Thursday, September 13, 2007

How Beautiful Heaven Must Be!

I hate to save money. To elaborate, I just love to spend money and I love to spend more than I have! Therefore, I would love to spend all I have, and not save any. Some folks are savers, others are spenders. I’m the later! That’s right, I stand proudly before you, and pronounce, “My name is Faithie, and I’m a terrible steward!” (Your response: “Welcome Faithie!”).

But I’m also mature enough to know that saving money is important. Things break! There are car repair bills, house repair bills, medical bills, and other things that can happen unexpectedly, and when they do, we need money saved up to cover those expenses. The knowledge of those unseen, but looming needs is motivation enough to cause me to save some each payday. No, I don’t like it, but I know it’s necessary.

As Christians, there are some days that the struggle just doesn’t seem worth it. We’re often faced with the ugliness of the world: hatred toward us, people ridiculing our beliefs, being called ignorant because we believe in the unseen, threats made against us, and even seeing those who believe as we do become martyrs.

When our motivation dies, we have to look past the current events to the reward ahead. Oh how beautiful Heaven will be! Think on that when you’re not motivated to turn the other cheek, to hold your peace, and to sit and “take it” just one more time. One day, it will all be worth it!

Heaven is described as a place we cannot with our simple minds even imagine. In 1 Corinthians 2:9 it says “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” Now, I’ve got a pretty good imagination, and I know others do as well. Think of all the movies of beautiful places. In the “Lord of the Rings”, the Hobbits lived in a beautiful land. In “The Sound of Music” the fields were green, and the skies beautiful blue. Do you remember the stripes of the sky in “Gone with the Wind”? But if we were to collectively imagine all that Heaven could be, the Bible still tells us that it is greater than anything that has ever entered into our hearts!

Revelations 21 describes Heaven as having a light as bright as a crystal and a great high wall with twelve gates. The wall is made of Jasper, which is a beautiful reddish brown stone. At each gate, which is each made of one pearl, an angel stands. The city itself is of gold, but is described as being like clear glass! Even the streets are described as clear gold. Within the city there is a stream of water that is as clear as crystal, and flows from God’s throne. There are twelve foundations to the city – one for each apostle. They are made of jasper (reddish brown stone), Sapphire (deep blue gem), chalcedony (pale blue stone), emerald (deep green gem), sardonyx (white and brown banded stone), sardius (red gem), chrysolite (greenish yellow gem), beryl (medium to dark green or aqua gem), topaz (deep amber gem), chrysoprasus (apple green gem), jacinth (orange gem), and amethyst (deep purple gem).

Now, are you imagining Heaven’s beauty? Can you envision the colors, the light of God shining through them, and casting all colors around the city like an eternal rainbow? Can you imagine the smoothness of the golden transparent streets under your feet? Have you envisioned the beauty of the angels as they stand at the gates? Can you see yourself there, surrounded by all the joy and beauty God has planned for you?

Even still, the Bible says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him”.

Be blessed with each thought you have of heaven, and let them encourage you to continue on and receive your great reward. This is what we’re saving up for. This is why we bank our anger, our disappointment, and our grief as Christians. One day, the payday will come, and we will be in complete and utter bliss with these beautiful surroundings. And the next time you are ridiculed for your beliefs by those that are without the understanding of God in the world, consider that none of this will be theirs…if you don’t show them the truth. Work past the pain and find the love in your heart to share with them why you choose to be different. Oh, great is your reward in Heaven!

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