Tag Archives: heaven

Thankfulness for the Unseen

Once again it’s Thanksgiving time, and I’m immersing myself in the festivities. I love to cook and find myself busy planning the menu and purchasing the plethora of groceries. When the actual day of cooking comes, though, I sometimes wonder, “What was I thinking?” as I buckle down in the kitchen. Yet, it’s usually with a smile on my face.

Thankfulness for the UnseenOn Thanksgiving Day many of us will share around the table with our family and friends for what we’re thankful. As we go from person to person, I’ll hear gratitude for freedom to worship; thankfulness for spouses, children, and grandchildren; and the blessings of a comfortable home, good health, and safety. We have so many blessings and I’m grateful for all God has done and provided.

But these are the obvious, visible things. I’ve been thinking about thankfulness for what’s on the other side, and by this, I mean the unseen. 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV) states, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

My finite mind finds it easy to comprehend the blessings I can see, but scripture cautions us, as these are temporal. This includes our family, friends, and health.

The unseen blessings are the eternal ones, and they spring from a life submitted to and committed to Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. The apostle Paul declares, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3, NIV)

As we live our lives of faith and obedience to Him we become more like Him. Some days are easier than others are, as certainly, complications and difficulties arise in life. Often when I feel like escaping due to life’s pressures and demands, it’s challenging to hold on. And, when we perform our roles at home and in work, service, and ministry, we may find ourselves wondering where the applause is. Where is the “attagirl” encouragement for jobs well done here on earth? That’s when I have to remember to lift my eyes to heaven, not allowing them to be dimmed.

We don’t perform for an audience here, but rather for what lies beyond and is of eternal significance.

That gives me hope. And so, this Thanksgiving I’m thankful for God’s many blessings, but even more so, for what is still to come.

Father God, Thank you for your hand of mercy and grace in my life, and I praise you for your generous blessings. I also want to acknowledge and thank you for your assurance of what lies beyond and is unseen—spiritual blessings in Christ of eternal riches and significance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Truths:

Psalm 100:4 (NIV): “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”

Colossians 1:3-5 (NLT): “We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.”

Hebrews 12:28 (NIV): “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”

1 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV): “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you.”

© 2016 APearlofGreatValue.org. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Archived Devotions, Fall 2016

Make Your Reservation

As I’ve thought further about my earlier post and the beauty of the Augusta National Golf Club, I’m reminded of John 14:2.cloud-593161_640 “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” Heaven is real and our Lord has prepared a special place for each of us who trust in and call on Him as Lord and Savior. The beauty will be indescribable–make sure you put in your reservation.

There’s only one way to reserve your special place in heaven. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

 

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Filed under Archived Blog Posts, Spring 2016

And Heaven Will Be Even Better

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Sacred and hallowed aptly describe the unfolding beauty I see when I walk upon the grounds of the Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Golf Tournament. If you’re not a golfer, please bear with me, but this is an extraordinary experience. We’ve been privileged to have been there twice now, four years ago and once again earlier this week. As I catch my breath, amazed at all I see, I can only imagine how much better heaven will be. All this will pale in comparison.

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Filed under Archived Blog Posts, Spring 2016

Am I Trading Heavenly Treasures for Earthly Ones?

cutlery-22483_640I sighed as I went through a relative’s old silver. Looking at the many different pieces, I saw the special and varied memories tied up into each individual item. Stories could be told of the dinner parties, women’s luncheons, and other different events in which they played a role. What types of guests had this silver served? What tales did they overhear? The pieces display beautiful craftsmanship and contain a rich history, but I contemplated the truth that when our lives are over, these things remain behind.

Donna Tartt, in her novel The Goldfinch, aptly states, “. . . well, he was a person like us, he got attached to objects, they had personalities and souls to him . . . .” Scripture cautions us, however, “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 moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21, NIV)

As women who love the Lord, God calls us to carefully balance worldly goods and His riches. We appreciate the beauty and comfort our earthly treasures bring us, but we know they cannot possess us. Rather, Christ and His abundance should consume us. What are Christ’s treasures? The multitude of His treasures include a spirit of kindness, humility, goodness, love, fortitude, honesty—attributes which are important building blocks in a Christian’s life and witness. These are as gold, silver, and gemstones; moth and rust will not destroy them.

For the majority of us, a continual struggle plays out to ensure the things of this earth do not dominate us. In my own life, it has helped me to tastefully furnish my home, but not clutter it with objects, to give away clothing when I purchase new apparel, and to set spending limits when it comes to gift giving or major purchases. Often, I take cash to the store and when none remains, it’s time to stop shopping. It’s that simple. Be creative and ask God to search your heart concerning this, and trust the Holy Spirit to convict you and lead you in the direction He desires for your life. Relax, and enjoy what God has allowed you to possess, but continue to ask for His guidance to keep your heart free from encumbrances and to lay up your treasures in heaven.

Father God, help me to have a thankful spirit for all you have provided and to be content. I ask you to search my heart and show me where I’m trusting in things of this earth rather than in your riches. Help me to follow your way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Truths:

Luke 12:34 (NIV): “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Proverbs 10:2 (NIV): “Ill-gotten treasures are of no value, but righteousness delivers from death.”

1 Timothy 6:10 (NIV): “In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

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Filed under Archived Devotions, Winter 2016/2017