Saturday, February 6, 2016

Longing for Heaven - February 6, 2016

2 Corinthians 12:2-4 (New Living Translation)
2 I[Greek-I know a man in Christ who] was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. 3 Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know 4 that I was caught up[Greek-But I know such a man,that he was caught up.] to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.
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Philippians 1:21-24 (New King James Version)
21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.

As I go through this life, there are many times when I find myself longing for Heaven. I look forward to being in the presence of God, taking in all that He has prepared for me. I imagine what it will be like, and for me, nothing fits my imagination than a mountain scene. I imagine God's throne high atop a mountain surrounded by unspeakable beauty, and the whole place filled bright with His light. Some may think that I have gone "overboard", but I am comfortable and secure in knowing that He has great things in store for me beyond this life, and I am longing to be in Heaven with Jesus Christ.

The apostle Paul had much the same thoughts because of an encounter he had when he was taken up into heaven. He encountered things indescribable in human terms and unspeakable for ordinary man, because of its holiness. I am sure his zeal for spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, the gospel, was in part due to his many experiences with God and the living Christ. Later in life he too longed to be with Christ in heaven, and as he was nearing the end of his life, he tried to share as much as he could before his departure.

You too can live with the same longing and assurance that I have. You too can long for Heaven. All you need is to fully and totally surrender yourself to God. He has already made it possible for you; He reaches out to you and offers the hope and redemption He has already prepared for you, through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Jesus has stepped out of the grave to show you the way. Are you ready to follow Him?

Photo "Singing Pass, looking east. Whistler,BC" from weblo.com

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