do you do?

This scenario is a picture of the Father’s grace in sending His Son Jesus to earth. There was no special occasion; God was determined to save us, despite the fact that we ignore or rebel against Him. This is grace—God’s goodness extended to those who do not deserve it and have no way to earn it.

We see the fullness of God’s grace in His Son. First, Jesus met the requirements of divine law by living perfectly. Second, His sinless life allowed Him to pay the cost of our rebellious ways. Third, Christ sacrificed His life on the cross to pay for our sins— past, present, and future. Fourth, God counts Jesus’ death as payment for every wrong we have done or will do. Fifth, Christ’s righteousness becomes our own righteousness through faith (Rom. 4:5).

What will you do with God’s kind gift of grace—refuse it, or say “thank You” and take steps to know Him?

O Bless My Soul

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” (Psalm 42:5)

This expression (“O my soul”) is not used here by the psalmist as a trite exclamation but as a plea of heart-searching introspection, concerned over the dark depression that was about to settle over him because of the oppressions of his enemies (Psalm 43:2). The question in our text is asked three times by him in these two short psalms (Psalm 42:5,11; 43:5), and each time he answers himself: “Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him.”

Yet, God continued to withhold His answer. His enemies were taunting him about it (Psalm 42:3, 10), and the psalmist, in spite of himself, found himself crying out “Why?” no less than 10 times. Nevertheless, his faith in God never failed, and it thus becomes a great testimony to us today for he asked his “why?” questions in submission to God’s will. When we are tempted to “go…mourning because of the oppression of the enemy” (42:9; 43:2) and still God seems to have “forgotten,” then is the very time we must continue to affirm: “I shall yet praise him!” He is “the God of my life,” and “in the night his song shall be with me” (42:8).

It may not be God’s will to set us free from the “noise of thy waterspouts” (42:7) or “the deceitful and unjust man” (43:1), but His light and truth will still lead, and we can yet praise Him, despite the circumstances.

In our text, the psalmist praises God for “the help of his countenance.” In the verses that echo this verse (42:11; 43:5), his testimony is slightly—yet significantly—changed. “I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance.”

Therefore, even in a dark night of “O my soul,” we can see Him by faith, with countenances full of joy. HMM

The Wilderness Encroachment

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

—Revelation 3:17

 

The wilderness encroaches on the fruitful field, and unless there is constant fighting off of this encroachment, there will be little or no harvest.

I think it is exactly the same with the church, for as one of the old saints said, “Never think for a minute that there will be a time when you will not be tempted. He is tempted the most effectively who thinks that he isn’t being tempted at all.”

Just when we think we are not being tempted, that is the time of danger, and so it is with the Church. We lean back on our own laurels and say, “That may be true of some churches, but it is not true of us. We are increased with goods and have need of nothing!” (see Revelation 3:17).

This is to remind us that we must fight for what we have. Our little field of God’s planting must have the necessary weapons and plenty of watchmen out there to drive off the crows and all sorts of creatures, to say nothing of the little insects that destroy the crops. We have to keep after them. We must keep our field healthy, and there is only one way to do that, and that is to keep true to the Word of God. We must constantly go back to the grass roots and get the Word into the Church.   COU006

Lord, don’t ever let us become complacent in Your blessing. Keep us vigilant that our field might stay healthy and the little weeds might never be allowed to take root. Amen.

 

Put Away Compromise

My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.

—Job 27:6

 

The way to spiritual power and favor with God is to be willing to put away the weak compromises and the tempting evils to which we are prone to cling. There is no Christian victory or blessing if we refuse to turn away from the things that God hates.

Even if your wife loves it, turn away from it. Even if your husband loves it, turn away from it. Even if it is accepted in the whole social class and system of which you are a part, turn away from it. Even if it is something that has come to be accepted by our whole generation, turn away from it if it is evil and wrong and an offense to our holy and righteous Savior….

Every Christian holds the key to his or her own spiritual attainment. If he or she will not pay the price of being joyfully led by the Holy Spirit of God, if he or she refuses to hate sin and evil and wrong, our churches might as well be turned into lodges or clubs. JMI068

We need a revival! We need a revival of consecration to death, a revival of happy abandonment to the will of God that will laugh at sacrifice and count it a privilege to bear the cross through the heat and burden of the day. We are too much influenced by the world and too little controlled by the Spirit. GTM159-160

Tozer on the Holy Spirit.

Burden Bearers

Galatians 6:2

A bout 2,000 years ago, Paul, with his big sympathetic heart, exhorted the Christians of his time to bear one another’s burdens; that is, to help each other in the trials and difficulties they had to encounter as they fought their way through the world below to the world above. In doing this, he assured them that they would be carrying out the wishes of their Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

If we are to fulfill the law, that is, carry out the will of Jesus Christ and follow the example which He has left us in His own blessed life, we must do our part as burden bearers.

Look at Him lying a helpless infant in the manger. What does it mean? He has come to bear your burdens.

Look at Him contending with the devil in the wilderness. What does it mean? He is fighting for you and bearing your burdens.

Look at Him as He travels through the world in poverty, hunger and tears, being cast out, slandered and rejected of men. What does that mean? He is bearing your burdens.

Look at Him in Gethsemane’s Garden. Oh, the burden is heavy on His heart! So heavy that it forces the very blood through the pores of His dear body. What does that mean? It is your burden that makes that bloody sweat.

Look at Him at Pilate’s Judgment Bar. They are mocking Him, crowning Him with thorns, plucking the hair from His cheeks, and clamoring for His death. What does that mean? He is bearing your burdens.

Look at Him in the last dreadful agony, dying in darkness on the cross. What does that mean? He is bearing your burdens.

Look at Him lying in the grave, rising from the tomb, ascending to heaven, sitting at the right hand of the throne, showing His hands, and pleading with the Father. What does it all mean? He is bearing your burdens.

That is the rule, and there is the example He has left for you to copy. He says,

“Go and do for your comrades, so far as you have the power, what I have done for you.”

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 NKJV).

William Booth, The Warrior’s Daily Portion