Tag Archives: Heaven

Preparing a Place

JusJoJan 30 January 2022

When I heard I was pregnant for the first time, I went straight from the doctor’s room to a department store and bought a tiny babygro and a pair of booties. We were so excited! My mother fished out her knitting needles and bought soft pastel wool. As time went by, we started preparing a nursery. There is so much equipment that a baby needs! We prepared the room with happiness and excitement. We even bought a fluffy star that had a recording of a mother’s heart beat to make the baby feel at home and secure.

Image by Pixabay

My friends at that time were in a similar stage of life and reacted in the same way to the news of their pregnancy. Only the best for Their child!

Jesus said, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John14:3 NIV)

With as much excitement and anticipation as parents prepare a place for their expected baby, Jesus prepares a place for us. He knows what will comfort us, make us happy and make us feel welcome in our new home. Only the best will do for His child!

While parents are happily preparing a nursery for their baby, God is at work behind the scenes preparing the baby for his new home. The lungs need to be developed enough to be able to breathe this strange atmosphere. The baby needs to develop to readiness for birth.

In the same way, God is working with us to prepare us for heaven. As a line from that famous Christmas Carol, “Away in a manger,” says, …”and fit us for heaven to live with Thee there.”

The trials and tests we face are all part of the preparation. Paul says about suffering, “…we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5: 3b-5 NIV)

It’s not only suffering as we understand it, but disappointments, irritations, rejection, set-backs, dealing with persistent health issues or struggles, that grow our perseverance, character and hope.

God is the One who does the preparing. We can be sure that “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6 NIV)

My Prayer

Lord Jesus, it is comforting to know that You are preparing a place in heaven for me and You will welcome me one day. May I have Your point of view to be able to regard suffering and trials as part of Your loving preparation. I’m not there yet. Amen.

“Heaven’s Gonna Be a Blast”

JusJoJan 11 January 2022

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.” (Revelation7:9 NIV)

Heaven is going to be cosmopolitan. People from every culture and language group will be there.

South Africa is known as “The Rainbow Nation.” We are a very diverse people. We have eleven official languages. Each different language group has a different culture and different food preferences.

I have realised that I am a very fussy eater. Afrikaner hospitality may include “potjiekos” (meat and vegetables cooked in a three-legged pot over hot coals for a couple of hours) and “braaipap” (A stiff maize porridge eaten with meat and a sauce) Let’s just say, they are not my favourites. My friends at work used to know that very spicy food burned my tongue. When my Indian friend used to bring eats, she always made a portion of “extra mild” for me but even so, my tongue felt like it had encountered paint stripper.

Some cultures in South Africa enjoy mopane worms and chicken feet. It’s true I have never tried a mopane worm, but I don’t feel inclined to.

We have been taught there will be a banquet in heaven. At the last supper, Jesus said, “I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29 NIV)

And again, from Revelation, “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!”(Revelation 19:( NIV)

With such a cosmopolitan throng in heaven, what food will be served at the banquet? Will I even like it? It’s something I am just going to have to leave to the Lord. I am sure it will be just perfect for everybody present.

My Prayer

Lord Jesus, please teach me to appreciate and enjoy the different cultures around me. May I love without reservation and prejudice. Amen.

We’ll never stop learning

“I believe that in the eternal Heaven centered on the New Earth, reading and study and discussion, and all forms of intellectual exploration, will not only still exist but be greatly enriched. We will remain God’s image-bearers, fully human, but we will at last be unhindered by sin. Learning more of God and his universe will be a constant pleasure, untainted by error or arrogance, infused by his grace.” (Randy Alcorn)

Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay

This post is part of One-Liner Wedneday by Linda Hill.

Lockdown Day 33 Through the Window.

I love looking through my study window and seeing my grandchildren play. Even when it’s raining they can have such fun. They are being what they are:- Children.

In the same way, God loves looking at us being who we are. He didn’t create uniformity. He loves our individuality and smiles when He sees us becoming the people He created us to be.

A.B. Simpson said,

“Let us but feel that he has his heart set upon us, that he is watching us from those heavens with tender interest…that he has set his love upon us, and in spite of ourselves is working out for us his higher will and blessing, as far as we will let him – and then nothing can discourage us.”

The Embassy

In our fellowship group we are doing the Reframe course, run by Regent College.

Embassy

On Monday we discussed how being a Christian was like being an ambassador in a foreign country.  One of the things that struck me was that, if you are an ambassador, one of the requirements of the job is to learn the language and customs of the country to which you are sent. It is no use speaking “Christianese” to the world. Among ourselves at the Embassy, however, that is perfectly all right.

I have been pondering on this image and trying to relate it to my life.

the Embassy (the Church) is our mother-ship. It is where we find resources for our work, where we are encouraged, sometimes disciplined if we are acting contrary to our own country’s policies. Of course we also have to obey the laws of the country we are in while maintaining the customs of our home country.

My home country is actually more like a kingdom and if I want to do my job properly it would be a good idea to have a hotline to the king. Then every morning I could report for duty and get any special instructions for the day.

I got to thinking about what the main function of an embassy is. I have no first hand experience but I would imagine one of the prime functions is to support citizens from my home kingdom. They, too, are in a foreign country and, let’s face it, stuff happens.  My role as ambassador would be to help wherever I can.

Another function of the Embassy is to represent our kingdom and our king. As ambassadors, we have a certain amount of authority given to us. We can arrange passports for foreigners and other legal documents. We can pray in the name of our king and our petitions are heard. We can lead others to become citizens of our home kingdom.

Looking at life from this point of view, I am not doing very well. I have become so acclimatized to the foreign country that I don’t stand out at all. I go about my life very much making my own decisions as impulse takes me. It is time for a new mindset.  Please pray for me.

 

FFfAW Challenge – Week of 05-24-2016

Charles fumed in the church. Amanda had thrown him out. He had nowhere else to go. If only she was more forgiving – after all, it was just a one night stand – this time.

He looked up at the ceiling. He felt his pulse slow down in awe. Was that heaven? Was that God on the throne? Maybe God could help. Maybe He could change Amanda. He was supposed to be a God of love after all.

Scenes from his own life flashed before him.  Hot tears filled his eyes. “O God, I really love her,” he whispered, “Please change me,” (100 words)

 

This story is part of Flash Fiction for aspiring writers. This week’s photo prompt is provided by TJ Paris. Thank you TJ for our photo prompt!