DEVOTIONAL FOR TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 24, 2013
 
Good Morning Everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “Life in the kingdom”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.” John 14:1-3
Our thought for today: “Life on earth gives us glimpses of life in heaven.”
 
All this month we’ve been exploring the theme of “Life in the kingdom” and we’ve been approaching it primarily from the perspective of “this” life lived in the kingdom of God on “this” earth. But the truth is that this life on this earth is just the beginning of our existence in God’s kingdom. It’s what comes next in eternity that really matters. We will only truly begin to understand and appreciate this life in the current kingdom, when we understand it in relation to the eternal kingdom in the next life. That’s what Jesus was speaking about in John 14:1-3. He is in the process of preparing for us an eternal home that is far beyond anything we can imagine now.
 
But imagine it we must. And that’s the problem. We can’t see it and so we have trouble believing in it, or at least understanding it as it really is. In his book “Heaven” Randy Alcorn writes, “We succumb to naturalistic assumptions that what we see is real and what we don’t see isn’t. God can’t be real, we conclude, because we can’t see Him. And Heaven can’t be real because we can’t see it. But we must recognize our blindness. The blind must take by faith that there are stars in the sky. If they depend on their ability to see, they will conclude there are no stars.”
Jesus assures us that heaven is real – even though we can’t see it – and that it is wonderful. The Bible then helps us to imagine what it will be like. Randy Alcorn goes on, “The writers of Scripture present Heaven in many ways, including as a garden, a city, and a kingdom. Because gardens, cities, and kingdoms are familiar to us, they afford us a bridge to understanding heaven.”
 
In the Bible God gives us glimpses of heaven to assist us with our imagining it. He wants us to think about it, ponder it, imagine how wonderful it is. Just look around you, consider all the beautiful and enjoyable aspects of life on earth, imagine what it would all be like if it was perfect – without sin and death and suffering and corruption – then magnify that about a bazillion times, and you begin to appreciate what is waiting for us in the eternal kingdom.
 
This life is good – there is much that is enjoyable about it, but life on the new earth, the eternal Garden of Eden, will be so very much better.
 
God Bless,
Pastor Jim

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