Heaven’s Real


You and I have heard a lot of misconceptions about heaven. The most common being, ‘that we create our own heaven on earth’! So I usually ask them, what happens when we die then? And the answer I get is mostly ambiguous because none of them has gotten a report from the other side.  Here’s the good news however.

There’s no mistake in Jesus’s mind that heaven is a real, physical place.

We can only imagine how it’s like but cannot really paint a perfect picture of how its is. All i know is that it is righteously beautiful place.

In John 14:1-6; Jesus says, “I go to prepare a place for you.” Furthermore, He uses physical references like “rooms” and “house” to describe where the Father lives.

Revelation 21–22 describes heaven as a beautiful city in splendid detail. The holy city has walls, gates, foundations, streets, rivers, trees, vegetation, and more. While the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ is full of much symbolism, there is nothing in the context of those chapters that should lead us to believe heaven is anything other than a physical place.

All of that confirms that heaven is not the creation of a religious imagination. Heaven is not Wonderland or what is depicted by the movie ‘Heaven is for Real‘. It’s a real place where God the Father dwells and Jesus sits at His right hand.

It is important that we understand the existence of heaven. This is not to refute the idea that we can create our ‘heaven on earth’ but to serve as a motivation to non-believers and excitement to believers.

heaven

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God seeks us!


Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

John 9:35

I truly believe Gods seeks us all the time! Sometimes God puts us in situations that lead us to knowing Him.

It is one thing to seek God; it is quite another thing to have God seek you. Jesus sought this man out when others had forsaken him. The acceptance of Jesus is worth more than everything this world has to offer. This is what enables the believer to endure and even leap for joy amidst persecution.

When our sufferings in Christ abound, then the consolation of Christ abounds much more. Notice that this man’s parents, who knew the truth, but refused to share it for fear of persecution, did not have Jesus seeking them out (Jn. 9:22). They chose the company of the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees, which is exactly what they got.

Even though the believer is redeemed and delivered from many afflictions that were a result of sin and its power, we are still called to partake in what the scriptures call the “sufferings or afflictions of Christ” (2 Cor. 1:5; Col. 1:24). However, these afflictions are not sickness and poverty as some religious teachings suggest. These afflictions are described as the “fellowship of sufferings” that the believer will encounter for doing the will of God, or the sufferings brought on by one’s allegiance to Christ.

Persecution for righteousness’ sake is not something that we can rebuke (2 Tim. 3:12). We must remember that as we live godly lives, suffering will follow. The Apostle Peter reminds us that these trials of our faith will result in praise, honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:7). Jesus’ comfort, strength, help, and love are ready to “overflow” into every “trial” that we face if we will only look to Him (Heb. 12:2).

Forgiveness


Forgiveness

Jesus said we should forgive those who wrong us 70 X 7 times in one day. It would be impossible to have someone sin against you 490 times in one day. What Jesus is actually saying is that there should be NO LIMIT to our forgiveness.

When we are offended or hurt, we often feel justified in holding a grudge. The Old Testament law expressed this when it stated, “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth” (Ex. 21:23-25). Until the offense was paid, we did not feel free to forgive. However, God dealt with all men’s offenses by placing sin upon the perfect Savior (Jesus) who was judged in place of every sinner of all time. To demand that others now earn our forgiveness is not Christ-like. Jesus died for every man’s sins, extending forgiveness to us while we were yet sinners, and we should do the same.

The main teaching here is that when we have people who wrong us, we should remember the great mercy that God has shown to us and respond in kind. Any debt that could be owed to us is insignificant compared to the debt we were forgiven. We should have compassion on others as Christ had on us.

If God expects us to forgive our brother who has trespassed against us 490 times in one day (actually an unlimited number of times), certainly He who is love will do no less with us.

The forgiveness that we have received from the Lord is infinitely greater than any forgiveness we could ever be asked to extend toward others.

‘Behind the scenes’


My friend Kevin and i were arguing the other day about how actors, footballers, CEO’s etc.. take all credit while the persons who actually did the work are neglected. I was of the opinion that their limelight is only because of the relentless effort of the guys ‘behind the scenes’ namely: the technical support, movie directors, coaches, name it. They are the ones who do a lot in the background to ensure the final product is successful. Kevin was of the contrary opinion but eventually we agreed to disagree.. 🙂

Let us examine a watch.

I wear a watch. I also carry a phone that displays the time, and I could easily pull it out of my pocket to check the time, but I still wear a watch. And I’m not the only one. Look around you—people still buy and wear watches of all different colors, styles, and sizes. Maybe you do too. It is not even style but something that just fascinates me to lift up my wrist and glance at the time! Some watches are fairly simple. They are digital, and the bold numbers on the screen are easy to read. Other watches are more fancy. Yet despite how fancy or expensive they may be, all watches still basically function the same way. The person wearing the watch looks at the face of the watch to see the time. The most interesting thing about watches is what you don’t see. Hidden beneath the watch’s face lies everything it needs to correctly tell you the time. The part of the watch you can see is accurate because of the parts of the watch you cannot see—all of those tiny pieces somehow connected and interrelated, all turning with one another in exactly the right order at exactly the right pace.

The watcher

The same is true with God’s providence and sovereignty. There is so much more going on in your life than what you can see. If you can see only the face—the surface—of the things you’re experiencing, you can’t understand what’s really happening. Hidden beneath the events of your life are the interrelated pieces that God is weaving together to take you to your unique destiny. When we do get a glimpse behind the scenes, we frequently misunderstand what’s going on. That’s why being a Christian requires trust and faith—some parts of your life just won’t make sense on the surface. They may seem unrelated to one another, useless, or even damaging because you can’t see the way God is using these events. Yet God has a purpose for everything. And when you accept and trust this truth—the truth of His sovereignty over all—you will begin to see how He is using the things He has allowed in your life to get you where you need to go.

In His providence, God will bring about His intended result, and He will do it at the perfect time. Being a believer is never based on sight. It involves your faith and not just your feelings – faith that God is moving on your behalf even in ways you cannot see or understand.

Inconsistency


Christianity

I have personally never been a fan of funerals. Well, not that there are ‘fans’ of them cause we don’t really have a choice but i am always the first to look for the slightest excuse not to attend them. This is mostly because i am tired of the clichés whenever people have to speak of the deceased. It just sickens me up!

Some time ago, I attended the funeral of one of my friend’s friend. As I sat with his friends, co-workers, and family members in the chapel, I listened as one by one they took turns saying a few words in tribute. The final person to speak was the gentleman’s best friend who happens to be my close friend too. He stood up and said, “The most fitting tribute to our friend is that there are no conflicting reports today about what kind of man he was.”

Wow!!! That took me by surprise. Not only were those words POWERFUL but they were in-sync with the Scripture. Most people did not realize that.

I’ve thought about those words often since that day at the funeral. What if that could be said about me? What if I could live my life loving God and loving others with such authenticity that when I reach the end, there will be no conflicting reports?

1st John 1:5-6 says ‘God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.’

The Bible makes it clear that in Him there is no darkness. May our lives be held up to His light every day so there can be no conflicting reports about how we say we live and how we really live.

Let’s ask God to show us any inconsistencies in our lives and our relationships. Make it your prayer that you get to the end of this day and the end of your life with no darkness and no conflicting reports.

Amen!

 

Take advantage of your opportunity


who-is-my-neighbourLuke 10:29

This question of “who is my neighbour” can be used by Satan to deceive us in more than one way. Not only can he deceive us into thinking we have fulfilled the command to “love thy neighbour as thyself” when they haven’t, but he will also try to apply this command in a way that condemns those who are seeking to fulfill it, by making them think they are not doing enough.

We cannot meet the needs of every single person in the world. Jesus wasn’t teaching that. This wounded man was directly in the path of these three men. The priest and the Levite had to walk around him. Jesus is simply teaching that we should take advantage of the opportunities we have. The fact that we can’t help everyone is no excuse not to help anyone.

Jesus, through this parable, defined a neighbour as any fellow human being who crosses our path and is in need of our assistance. The Samaritan went to the full extent of his ability and beyond to help the man. The priest and Levite did nothing.

There was a racial and religious hatred between Jews and Samaritans. Devout Jews would not associate with or even talk to a Samaritan. The priest and the Levite that passed by this wounded man were his fellow-countrymen, and yet they didn’t help him. This Samaritan, who was considered by religious Jews to be of another nationality, was the true neighbour. Jesus made it clear that you could not define “neighbour” on the basis of geographic origin or your familiarity with someone. A neighbour is anyone that God puts in your path.

‘The teacher is always quiet during the test’


The Lord of hosts has sworn saying, “Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand.”

Isaiah 14:24

If you have watched Fear Factor or Extreme Makeover you notice that it puts people through all kinds of adverse circumstances so they might look better than they did when they started the makeover process or win a prize as in the case of Fear Factor. They undergo surgical procedures, grueling workouts, and physical pain in order to be transformed into something externally beautiful. They let you go through your worst fears, phobias etc with the hope that the one who endures longest is recognized as the winner, overcomer.

One of the primary ways God makes us more like Christ is by allowing us to face challenges, hardships, and trouble. To conform us into the image of Christ, we don’t just need minor surgery—we require major transformation.

In fact, God has to put a brand-new nature inside us. Just as a sculptor chips away at a piece of marble to turn it into a beautiful image, God uses trials to chip away at us, sculpting us to resemble the image of Christ.

During these times of trial and testing, you may often feel alone. But remember that the teacher is always quiet during the test. You are not alone. God is producing within you the beauty and majesty of a surrendered and humbled soul.

God actually likes us..


Matthew 18:12-14

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

One of the greatest truths of the Bible and also one of the hardest to comprehend, is that we are the objects of God’s love. God didn’t just pity us or feel some sense of moral obligation to save us. He saved us because of His infinite love for us (Jn. 3:16).

God loves people. He even loves those who have gone astray. As Jesus said in a similar parable (Lk. 15:7), “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”

Once we experience the life-changing power of Christ, there is a tendency to become harsh and impatient with others who continue to live their lives without Him. We sometimes forget that it was the love and goodness of God that brought us to repentance (Rom. 2:4), and we become condemning and judgmental toward the lost. This is not the attitude that Jesus had, nor the attitude He wants us to have.

“Even when we were spiritually dead because of our sins, God’s forbearance was working on our behalf. He was tolerant, patient and kind towards us. God abounded in excessive proportion with good will, compassion, and desire to help us. His disposition was kind, compassionate, and forgiving in His treatment of us. He wanted in abundant supply to alleviate our distress and bring relief from our sins. He did this by giving us life in place of death

It was with Christ that this salvation was secured. By grace, kindness, and favor we are saved. All of this was the result of God’s extremely large degree of love wherewith He loved us, always seeking the welfare and betterment of us. God likes us” (Eph. 2:4-5). God loves YOU!

Maasai

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