Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Daily Reading: (Revelation 21:1-4):

“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

The question that maybe you have thought of before is, “how can I pray big bold Kingdom prayers, God’s will on Earth as it is in Heaven?” What I mean when I say “big bold Kingdom prayers” is the King’s reign being our experience on Earth today. Instead of longing for the future, may a better understanding of what God is preparing us for in the future have an enormous impact on our present-day lives.

“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea” (Revelation 21:1).

Every time I share Revelation 21:1 I feel like the grandfather in the movie Princess Bride, who reads a surprising plot twist in the story which leaves his grandson dumbfounded. The first Heaven and Earth passed away? It puts a new outlook on the mindset that we better sacrifice everything we have to save our planet. I am not saying that we shouldn’t be good stewards of God’s creation, but all the efforts we make to protect or preserve the planet and trusting in man to save things need to be rethought in light of this verse. We don’t have to worry even when things get worse on our planet, God is bringing about a new Heaven and Earth. We should make efforts to lessen our negative impact on the planet for now but ultimately the first Heaven and Earth will pass away in the end.

“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).

You mean Heaven is going to be literally on Earth? Yes! Heaven will be here. He’s not sending us to Heaven for all eternity, He’s bringing Heaven to Earth.

The earth will not be the same as it was, it will be even better. 

Part of the gift of Heaven on Earth is that we all experience this together. We aren’t going to hear about it second hand from Peter and Paul and Moses and any other saint who went before us. The world as we know it that is marred by sin is done away with “ the first earth had passed away” and I “saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven” (Revelation 21:1-2).

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

I totally understand we are longing for a time where there will be no more sickness, no more sadness as the old things, the terrible things we are experiencing now are gone. My five-year-old asked me a question a few months ago, she said, “why did God create sickness?” I love the mind of my little girl. I told her He didn’t. You see even a five-year-old has the sense within her that things are not as they should be. Why would God…? Haven’t we all asked similar questions before? God didn’t create sickness, man brought it about because of giving into Satan’s temptation. The world before sin was a paradise. It was the Garden of Eden where they had everything they would ever need and God walked with them and talked with them. We are progressing to the time where there will be no more sickness or death and it will be as it was before sin.

God being with us what does it accomplish in Revelation 21? We are comforted (wipes the tears), He removes our sadness. There is no more death, crying or pain. In Heaven our new bodies will not grow old, be weary, tired, or in pain.

Did you know that healing and restoration are available even today.

God didn’t just leave us to ourselves in the world today. He is with us even now (Matthew 28:20). King David learned and he wrote the following in Psalm 30:11: “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.” Or in Psalm 16:11 “Thy presence is fullness of joy.” Did David write this from beyond the grave? Was he writing from experiencing being in Paradise on the other side of eternity?  No! What this means is right now, the Kingdom emotions of joy and peace, being comforted and even having our pain removed can be our experience now. Healing is available not just on the other side of eternity, but is available to us in Jesus’ name.

Let our lives be living testimonies of the transformative power of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. When bad things come upon us, may we speak out by faith the promises that God has made to us. We will find joy in God’s presence, and He will turn our mourning into joy. 

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Grace Has Come

Grace Has Come

Daily Reading: (Luke 2:10-11):

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord”

“Don’t be afraid”, let us start there. The angel realizes that his presence among the shepherds has startled them and caused them to be afraid.  Shepherds were tough characters who encountered a lot of dangerous predators. Predators mostly attack at night. So, when the angel appears they would have already been on high alert. Scripture says in Luke 2:8: “shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night” when all of a sudden out of nowhere in the darkness of night this is what happens next, an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.”The Greek word for terrified is “phobeo” and it is where we get the English word “phobia” from. Take a moment and think about what kinds of things in the past year have unexpectedly entered your life that caused you to be afraid.

The angels had a word to remove their fear, a message of love and one of grace. This same word will deliver you from all of your fears. “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” It is the Good News, the Gospel that will remove your fear and the Gospel is for “all people” (Luke 2:10).

The Gospel will drive out fear. Most of our fears come out of a newfound need. I have a health situation with the need to be healed. I have bad news that has come from a family member, they have a need for a new job.  Someone broke into our home, I am afraid it will happen again, there is a need for security. The announcement is that when Jesus arrived, grace has come. When we go back to Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.” “Peace has come to earth!” Jesus Christ is the way to peace.

Whatever you need, grace has come so that you might not lack any good thing. “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things” (Romans 8:32). Hebrews 4:16 has become your opportunity: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

It is so hard to believe that God’s favor rests upon you and your life, when troubling things happen. When bad happens to you, listen to those angelic words, “do not be afraid.” Romans 8:28 says, “And we know…”, there is something that we know and believe in and can trust. While we don’t know what will happen to us in our daily lives as James 4:14 says that “you do not even know what will happen tomorrow” and that is why bad news can catch us off guard. Paul says, “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God. There will not be an absence of trouble in life, Jesus told His disciples “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Fear may enter in, but we can join the company of the heavenly hosts and praise God. We can have peace in trouble because Jesus has given us His peace.

May Christmas fill you with joy, grace has come! Whatever it is that you need, the greatest gift, Jesus Christ is your supply. Do not fear whenever bad things happen, for God’s favor is upon you, you are highly favored by God and so all things will work together for your good. Praise God in every situation because Christ is with you and He gives you the victory.