Posts Tagged ‘God’

Jesus taught that how we live on earth has bearing on what we will have in heaven.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
(Mat 6:19-21 NASB)

Now, this is a bit controversial, and I thought like a lot of people until I read works by Randy Alcorn and began looking at the Scriptures more closely. Many have the view that when we all get to heaven, we will all be the same. We will all have the same reward and the same level of knowledge. While we are all saved by grace, their are different levels of reward in heaven based upon the way we live our lives here. We will not be condemned for our bad works, but our works will be judged. Paul wrote the following to the Corinthians.

Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
(1Co 3:12-15 NASB)

So, we see that there will be a difference.  How we live and minister now will have eternal consequences.  Therefore, we should approach decisions and life asking if what we are doing or may do will have lasting, eternal significance.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember who exactly said it, but someone once pointed out that there are three things that will last for eternity: God, His Word, and the souls of people.  In as much as we invest our lives in those three things, we have invested our lives in something of eternal significance.


Read Full Post »

For the next few posts that, I want to write about having an eternal perspective. Randy Alcorn has written extensively on this subject. His ministry’s website and his blog are great resources for further study and thought. His book, Heaven, has helped many grow in their understanding of how thinking about eternity can help them in living the Christian life in the here and now. While I am not certain of everything in the book, I can not deny the plausibility of anything that he writes.

I’ve had a couple of people express to me the fear that heaven will be boring. These verses (and many more in scripture) make heaven sound anything but boring. In fact I believe that based on these verses not looking forward to heaven or thinking it is boring is a sin that cripples our service and worship. Notice the verses in bold type:

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.
(Heb 12:22-29 NASB)

When we meditate on all that heaven will be, the price paid to open the door for us and the glory of God that we will know there, it will stir us to have greater gratitude toward God. Our living will be an act of worship as we obey God with reverence and awe.

Read Full Post »

This quote from J.C. Ryle reminds us that Jesus is still very active at the right hand of God.

While I am not as big a fan of snow as I was as a child, Randy Alcorn apparently is. He reminds us to view things in this world with an eternal perspective.

Joshua Harris talks about the discipline of journaling which is something that I did more of last year and hope to make a stronger habit this year.

Read Full Post »

J.I. Packer wrote the following in the introduction to In My Place Condemned He Stood: Celebrating the Glory of the Atonement co-authored by him and Mark Dever. Just before these words he explained the atoning work of Christ as an act involving the entire God-head and then follows with this counter to those who criticize the idea of Jesus dying to receive the wrath of God in our place.

Since all this was planned by the holy Three in their eternal solidarity of mutual love, and since the Father’s central purpose in it all was and is to glorify the Son as Savior and Head of a new humanity, smartypants notions like “divine child abuse” as a comment on the cross are supremely silly and as irreverent and wrong as they could possibly be.

I am sure that some find this offensive, but before someone calls J.I. Packer unloving, it should be noted that he is attacking the idea and not the people who hold them. Also, can we argue with the logic? If Scripture teaches that Jesus atoned for God’s wrath, and I believe based on Scriptural evidence that it does, it follows that it is “silly” to disagree with God and say anything else. I would go beyond irreverent, and say it is close to blasphemous to call the greatest act of divine love ever expressed “divine child abuse.”

I have just started reading this book. It is has been very good thus far, and I am looking forward to reading the rest.

Read Full Post »

Andrew Murray dealt with the importance of a right understanding of God and His nature as we pray. He particularly dealt with the seeming conflict between God’s perfection and sovereignty and the influence of our prayers.

In the New Testament we find a distinction made between faith and knowledge. ‘To one is given, through the Spirit, the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; to another faith, in the same Spirit.’ In a child or a simple-minded Christian there may be much faith with little knowledge. Childlike simplicity accepts the truth without difficulty, and often cares little to give itself or others any reason for its faith but this: God has said. But it is the will of God that we should love and serve Him, not only with all the heart but also with all the mind; that we should grow up into an insight into the Divine wisdom and beauty of all His ways and words and works. It is only thus that the believer will be able fully to approach and rightly to adore the glory of God’s grace; and only thus that our heart can intelligently apprehend the treasures of wisdom and knowledge there are in redemption, and be prepared to enter fully into the highest note of the song that rises before the throne: ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!’

He writes letter on in the lesson, “This perfect harmony and union of Divine Sovereignty and human liberty is to us an unfathomable mystery, because God as THE ETERNAL ONE transcends all our thoughts. But let it be our comfort and strength to be assured that in the eternal fellowship of the Father and the Son, the power of prayer has its origin and certainty, and that through our union with the Son, our prayer is taken up and can have its influence in the inner life of the Blessed Trinity. God’s decrees are no iron framework against which man’s liberty would vainly seek to struggle. No. God Himself is the Living Love, who in His Son as man has entered into the tenderest relation with all that is human, who through the Holy Spirit takes up all that is human into the Divine life of love, and keeps Himself free to give every human prayer its place in His government of the world.

Read Full Post »

I read the book of Haggai the other day and thought about the implications of it.  When David wanted to build a temple God asked, “Did I ever ask for a house?”  When Solomon built the temple, he realized that it could not contain God.  So why does God tell the people to get busy on the temple in Haggai’s day or their lives would get even worse?

The reason is that they had misplaced their priorities.  They were focused on their own lives rather than the greater things of God.  They focused on the temporal rather than the eternal.  God wants us to have our priorities straight and to focus on those things that have eternal value and consequences.  God did not need a temple, but He did want first place in the lives of the people.  This truth found in Haggai has me thinking about the place I have given Him in my life.  What do my priorities reveal about who or what I consider important in my life?

Read Full Post »

The ninth lesson deals with Jesus’ instruction to pray that the Father sends laborers.

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
(Mat 9:37-38 NASB)

Andrew Murray gave two reasons that Christians fail to pray for laborers for the harvest fields.  One was that, “We miss the compassion of Jesus, which gave rise to this request for prayer.”  He wrote that Christians do not see the perishing ones around us as a “charge entrusted to them by the Lord.”  The point is that we must have the same compassion for those lost without a shepherd that Jesus did.  The second reason that He gave is that we lack faith.  Murray believed that this would be overcome as our compassion moves us to pray anyway.  He wrote, “O let us pray for a life so with Christ, that His compassion may stream into us, and He Spirit be able to assure us that our prayer avails.”

The question nagging at me is, “Do I have the same compassion that Christ had for those around Him?”  As I look at my life, the answer is obviously not.  As I look at the church as a whole, I have to wonder about the rest as well.  I fear that we think of the lost around us more as an inconvenience than as objects in need of compassion.  They are people who get in our way because they think differently from us. They keep us from having our communities the way that we want them to be.  They disagree with our political agenda. Our only option is to convince them to think as we do, and this is what drives our evangelism.

However, Jesus was driven by compassion and love for the lost sheep, and He desires his laborers to be driven by the same. Jesus instructed His disciples to pray for laborers and then sent them out as laborers.  As we pray for laborers and His compassion fills us, I think that we, too, will be driven into the harvest fields by the same love and compassion that filled Him.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »