Hope of Heaven

I see myself at heaven’s door

I can hear its hinges creak

Around its frame a light shines out

As it opens before the King

 

What have you brought He asks

From the life you lived on earth?

Oh not a lot I sadly say

As I struggle to begin

Light at Night

Well, there were the mission’s trips

And every day I prayed

And regularly I read your word

And all the tithes I gave

 

When I stopped – he paused and gently said

That’s not why angels sing

Those were not from your deepest heart

But just temporary things

 

But the forgiveness you gave your parents

When their divorce left you alone

And the love you shared with strangers

When you opened up your home

And the tears of repentance that you wept

And your confession in the dark

These are the things that I truly treasure

And for these there is a crown

 

 

 

Hope of Heaven

Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. Psalm 73:25

Hoping for heaven has sometimes been given a bad rap by the church. Some of this has been a push back on old hymns and past sermons that focused exclusively on heavenly bliss and ignored the importance of our time on earth.  But neither our greatest victories, our worst failures, our highest dreams nor our worst sufferings can compare with what lies ahead for us in heaven.

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When our boys were young they made for themselves wooden plaques with their names carved in them to hang over the doors to their rooms. It was their way of staking out their own personal territory.  In the same way God has staked out a territory in heaven for each of us who have put our hope in Jesus Christ. He has engraved our name over the door of our home there. There is nothing wrong with that great joyful longing to be together forever with Jesus in the place He has prepared for us.  We can say with David, “Who do I have either in heaven or earth but you Lord?”  This hope of heaven strengthens our hearts in life’s storms and lightens our load so we can carry the burdens of others. This hope shines through any dark night and lights our path all the way to our home!

An Address in Heaven?

Most who know the song “I Rather Have Jesus” associate it with George Beverly Shea. In fact though he did write the popular melody, the words were composed by Rhea Miller in 1922. George Beverly Shea’s mother copied the words and left them by the piano where she was certain her son would find them.

The words from verse two tell us –

I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause

I’d rather be true to His dear cause

I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame

I’d rather be true to His holy name!

While everyone has heard of George Beverly Shea, almost no one remembers the woman who not only declared but lived out the line, “I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame!” Rhea Miller lived and died virtually unknown beyond her circlekimg2455 of friends and family.

Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20

Some few of us might, like George Beverly Shea, become internationally known, but most of us live in more like Rhea Miller while here on earth. Take this moment to close your eyes and ask yourself: Do you wish have a mansion on earth and yet be forgotten in heaven; or will you choose to live for him in a tiny house on an unknown street and have an address remembered in heaven?

 

We’ll Meet Face to Face

We’ll Meet Face to Face

 

Am I learning to be thankful in the way you told me to?

To have that true and faithful heart that trusts the whole day through?

Will I walk with blinders on seeing just my own small world?

Or can I find the grace and strength to bind another’s wounds?

 

When weakness looms I pull the shades and double lock my door

No limping step, no bleeding lip, no bruises cuts or sores

No fever hot, no icy chills, no loss of any kind

Will I accept within my home just sweet and sunny times

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Yet in the silence of the night when sleep is sliding by

I awake with faith and doubt engaging in a fight

The Spirit stirs and takes a stand while flesh just moans and sighs

Then in my weakest moment when I feel I can’t keep on

My Savior stoops and picks me up and holds me in His arms

 

Son you see these troubles come

While we are in this world

There is a Battle in your soul

To turn you from the goal

But set your eyes upon the prize

That pearl of greatest price

Is waiting for you in my hands

When we meet face to face

 

From wings to heaven’s window

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary they shall walk and not faint Isaiah 40:31

img_4551When God renews our strength He first gives us wings. Wings like eagles can soar far above our weakness and rest on the breathe of the wind. Even eagles do come to rest, and when we find our feet back on the ground God often fires off the starting gun for our race.

As a teen I ran on our track team. Thanks to a patient coach he allowed even slower runners like me to stay on the team if we came for the practices and finished our races. Though I never knew what it was to win a race, I learned a lot about running through the finish line.

I remember that on the first days of practice some of us would stumble near the end of the second mile, but we each found a way to make it to the end. That is when the temptation was overwhelming to throw ourselves down on the ground in exhaustion. But that seemingly well deserved rest was never allowed by our coach. He would be right there pressing us on saying. “Don’t stop yet guys! Walk it off! Walk it off!”

Tonight if you have run your heart out and feel that you have crossed some finish line, remember Isaiah’s message. You will not only ride with eagle’s wings and run without growing weary, but you will also walk and not faint. If weariness calls tonight to simply cast yourself down to the ground and say that you are through, hear the voice of Jesus my friend, “Don’t stop yet! Walk it off! Walk it off! p1020421There is still so much more more to come!”

He calls us in that moment to come up by His side to look out through heaven’s window and to see His horizon that stretches  far beyond our own finish line!

 

Sunday Morning Hymn – I’ll Fly Away

Something a little upbeat today. I’ll Fly away was written by Albert Brumley in 1929 and sung by people everywhere since as an exuberant expression of our joyful hope of heaven. As my old pastor used to say, If you can’t clap on this one, your arm must be broken!” Be blessed. Smile in the face of what ever comes because when the shadows of this life are over then our flight plans are already laid in with heaven’s control tower thanks to the cross of Jesus Christ!

Springs of Living Water

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For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” Revelation 7:17

We have this promise at least three times in the Bible. Long ago, God promised through the prophet Isaiah, that His people would draw water from the wells of Salvation. Hundreds of years later Jesus Himself came and sat by a well in Samaria and promised a woman that if she would drink the water He was offering that it would become within her a spring of the water of life.

Yet God also holds a promise of living water for the future. It will be more than the joy the Israelites felt when they returned to their promised land. It will be a fullness even greater than the living water that began to Spring up in our hearts when we first received Jesus Christ as Lord. There is to come a Spring that irrepressibly bubbles up and pours out always new from a source deep in the heart of our God. He promises to lead us there daily to drink. There He promises to wipe the tears from our eyes and give us freely the fresh water of His own spring. How will it work? What will we feel? How will it appear?

Today can be your day to meet Him by the well. Today can be the day when you joyfully draw water from the Spring of His salvation. Then, when Jesus truly becomes your Shepherd and you follow Him in this valley, then one day on the mountaintop in Heaven He will show you the answers to every question. Uncertainty, pain, frustrations and tears will be wiped away by the fingers of Jesus Christ and you can drink the pure cool rushing waters of His eternal spring for ever and ever!