Let’s have a conversation about heaven on earth

I am reading “Love Says Go” by Jason Chin and one comment that really stood out to me in the first couple of chapters is this:

Heaven is not a future attraction

Yes praise God.  We are not just here on earth biding our time until we die or Jesus comes again so we can enjoy heaven, we can enjoy a part of heaven right here, right now.  It brings a whole new perspective for me on the Lord ’s Prayer “your will be done on earth as in heaven”.

If we could but embrace all that God offers us now, learn to harness the power of the Holy Spirit we could bring unimaginable change to our world, we could be showing God’s immense love to others on a daily basis, pouring out blessings on people and I’m meaning so much more than saying bless you.  I believe God’s wants to bless people with joy, with healing, with love and by changing their circumstances, and we can be the catalyst for all that to happen if we just step out in obedience and faith.

  • Hebrews 10:19-20 – Brothers and sisters, we are not afraid to enter the Most Holy Room. We enter boldly because of the blood of Jesus. His way is new because he lives. It has been opened for us through the curtain. I’m talking about his body.
  • Ephesians 1:17 – I pray to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the glorious Father. I keep asking him to give you the wisdom and understanding that come from the Holy Spirit. I want you to know God better.
  • John 17:3 – And what is eternal life? It is knowing you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
  • Ephesians 2:6 – God raised us up with Christ. He has seated us with him in his heavenly kingdom. That’s because we belong to Christ Jesus.

 HEAVEN IS NOT JUST FOR LATER

Heaven is not a future attraction, the future is now and yes we are destined to end up somewhere unfathomably better when we reach our final destination but let’s have a conversation about heaven on earth, you’ve heard it maybe a million times, on earth as it is in heaven, so answer this question?  What does that expression mean to you? Are you afraid to enter the most Holy Room or are you on fire for God now? Don’t be lukewarm, enter boldly because Jesus told us to go out and make disciples, anointed us to heal the sick, to set the prisoner free, look around and you will see prisoners of addiction, prisoners of pain, should they remain ignorant of God’s gifts, we are lifted up with God, seated with him in his heavenly Kingdom, so although your body is rooted on earth, your Spirit soars, you can do more than you ask or imagine, God can use you, it will happen, ask, believe, receive, be hungry for more, do not be content with a future concept, it’s kind of nonsense to leave the biggest gift unopened on the shelf, take a look at yourself and see what God sees, an amazing disciple who he can use to bring a little piece of heaven to earthly issues.

 

 

God will give me a name that I can claim as my own

I was looking through some of my favourite verses and one which is really special for me is:

  • Isaiah 49:16 – See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.

I read this quite early on in my walk with God and it’s an amazing thing to feel so loved by our God.  I suppose when you think about it the palm of the hand must be a very painful place to have a tattoo due to the sensitive skin there, but God would go through any pain for us.  It also means he can see our names at any time by just looking down at his hands, we are constantly in his thoughts and on his heart.  I suspect that the name is just a window to the countless thoughts he holds for us.

When thinking about this today I discovered these two verses which are new to me and was blown away, I’m going to have a “God given name” something that is just between me and God…WOW.

  • Revelation 22:4 – They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
  • Revelation 2:17 – Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.

TATTOO

A tattoo, a constant reminder, an indelible mark of my name, claimed by God, branded on his palm, an emotional attachment symbolic of an intimate relationship, a deep lasting covenant of love characteristic of God’s deep thoughts towards me, a window into how he sees me, not just a name nor a symbol but a reflection of the myriad thoughts he has of me, how he sees me as a completed saint, righteous and free, fulfilling my destiny as a child of the King and this thought fills me with praise, when I finally see his face his name will be engraved on my forehead denoting that I am free through the blood of Jesus shed for me and get this a new name will be given to me and only I will know it, intimate and personal, God will give me a name that I can claim as my own, he will call me by name and I can claim that intimacy, unconditional love from a Father who loves me eternally.

Spirit of God a gift for me, another benefit of being free

Trinity Sunday and we were talking about the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit and I had not thought of the Holy Spirit in that light before – a “Gift” freely given by our heavenly Father.  So not only do we get access to God and Jesus we also have this amazing person living in us, to help us in every situation, draw us closer to God, help us in our daily walk, it truly is an amazing gift and isn’t God amazing, he knew we couldn’t do it on our own so when Jesus ascended into Heaven he had to give us something to help us through PRICELESS.

Acts 2:38 – Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:26 – In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

Holy Spirit

I am Spirit filled, I have part of the Holy Trinity in me, access to my Father in heaven 24/7, no messing, the Holy Spirit lives in me, he came to me when I became a Christian when I turned to God and said sorry for my sins, when I was baptised he opened my eyes to the most incredible gift, and that’s what he is, Spirit of God a gift for me, another benefit of being free, and he doesn’t push me to do things I don’t want to do, he waits patiently to be desired, waits for me to recognise the power within me, brings gifts that are free like love, joy and peace, an amazing peace that surpasses all understanding, he fires me up to serve the Lord, prompts me to turn to God about others, conversely prompts me to talk to others about God, and although it sounds hard with the Spirit it’s easy, he gives me the words, gives me the courage, and I flourish because he lives in me, closer than you will ever get, he’s my safety net, my guide, my counsel, never doubtful he guides me to the truth, soothes me, smooths the path for me and understands my needs, Spirit of God walk with me, remain with me, live in me.

The new Jerusalem, a city of diversity, full of the richness of humanity from across the centuries

Our sermon yesterday was based on two passages in Revelation but it was the second one that stood out for me.  Now the message from the preacher was a great message but I sat there feeling very much like the preacher had glossed over the most important part (maybe it was just me felt that way!) but in a full church what an opportunity to preach and teach about how you get to heaven because it clearly shows us in this passage who isn’t going to get there and that’s agonising because there will have been people there (in any church) who need to hear that going to heaven is a two way thing, Jesus died for us but we need to turn away from sin and claim that victory.

Revelation 21: 1-7 – Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practise magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death.’

 EVERYTHING NEW

I am making everything new (and his words are trustworthy and true), a new heaven and a new earth which means those who have enjoyed the second birth will live in a Holy City, the new Jerusalem, a city of diversity, full of the richness of humanity from across the centuries, no evil, no pain because unlike the current world filled with the rain of despair the new world will see the eventual and rightful reign of the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, full of indescribable joy.

I am making everything new, to the thirsty I will give water and my obedient sons and daughters will inherit all this, for I am their God and they are my children, but I urge you to see that whilst heaven is freely available it is unattainable unless you turn from your sins and OK this world can be unsatisfying and it’s tempting to thirst for something new, for our longings to be met right here, right now, but we know that there is a new heaven and earth and that through our rebirth we are no longer of this earth, but part of God’s chosen nation, his children redeemed, receiving salvation.

I am making everything new and that includes you, take courage and know that God loves you, believe in his redeeming power, turn from immoral practices, harbour no hatred in your heart, have nothing to do with magic arts and worship only the Lord your God, speak the truth, do not lie and God will satisfy all your earthly needs and more, just remember God adores you and yearns to spend eternity with you, search your heart and turn back to Jesus, may his joy be in you for his joy completes us.

I have seen a glimpse of what permanent residence in heaven will be like

Exodus 33:8-11 –  And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshipped, each at the entrance to their tent.  The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young assistant Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.

What an awesome image this conjures up, as Moses approaches God and speaks with him “face to face” to have an intimate time of conversation with God, all the people standing in praise and worship, one nation united.  It got me to thinking about two things really.

  1. How awesome to have an intimate relationship with God and that’s really what Jesus bought for us through his death on the Cross, curtain torn in two, we can now approach our God with boldness and confidence
  2. How important solidarity is in prayer, how we can and should support each other in prayer, how we can pray for each other’s prayer lives, worshipping God, thanking God for each other, interceding for each other and generally rejoicing in prayer and praise together not always on our own.

WORSHIP AND PRAISE

Worship and praise, I want to be closer to you, declare your name, to love what you love, to hate what you hate, I want to come before you with songs of adoration, speak words of devotion and exaltation, to have a conversation face to face, speaking intimately with my Saviour, become familiar as with a friend, to gain a deep revelation of the meaning of your words, to converse and if I only see a limited reflection of your glory, your majesty and splendour through spending time in your presence, I will have seen a glimpse of what permanent residence in heaven will be like, the treasures of our Holy God, the promises of your word fulfilled, our burdens lifted, hearts healed, I lift up my voice singing Hallelujah, Lion of Judah, glorious Lord, wonderful Saviour, praise surrounds us as we approach the throne in boldness and confidence, all glory to our God bringing heaven and earth together, on earth as it is in heaven oh God may I spend time in your presence grasping the essence of your glory, may I be worthy to bless your name, I thank you for the grace that allows me to stand before you, to claim your free gift of mercy and grace, to meet you in heaven and know your embrace.

My home is in heaven, my citizenship guaranteed

My readings this week are all taken from Revelation and whilst some of it is difficult reading in terms of understanding all the imagery, today’s certainly made me think about heaven and referenced 1 Corinthians 2:9

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Wow, when I think of the good things God has already done for me and the best things that I have ever experienced or seen on earth then think they fade in comparison with heaven, which I can’t even begin to visualise or imagine then I just know it’s gonna be AWESOME..

UNIMAGINABLE

What God has prepared for you is bigger than your wildest dreams, take the best day of your life and amplify by a million times a million… no comparison, think of the most beautiful place you’ve ever been, magnify the picture to like a billion pixels and the picture still fades in comparison, think of the greatest concert you’ve ever attended, the most perfect worship you’ve been part of, awesome lyrics that make you tingle, times where you’ve witnessed the amazing work of the Holy Spirit and that doesn’t get anywhere close to it. When we see Jesus face to face we will be fully satisfied, there will be an end to doubt and uncertainty, we will have no questions cos we will see him face to face in all his glory, goodness, love, righteousness, and power and I can only imagine how awesome that day will be, my home is in heaven, my citizenship guaranteed, I am a daughter of royal birth my father is King of heaven and earth and how magnificent, how mind blowing will it be, no more death, no more sorrow, no crying, no pain, God himself will wipe away every tear from our eyes so believe me when I tell you there are far better things ahead than we leave behind and I can say with intensity may I never desire my life more than eternity with you, I set my mind on things above, keep my feet on the ground, my heart on the cross and my mind on my heavenly home where God has gone to prepare a place for me and I am not ever gonna worry cos everything will be amazing the best is yet to come, the best is more than I can understand, I will never take in the enormity of your sacrifice that you took my sin and destroyed it, you’ve taken my shame and extinguished it, put no blame on my head, replaced it with peace and harmony, exonerated me and set me free, so one day all this will pass away and hey that’s awesome, the son of God keeps his promises and that means the best is yet to come, Jesus has overcome and through his death and gift of life we can all be alive and know the glory of his presence for all eternity in heaven.

Heaven will be everything earth isn’t

Met with a friend yesterday, chatted through a lot of stuff and one comment made was that one day all our issues/cares/concerns will be over – how awesome to think of that day – got me to thinking about what heaven will be like:

IMAGINE LIFE IN HEAVEN

Sometimes it’s really hard to imagine life in heaven but when I think really hard about it I think I get it.  I get that heaven will be everything earth isn’t, for one we will be with our risen Saviour, we will have his favour and we will be perfect, like not one ache or pain, no hardship or misery, no starvation or poverty, children of God living in one place, like this enormous, amazing and awesome God filled space, worship will be incredible and oh what a spectacle to see all God’s family raising their hands in a symphony of adoration and adulation, of praise and celebration and God I am so delighted that one day I will be there, casting all my cares to one side and standing alongside my Christian family, a society at peace, released from all earthly concerns, so God I can’t wait for you to return, can’t wait til the day when I see your face and finally finish running the race, you probably do know how I feel, because only through you can this dream be real, I praise you God for paving the way for me to meet you face to face and live for eternity and that is the one and only certainty of my existence, that I am coming to your heavenly Kingdom.