Thursday, February 19, 2015

Heavenly Promise

Chuckle:  Child's prayer: "Dear God, maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they each had their own rooms. It works out OK with me and my brother."
Quote: "Heaven is the most beautiful place the mind of God could conceive and the hand of God could create." --R.G. Lee
    "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust (believe) in God; trust (believe) also in me. In my Father's house (heaven) are many (rooms) mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am" (John 14:1-4 NIV).
In our passage, Jesus' crucifixion was near, and I'm sure the disciples were beside themselves with fear, anxiety, and worry. They were about to lose their leader, mentor, teacher, and companion who had been with them constantly for the better part of three years. They had come to depend upon him in so many ways. In his tender "Jesus" way, our Lord comforted his disciples with one of the most beautiful promises in the New Testament.
Each of us will experience death at a time of God's choosing. Also, each of us has, or will, experience the loss of someone very dear to us. It is a horrible experience when we lose a loved one. But I'm sure you will join me in thanking God that he has given each of us the capacity to grieve such losses. We are created in the image of God and our ability to grieve reminds me of how God must grieve when he loses a precious soul who has rejected his love and the atoning blood of Jesus for the remission of sins -- one who has said "no" to the promise of salvation and eternal life with God in a place the Bible calls heaven.
For those of us who have trusted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we need not fear the time when our eternal souls leave our physical bodies. And also as we grieve for other Christians we have lost, we should not grieve as those with no hope of seeing them again. Paul puts in this way: "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep (die), or to grieve like the rest of men who have no hope" (I Thessalonians 4:13 NIV).
This brings us back to our passage from John. Jesus, right now, is preparing a place for each and every Christian. Dr. Paul Powell points out that from Jesus' own words we are reminded that we have faith in the PERSON of Jesus Christ. "Trust in God; trust also in me." We also have faith in a PLACE in heaven that Jesus is preparing for us. "I am going there to prepare a place for you." Finally, we have faith in a PROMISE that Jesus will return and receive us into his presence so "that we also may be where He is."
If we have this kind of faith, it will ease the anxiety about our own deaths, and also make us realize that ". . . to be absent from the body, and (is) to be present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8 NIV). Praise Him for this Amazing Promises!!
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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