heaven

Longing For Him

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I have experienced enough of "life" in this fallen world to have grown quite weary of this fallen world. Come quickly Lord Jesus has become my mantra.

Last week though, Father spoke to my heart and said, "Son, you long for heaven, more than you long for Me!" OUCH! I apologized, for He was right.

By the way, I do not believe I am alone in that longing, let's all repent of that "faulty longing," for that is like a woman who longs to be married instead of longing for that special man to be married to. Just as it is not the institution of marriage that her heart really longs for but for that special guy, so it is with us, Heaven is not really what our hearts are longing for, it is Him.

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Mansions

Is that what heaven is really all about? Living out our days in the hopes that we are one day going to get a huge house to live in?

Is that what heaven is really all about? Living out our days in the hopes that we are one day going to get a huge house to live in?

So what is God talking about when the New Testament speaks of us getting a mansion? Let's think about that for a moment. Is that what heaven is really all about? Living out our days in the hopes that we are one day going to get a huge house to live in? Let's not trivialize the heart and purpose of the Bible in such a way! The Apostle Paul did not say that there was "one thing" that he pressed on for - to get a big mansion! What did he say? My "ONE THING" is to KNOW CHRIST!

The passage on "mansions" is found in John 14. The key to understanding John 14 is to read it in light of John 13. CONTEXT!!!

In John 13, Jesus has told them that He is going to go away, and they cannot go with Him. They are saddened by this news, of course. But then He tells them to not be troubled because He is going to prepare a place for them, in the Father's house are many "mansions". In doing so, He says that He will return for them again, and receive them unto Himself, that where He is they will be also. The heart behind this passage is an intimate relationship, not a construction project.

What troubled them is separation. Once you have tasted God, you want all of God, and cannot stand the thought of separation from God. Now focus on the word "mansions".... the word is really dwelling places or as I would translate it "abidings". Jesus is going to prepare places for "abiding",  places where He and us can live together in union. And note that He says as soon as He prepares that place, He will return and we will be received unto Him.

May I suggest, that this has nothing to do with mansions in the sky that we have to wait for one day when we get to heaven in order for us to be able to have Jesus receive us! In the context, the place He went to prepare is us! Rom 6 tells us that He took us to the cross. There He killed our old man, our old sinful self and resurrected us brand new creations (II Cor 5:17). Having now been "prepared", having been made right, He the RIGHT ONE could now come back to us and live in us, through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Now He could receive us unto Himself so that we could be with Him (seated in Heaven right now Eph. 2:6) and so that He could be with us wherever we go. 

This is our true "ONE THING" --- to know Christ! The Greek word for "know" there is ginosko which means to know by experience. I do not believe that God made a bunch of big houses for us to dwell in in heaven, but I do believe He "prepared us" as the place of His own residence so that we could be with Him and experience Him forever.  And it all is starting right now and continuing in union with Him when we leave this earth.

WOW!

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I Seek To Live The Same Way...

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Every once in a while, we will read something or hear something from someone, and it is instantly knit to our spirit and we never forget it.

This happened to me several years ago with my friend Lynn Hiles. We were in a restaurant and he told me these words:

"I want to so live my life, that when I go to heaven and see Jesus, the first thing
He will say to me is 'Man, I had a blast hanging out in your body'.

Isn't that awesome? Thank you, Lynn. I seek to live the same way...

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Eternity of Relationship

The constant eternal unfolding of an eternal and infinite God.

The constant eternal unfolding of an eternal and infinite God.

Heaven! What will it be like? Though no one knows for sure but the people who are there, we get many glimpses throughout the Bible as the Spirit describes what really cannot be described.

One thing I am convinced of is that it will certainly NOT BE THE ETERNAL CHURCH SERVICE IN THE SKY! Hallelujah for that!

I would describe it as THE GREAT ADVENTURE! The constant eternal unfolding of an eternal and infinite God. A bucket list that grows ever longer no matter how many things on that list we fulfill, experience, and enjoy! WOW!

One of the supreme things I believe that will bring us ECSTACY is simply the awe and wonder and sharing heaven in relationship with other people. What?

I know, when I think of relationships on planet earth, I think of hard work, masks, social niceties, --- I also think of AVOID! Yes, there are people that are hard to have a relationship with and we all know that we try and avoid such people. BE HONEST!

But in the kingdom, we will be enjoying the company of a glorified human being, one that if they showed up on this planet right now, we would be in danger of worshiping them, because they are so glorious. They will also be experiencing and expressing through their glorified person the VERY LIFE OF THE PERSON OF GOD flowing through them in unhindered fashion!

In them, I will be experiencing God Himself expressing Himself through their unique personhood like light flows through a prism! WOW!

In heaven, just sitting down for a cup of tea with another glorified human being is going to be SHEER ECSTACY!

What does the song say, "I can only imagine?"

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The Wonders of Heaven...

That is how I see heaven.  We will finally experience and express the awe, wonder, joy, peace, righteousness, glory, and   splendor   that is God filling us and flowing through us.

That is how I see heaven. We will finally experience and express the awe, wonder, joy, peace, righteousness, glory, and splendor that is God filling us and flowing through us.

Recently a good friend asked me what I think heaven is going to be like.  Well, no one really knows for sure until we get there.  But, I would suggest that there will be no real big change inside of us!

We have already been made righteous, become partakers of the divine nature, filled with the fulness of God, AND possessing the treasure of God in our earthen vessels.  In our vessel lies an issue, we currently have clay pots that hinder us from fully experiencing and expressing the fulness of God which is already in us. Kind of like putting a cup under a faucet, it can only contain so much...

In that day when we enter heaven, we will no longer have our clay pots, we will finally be able to fully experience and express the fulness of God that we possessed at the moment of faith. Only now, we will function like a prism... have you ever seen light flow through a prism? It is absolutely incredible the dance of color and radiance that flows through a prism and illuminates the wall with its splendor.

That is how I see heaven. We will finally experience and express the awe, wonder, joy, peace, righteousness, glory, and splendor that is God filling us and flowing through us... WOW!

At the risk of offending you, but in an attempt to help people understand the experience that is going to be ours in heaven.  I would describe heaven as the eternal, infinite orgasm!

Makes me long for heaven, the sheer ecstasy of experiencing God in perpetual fullness.  
WOW AGAIN!!!

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Forever Creating...

God is a creator!   That is Who He is.

God is a creator! That is Who He is.

In I Cor 13 we are told that faith, hope, and love endure even when we are in heaven. One might be tempted to ask, why we will need hope in heaven when we will have arrived into the perfect state. The key lies in the definition of hope.

Hope is the confident expectation of MORE TO COME!

The glory of heaven is that there will always be more to embrace and experience because God is infinite and eternal. Please hear me, heaven is not going to be the eternal church service in the sky! That would be boring! We must take care to not see heaven through the eyes of the earthly realm but through the nature and character of God.

God is a creator! That is Who He is.

What would make us think that a created universe could ever exhaust His creative ability? In other words, my personal conviction is that He is going to be eternally creating new and wondrous things. Further, since He created us to share His love with us and express His love through us, and since in His Word He created us to reign with Him in glory, and since He made us in His image, that means we are “little creators.” I believe that He is going to include us in His infinitely creative work for all eternity!

I would liken it to a kaleidoscope. Have you ever looked into a kaleidoscope? When you do, you see this panoramic expression of multi-colored and multi-faceted shapes and you marvel at what you see. But there is more. All it takes is a slight rotation of the kaleidoscope and the shapes and colors change. Every time you turn the kaleidoscope, this phenomenon occurs and you can literally stare for hours and hours and herald "ooh" and "ah" as you observe this glorious creative display. That is what heaven will be like for us as we live in hope, the confident expectation of more, which will be delivered to us by our infinitely Glorious Creator and Father!

WOW!

Once You've Tasted God, You Want All of Him!

So what is God talking about when the New Testament speaks of us getting a mansion? Let's think about that for a moment. Is that what heaven is really all about? Living out our days in the hopes that we are going to get a huge house to live in? Let's not trivialize the heart and purpose of the Bible in such a way! The Apostle Paul did not say that there was "one thing" that he pressed on for - to get a big mansion! What did he say? My "ONE THING" is to KNOW CHRIST!

The passage on "mansions" is found in John 14. The key to understanding John 14 is to read it in light of John 13. CONTEXT!!!

In John 13, Jesus has told them that He is going to go away, and they cannot go with Him. They are saddened at this news, of course. But then He tells them to not be troubled because He is going to prepare a place for them, in the Father's house are many "mansions". In doing do, He says that He will return for them again, and receive them unto Himself, that where He is they will be. Also, the heart behind this passage is intimate relationship, not a construction project.

What troubled them is separation. Once you have tasted God, you want all of God, and cannot stand the thought of separation from God. Now focus on the word "mansions".... the word is really dwelling places or as I would translate it "abidings". Jesus is going to prepare places for "abiding" - places where He and us can live together in union. And note that He says as soon as He prepares that place, He will return and we will be received unto Him.

May I suggest, that this has nothing to do with mansions in the sky that we have to wait for heaven to be able to have Jesus receive us! In the context, the place He went to prepare is us! Rom 6 tells us that He took us to the cross. There, He killed our old man, our old sinful self and resurrected us brand new creations (II Cor 5:17). Having now been "prepared", having been made right, He the RIGHT ONE could now come back to us and live in us, through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Now He could receive us unto Himself so that we could be with Him (seated in Heaven right now Eph. 2:6) and so that He could be with us wherever we go.

This is our true "ONE THING" --- to know Christ! The greek word for "know" there is ginosko = which means to know by experience. I do not believe that God made a bunch of big houses for us to dwell in in heaven, but I do believe He "prepared us" as the place of His own residence so that we could be with Him and experience Him forever.... starting right now and continuing in union with Him when we leave this earth. WOW!

We Are Heading Home - to Enjoy Relationship!

HOME! It is a great word, isn’t it? Far much better than the word “house”… for a house is just wood, brick, and shingles, but a “home”? Well, that is a place where there is safety, acceptance, a safe harbor from the world. Home is a place where you can put your feet up and be yourself, and shake off all those social niceties that the world requires and just “be”…

But what is it that transforms a house, into a home. It is people. It is relationship. Hollywood understood this. Remember the “Wizard of Oz?” Dorothy, was willing to travel down that dangerous yellow brick road full of lions and tigers and bears, oh my! She traveled that road even though there was a desperately evil arch enemy known as the Wicked Witch of the West. Why was she willing to take so much risk? Because the yellow brick road led to Oz, and Oz led to “HOME”… and home was where Auntie Em and Uncle Henry were!

The Bible stresses this too. Remember the Prodigal Son? He was living in the far country, embracing a life that was wretched and empty, that is, until he had thoughts of home! And what was it that made home so special? There was a Father waiting there, Who was good and kind. And so he risked heralding the shame of how he had been living to go “HOME”.

As believers, we have a home, and it is not here on planet earth. Here, we are travelers, sojourners, sometimes called ambassadors. While here, we have business to do, but soon our business will be done and we will be called “HOME”… not so much to a place, but to a Person. That is what makes heaven home. Far too many people reduce heaven to thoughts of gold streets, tiaras with jewels on them, and big fancy houses. NO! NO! NO! To believe that heaven is about crowns, and gold, and mansions is trivialize the work of Jesus Christ! None of those things make heaven home...

When we go home, we are going home to enjoy a relationship, with an incredibly kind and gracious Father, and that is what makes heaven, our home! This is what the work of Jesus was really about… He restored us to a relationship with Himself… the Three Persons of God!