Heaven Can’t Wait

Heaven is a place that may or may not exist. We cannot prove it is there; although several people say they went there during a near death experience, came back to life on this earth and wrote a book to tell about what they saw.

 

If heaven is not a real place, then our view of eternity is dim and our troubles on earth are intensified and depressing. Paul mentions that, in Christ, our trials on earth are a drop in the bucket compared to eternity (2 Corinthians 4:17); but if there is no heaven, then tribulation is hopeless.

 

Believing in Heaven takes faith, which is hope for unseen things (Hebrews 11:1). Yet, we have more than blind faith. Jesus lived on earth, suffered crucifixion, died, rose again, lived on earth for about 40 more days, and then was translated to heaven in His immortal body in front of eye witnesses.

 

When we surrender our life to God in salvation, we are joint heirs with Jesus of everything pertaining to God’s Kingdom, including heaven. We are freed from the penalty as well as the penchant to sin and freely given the righteousness of Christ in exchange (Romans 3:22; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

 

God calls us to remove from our life the distractions on this earth, which compete with our relationship with Him. He invites us to draw nearer to Him each day as He fills us through our entire being with all of His fullness (Ephesians 3:19, Amplified Bible).

 

We will finally grasp the reality of heaven when we pass from this life into eternity. First, we have the privilege of abiding in the presence of God moment by moment for the rest of our life on earth. He satisfies our longing and fills our hungry soul (Psalm 107:9).

 

Prayer:

Father God, as we grow spiritually, our intimacy with You increases daily, and our unity with You is more focused and dominates our thoughts, words and deeds. When You are our delight, You put Your desires in our heart (Psalms 37:4), and You shower us with Your love and blessings. As we commune with You each day, Your Spirit fills us with the divine nature and character of Christ who dwells within us (Galatians 2:20; 2 Peter 1:4). We decrease and He increases as we surrender our life, goals, plans and desires to You (John 3:30).

 

You help us to reject a life imprisoned in the here and now on this earth. We no longer concentrate on the temporal, but keep the eternal in constant focus; give us a consuming love for eternal rewards; fill us with Your Spirit and Your presence and walk in us through every trial we face in this life. Help us to draw nearer to You, and to live in eternity now (John 17:8).

 

Thought for the Day:

Eternal life is knowing God and Jesus whom He sent, which begins with the moment of salvation and continues in everlasting life in God’s presence. – John 17:3

 

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A Fulfilling Marriage

The marriage of a man and a woman is a union of two individuals joined as one (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11; Ephesians 5:31). God intends for them to serve Him, as co-heirs with Christ of His entire Kingdom (Romans 8:17).

 

At first, a couple’s attraction increases their love for one another. Yet, over time they gradually stop considering one another, doing the tiny thoughtful gestures for one another that mean so much and sharing the same goals and purpose in life (Ephesians 5:33).

 

As the years progress, the couple eventually take each other for granted, stop romantic overtures and make other pursuits their priority in life. They co-exist, but do not work as a team or care about each other’s needs as much as they care about their own.

 

To the Wife:

There are many women who take their husband for granted. Some insist on spending more money than he makes. Others find their fulfillment in their home and children or in their job and ignore their husband’s needs.

 

They get caught up in the pressure of their daily demands and make no time for their husband. They forget that men need visual stimulation to feel loving, and they make no effort to groom and dress nicely for him at home.

 

They forget to make his favorite meal, to shop for his preferences and to make time to listen to him share about his day. A wife is given the privilege of following the outline given in Proverbs 31.

 

She will flourishes as a wife, mother, homemaker and business woman in this creative capacity given to her by God. God’s Spirit will give her wisdom and strength to minister to her family.

 

To the Husband:

A man will expect his wife to be sweet and accommodating and to keep him as her primary focus (Ephesians 5:25); yet, it is often the husband’s poor choices, which keep the marriage in a state of perpetual insecurity and financial loss.

 

No woman can be sweet and submissive when her husband stops considering her needs and keeps her life in turmoil. Then he blames her hormones or personality for her negative reactions to him.

 

God desires to charge the husband to dwell with and to provide for his wife with love and understanding (1 Peter 3:7). If he does, then his wife will more easily submit to His loving leadership.

 

A man’s responsibility is to protect his wife and to give her the feeling of safety and security she deserves. He will not take her for granted, if he realizes everything which she does for him throughout the day after day (Ephesians 4:2, 32; Romans 12:16).

 

To the Couple:

Any couple can keep romance alive with spontaneous little gifts, daily times to snuggle, helping each other around the house, date nights, listening with focused attention, and an unexpected phone call or an email during the day proclaiming their love for one another (1 Peter 4:10). Try it and see!

 

Prayer:

Father God, the opposite sexes are just that – opposite. It seems that You played a trick on humanity by causing opposites to attract. However, Your plan all along was for opposites to complement one another.

 

We can draw from one another’s strengths to make up for our own weaknesses. Remind us that we are a team, and we will dwell together in unity as we work and pray together under the direction of Your Holy Spirit (Psalm 133:1).

 

Thought for the Day:

As we make an effort to increase our love for each other until it overflows, we will submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. – 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Ephesians 5:21

I am an Artist

As a young adult, my poor self-esteem carried over into my new Christian life. God decided to use art as His way of proving to me that Christ in me was totally capable and I could trust in Him.

 

He put His desire in my heart to paint. Too poor to afford supplies, I used some old paint belonging to my mother-in-law, some toothpicks and some egg shells with the insides literally blown out.

 

I “painted” flowers, birds, dogs, cats, trees, mountains and all sorts of nature on those egg shells and declared myself an artist. My former husband said I had to sell my art before I could claim that fame.

 

Well, not to be undone, I asked my Daddy to take my “art” to work with him to see if they would sell. He gave me some end-caps from metal tubing to glue on the bottom of each egg as a stand, and they were quite attractive.

 

Within a few days they all sold for $3.00/each; and Daddy’s workmates gave me special orders to “paint” family pets, beautiful landscapes and other meaningful visuals from photos, which they gave me as examples.

 

Of course, I had no natural talent, but Christ in me duplicated every one of those special orders perfectly; and I had myself a new and thriving “cottage” business.

 

With the money I earned, I bought painting supplies: real brushes, small canvases and fresh paints. I stayed up painting for hours after my family went to bed and my chores were finished.

 

I kept one of those paintings (I still have it) and gave away the rest of them as gifts. Once my supplies ran out, I went back to my original love of making crafts out of trash.

 

I used them to decorate my home and as gifts as well. I started making my own greeting cards, which I still do to this day. Then, I moved into the realm of making jewelry for myself and as gifts.

 

I added the God-given talent of buying clothes at thrift stores and mixing and matching them with scarves and my jewelry as works of art. Now, I am perfectly dressed from head to toe no matter where I am, even while cleaning at home.

 

I am so glad that I “inherited” my Daddy God’s creative abilities through Christ in me (Ecclesiastes 3:11), and I look forward to continuing to create out of other people’s trash for the rest of my days on this earth (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for encouraging my young life with Your creative powers through Christ in me. I pray that You will do this exact miracle for everyone with low self-esteem who comes to know You as their personal Savior. Build them up in the most holy faith and bless them and allow them to bless others by Your love within them (Jude 1:20-25).

 

When Your creativity flows out of us in the form of art, baking, needlepoint, childcare, writing, building, mentoring Your Saints, engineering, teaching a class, singing, mechanics, gardening, playing musical instruments, preaching a sermon or whatever form which You choose to anoint our life, we feel at one with You in every respect (Exodus 35:1-5, 35:35; 1 Chronicles 15:16; Job 19:23-24).

 

Thought for the Day:

An artist is not born overnight, but cultivated over years of inspiration from our Father God, because He makes all things beautiful in His own time. – Ecclesiastes 3:11
 

Practical Faith

How can faith be practical as well as spiritual? When we get into our car and turn on the ignition, we have faith that the motor will start and take us to our desired location.

If we previously had trouble with our car starting, we still attempt to start the car, hoping beyond hope that the engine will turn over and the car will transport us to our destination.

This is how faith works in the spiritual realm as well. We hear the gospel story, and we realize the potential we could have in life if our spirit was actually Born Again rather than dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1; Romans 8:10).

We put our faith in God to fill us by His Spirit, to regenerate our spirit and to save us from the penalty of our sins. It is more than blind faith, because we see the results of our belief in changes in our desires, thoughts, words and deeds.

This change is not affected by sheer will power or human determination. It is a spiritual change that has nothing to do with our body or soul (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

It is something, which God does for us. It is a walk of faith, which does not depend on our human understanding or effort (Proverbs 3:5-6; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Ephesians 2:8-9).

We cannot be good enough, wise enough, rich enough or powerful enough to earn our way to heaven. It is a gift from God just for us (Romans 6:23).

God’s Spirit empowers us in the same way that the engine empowers the car. The power in the car energizes a dead hunk of steel into immediate life; and the Holy Spirit revives our dead spirit to live, move and have our being in Christ both now and for eternity (Acts 17:28).

Our life bears fruit for the Kingdom of God and our attitude and thoughts change from carnal to spiritual ones. The peace and joy of God flood our life.

We leave the world of dark, destruction, influenced by sin and Satan’s lies; and we enter the brilliant light of Christ, our ultimate Truth.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for planting our feet firmly on the Rock of Christ, so that neither temptation from the devil nor the storms of life can shake the bedrock of our foundation on Your Word and Your Spirit.

You removed the weight of sin from our shoulders by the righteousness of Christ, which You freely provide for us. Thank You for revealing to us by Your Spirit what Christ actually did for us on the cross, and how this revolutionizes how we view life and the activities we enjoy both now and in eternity.

Thought for the Day:
Faith in Christ impacts our daily life now, as well as determines our eternal destination; it is practical and influences the peace and joy in which we live our life.