Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalms 100:4-5 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.100.4-5.KJV
What do you picture when you think of eternity in Heaven? Honestly, I have a lot of trouble picturing it at all. The descriptions of Heaven which are given in the Bible are hard to imagine but they all describe a place that is so beautiful and beyond anything that we have ever seen on Earth. This fact alone makes it hard to use our imagination to even consider how it will be. I have read fictional books which try to describe the majesty and beauty of cities and homes made by our Creator for us and even those are beyond anything that we can think of.
Why am I writing of a place which is nearly impossible to imagine with our limited human minds? Because one day in the near future we will go there and see the home which God has prepared for us. Imagine the Builder of the universe creating a home which fits each of us perfectly. The rooms and the furniture and the interior and everything that we would love to have but can’t have here.
Why would Jesus build each of us a place like that? Because He loves us that’s why! I mean He created the universe, don’t you think creating a home for each of us would be a simple, loving gesture that He would enjoy doing for you or me? I am looking forward to being in His Presence, whether I get a tent or a house, I don’t really care. Seek Him and His Kingdom because the kingdoms of this world will be going away one day and He will rule here for a thousand years!
Where does doubt come from?
This is a question which most people ask at some point in their lives. Christians ask it of themselves more often, than other people do. The answer will likely surprise you. Remember when Jesus asked Peter to come to Him on the water? Would you have stepped out in faith onto the surface of a turbulent ocean? I would guess that very few people would do it. But…it was Jesus asking him to do it and since Peter usually acted or said something before he thought about it, he stepped out of the boat and began walking.
What many people don’t read into the story is that Peter was a fisherman, he knew the water shouldn’t be able to hold him like solid ground. But it was Jesus that made the request of him. Peter had seen Him heal a blind man and feed five thousand men and their families from a child’s lunch basket. So, of course, he jumped out of the boat and landed on the water, not in the water. And, as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus and walking toward Him he was able to keep walking on top of the water. But…when he took his eyes off of Jesus then he began to sink into the water.
As Christians, we do this all the time! We feel His touch in our lives and we may even hear or get the feeling that there is something which He is calling us to do. As long as we keep our eyes on Jesus and keep our faith focused on the task which He is asking us to do, then we will be fine. But in the world which we live in it isn’t so easy. Peter had the luxury of being able to see Jesus, so keeping his eyes focused on Him shouldn’t have been a problem. We don’t have that luxury and we can and do get side-tracked and distracted from the One Who called us in the first place.
The account of this miracle is found in this text:
Matthew 14: 25-33
25 Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
We doubt in our faith because we cannot see Jesus or the possibilities that are all around us. We look at the bills to be paid and the oil which needs changing or how much food we have left until our next paycheck. We live and move on the physical plane of the Earth and much of what we read about in the Bible happened on the spiritual plane which God lives in and inhabits. We can’t feel it with our hands or touch it physically but according to God’s Word, it is there.
And it is just as real or even more real than the world in which we live. Consider how Jesus could move and live after His resurrection. He could enter a locked room and speak with the disciples there and then just as easily vanish from their sight. Then at His ascension to Heaven He just rose from the ground and went up into the sky, no airplane or fiery chariot required or needed! Can you imagine having a body which will be able to do those things? When we are “caught up to be with Him in the air” we will be in bodies like His forever! No more aching and creaky knees and stiff joints. Praise God that is going to feel wonderful!
Our God is an AWESOME God!
Have you ever wondered how little we seem to be in the universe which God created? I know that our world is a normal sized planet but when you back out into the galaxy and into the cosmos as a whole, our entire solar system gets lost in a sea of motes. The stars which comprise our own galaxy take up the sky and cover our small corner of this arm of the galaxy until we are lost among the dust and the gas. So why are we, on this little ball of dust and mud, so important to God?
We are important to Him because He created us to be His. We aren’t puppets or toys to Him, we are people and we are special because we are created in His Image. No other being in the universe can claim that place. But, we hold that special place because He is God not out of any accomplishment or any righteousness of our own. All of us are bought with a price and that price was the blood of Jesus our Savior and Redeemer.
How much should we suffer or be in bondage to sin? We shouldn’t be in bondage to it at all because we have been bought with Jesus’ blood and our sin debt is paid, but if you haven’t given your life and your heart to Him then you are still a slave to sin! It doesn’t matter how long you have belonged to a church or denomination or if you are a deacon or serving in the Gideons, no amount of work which we do without Jesus as our Savior will help us or save us in any way!
How much should we live in this world of temptation and heartaches and put up with all of the things which happen every day? How much more, O Lord should we be here?
These feelings have been echoed throughout the ages since Jesus went to His Father. Is it selfish to wonder about these things? I don’t think so. The church is ready to leave as well, but the timing is God’s timing and not ours. It could happen in a few minutes or in a couple of years but only God knows that day and hour.
Jesus told His disciples not to worry about the timing of His return recorded in Matthew 24: 36-41: 36 No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,e but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. 39 And they were oblivious until the flood came and swept them all away. So will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.
That day will take the whole world by surprise, even those who are looking for His return. But, He will return for those who are expecting Him and looking for Him because they have faith that He will return.