Tag Archives: heaven

Discover Your Place In Heaven

As we know the ministry of Jesus reflects the kingdom of God, through that ministry and life we discover numerous metaphors for describing His kingdom, for example mustard seed, treasure in a field, a sheep being found, to name three.

You and I realise, unless we have been living under a rock with nothing else to read apart from scripture. That the world we live in doesn’t reflect such values, the lost coin is rarely found, the treasure in the field, once Un-earthed, isn’t sold to help the poor, but instead lines someones pockets, or stands behind bullet proof glass in some museum somewhere in the world. Moreover, sadly we do not often celebrate the achievements of others no matter how small they’re perceived to be. Which unfortunately stands in contrast to the women’s celebration at finding her lost coin.

This got me thinking, as we know, kingdom values are in contrast to earths, then what might the kingdom be like when we get in? Where would I be placed? What would the place Jesus prepares for me look like? We might be in for a surprise!

 As we cross the threshold of Heaven, and Jesus thanks us for all the amazing things we have done in his name. We might discover that our earthly greatness, wealth and status might count for nothing, perhaps we will be the servants of those who have served us. Moreover perhaps we will be the ones living in the eternal equivalent of a rundown house, a cardboard box, a draughty door way. Whilst they who suffered in one lifetime, are offered an eternity of wonder.

Jesus’ challenge to the rich man was to give all he has to the poor and follow him. because all he had, got in the way of following. We might find that those with least in this world might have most in eternal dimensions, because they lived life light interms of materiality and were rich beyond measure in the things that sustained them, nourish them and help them across the threshold into Gods kingdom and beyond.

Let us live light with what we have, holding what we have in the perspective of Gods kingdom, where the last will be first, and the least get most, the last man that turns up for work gets paid the same as the first, where the thief on the cross gets a pass into eternity. Because it is possible to start over, it is possible for a leopard to change his spots it is possible to be and truly know you are forgiven.

Finally, I Believe that Heaven will be so much more than we can comprehend, when things about hierarchy, And who gets what won’t matter any more. Today let us share more the kingdom values, and honour the least with all have, lift up the brokenhearted with all of the love we have received, find the lost with all of the resources at our fingertips. And celebrate the little wins as much as the big ones.

Offer Hope Not Criticism

There is a story of a man who killed himself, he was valued by so many yet he was his biggest critic. That self-criticism was his undoing, he believed utterly in that voice and chose to escape it. Leaving people shocked and confused.

I belief in an afterlife, that there is something more, other, liminal. I do not think we are the sum of our psychology, intellect or physicality. I do not believe as the church once did that if you end your own life you go to hell. 

When Jesus walked the earth, he vanquished that kind of consuming torment, he brought liberation and hope. So I wonder if for that poor soul who can only do one thing to escape themselves or their situation, whether that is to jump across the chasm  from this life. I believe they leap into a better place a, a space that Jesus prepares. Where torment is no more, and peace resides.

There are organisations that do amazing jobs with people who wish to end things, there are many successes, but possibly just as many tragedies. So today why not resolve to be the difference.

You don’t know who or what might be going on behind the backdrop of someones eyes, or  their    smile.  Behind those eyes, could be all kinds of darkness, self loathing and shame. Let us love our neighbour in such away that God might use us to vanquish the darkness, or walk the lonely journey with those who are trying to make sense of the question beginning with the word, why.

Finally if its you who is on the edge as it were. Know that you are known, you name your personhood is valued and has value, both in this life and the one to come. I pray that help will come. 

Last times Post: How To Pray Bruce Almighty Style

Similar Themes:

looking back and seeing Jesus

Overcoming Darkness

 

 

 

 

 

“They say I am going to Hell”

It’s day one of a few days off, and as I was walking down the mall at my favourite shopping centre, I over heard from inside a shop (lush,) (that sells soaps and bath things) two colleagues speaking.

What caught my attention in the seconds it took to pass their shop was the comment, “they say I am going to Hell.” I carried on walking maybe got a 100 yards when something in my gut compelled me to turn around and head back to that shop, I had to let them know, that not all Christians think their going to hell that god loves all people no matter who you are or where you have been.

I wondered round the shop, wondering how to begin, and smiled inwardly when the aforementioned shops colleague asked, are you on a mission for something! And I began, and what emerged was a good conversation, we talked about the media, philosophy, religion, sexuality, and the policy’s of the shop he proudly worked with.

This openly gay man said he felt sorry for people who opposed the bill in parliament, that more than anything it was a step in the right direction for equality, he realised that the media had hyped it up, that whilst not being religious, he did believe in God, who I reminded him loved him. A little while later I left. Feeling that today I had served The Lord, perhaps helped someone realise that sometimes our prejudices define our religion rather than the other way around.

Its interesting also, that when I am on my holiday, and my mind is not full of meeting, and to do lists, I hear Gods call, and have the time to actually do what he wants me to do. Tell a people who in the words of the man I spoke with, feel marginalised, and feel that yesterday was a step in the right direction for equality above any other politics or religious rhetoric. Sentiment I think Jesus would whole heartedly punched the air and said yes with.

I do wrestle with how this will be worked out in practice, but feel I need to draw close to the one who declares that there is no one who can escape the love of God slave or free. A love that we see so clearly in the actions of Jesus, who touched the leppors, welcomed the women, and when to tea with outcasts calling each to follow him.

To conclude, I live in a country that is religiously marginalised, I work for a church that is shrinking, and so societal changes have a more direct influence on us, and give us something to wrestle with, perhaps differently than if I lived in a nation where what I believe is not a marginalised view point.

Lord let me seek you
Lord let me hear you
Lord renew my mind and heart, instep with yours.

Amen

Facebook offers eternal life!

Recently in my preaching I have been reminding people of their place in heaven (eg that they have one). In funerals I talk of the room Jesus prepares, a room of peace, healing and eternally in Gods presence.

Whilst on Facebook, I read a status update on a page of a colleague of mine, who used to work for Samaritans with me. I hadn’t heard from my Facebook friend for sometime, and began to read her sisters post, and as I read, I discovered something, that actually my friend died over a year ago. I knew she had been ill but hadn’t realised how ill. The post itself finished simply “stating another Christmas without you! Missing you.”

I saw Facebook in a new way, it offers those of faith and of none, a place to hold onto a loved one, speaking to them, in some kind of digital eternity. If I didn’t believe in heaven, this would be a source of comfort, to help me hold onto them.

But the heaven of the bible is not a kind of digital status chamber. It’s living, in a new way, its I believe, vibrant and colourful, we become fully as god intended, we are made whole. We won’t be stuck with ageing bodies but ones that are new and eternally ageless. I am reassured that scripture doesn’t say anything about eternal church services, heavenly worship will be so much more, much much more.

Turning off your beloveds Facebook or Twitter account, or the digital footprint they leave behind, has become one of those big decisions, like when to get rid of their clothes. Or delete their emails.

Holding onto the digital footprint of your loved one has the potential to be helpful and destructive, holding onto God as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and trusting eternal designs to him. Is where I find peace, for my friend who died, and for those whom I miss.

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