Wednesday, June 24, 2015

There WILL be tears in heaven

He will wipe away every tear form their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there
be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
Revelation 21: 4

Well, I am about to do something quite questionable, I am about to go against scripture.
Let me, therefore, preface this blog with an affirmation that I believe in my heart that
the scriptures are breathed out by God, are immutable and completely accurate. I
believe that they are living truth and that they are absolutely important!

That being said, since this is the blog-o-sphere, I will choose to write that tears
of joy will be prevalent in heaven, a place that we really know so little about and which
is revealed only in sparseness. Jesus actually speaks more of Hell, in His three year
ministry than He does about heaven. Regardless, I have several reasons why there
will be abundant tears of absolute joy when we die and are met by Christ along the way

That, in itself, is reason one! I simply cannot imagine coming face to face with the Lord,
the one who hung upon that tree, cursed, without tears flowing from our eyes and our
hearts. Dry eyes? C'mon now.

To see loved ones that we have missed since their passing, family members and friends
that we loved, will be a very emotional moment. The relationships we have with them
may be different, but out love for them and our memories of times with them, will generate feelings of profound relief in seeing them, and joy in being reunited.

To be in a state of freedom from sin, oh how that will feel! It will be the end of a constant
battleground, one which we simply cannot leave until we are truly victorious over death
and this earthly life. Jesus did it all on that cross, and His Resurrection affirmed His
conquest over sin, death and the evil one!

Then there is the fact that we will have turned the corner from faith, provided
by God to the realization that we have, indeed arrived at our home with the very
God who created us and whose love has successfully completed out time in
this broken world.

pass those tissues, please. Cry I will and cry I shall because what could be
more appropriate for the generation of tears than the love of this God?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Celestial celebration over you

"   I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over
one sinner who repents."  Luke 15

There are three wonderful, consecutive parables in the Gospel of Luke that
I will call "recovery" parables. In each, something of value as either been lost
or has walked away. Each of these items, a lost sheep, a stone and the prodigal
son has a great value to the one who has lost it. In each case, the return of
the item causes great celebration over its recovery.

In a very real way, each of us is a lost sheep. Sheep are animals that do
not do so well on their own. They have the tendency to become lost, disoriented,
weak; they are subject to disease, poison plants, predators, and without
their shepherd, can be in such trouble that even death can result. We were
lost in sin, blind to out situations and dead to sinfulness before we were
recovered by our Lord Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd. Our chances of
being saved, of being seen as righteous before a Holy God, of being able to stand in His presence, were zero.

Like the prodigal son, we had turned our backs on God determined to strike
out on our own, taking an eternal inheritance and squandering it in our pride
and self-assurance. Our situations, like his, were not what we had imagined they
would become. Like the father in the parable, God has welcomed us back,
even to the point of celebration over our recovery as one valuable to the
Living God. Through He is totally against sin, He has compassion and
love for His created and a willingness to reach out, hoping that we will

The Day of the Lord is at hand when all will stand judgement; yet, He waits
until the exact right time, hoping that as many as possible will hear the voice
of the shepherd and respond in repentance and belief.

What a wonderful awesome God He is!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Those closet bones

My best friend, now in heaven, was a wonderful history teacher in Worthington, Ohio for many years. If you had been able to visit his classroom, there you would have seen a
teacher desk and to its right, a chair. In that chair was a full-sized replica of a human skeleton. Around its neck was a sign which read, "George talked." Such was his great way to handle discipline with a little humor.

Well I have a closet full of skeletons; the fact is that a very fine archaeological dig could
be done with that pile of bones. You know those terrible memories that the evil one dredges up to make us doubt, bring us guilt and play with our sense of spiritual security.

If you will allow, let me take you back to a most terrible day in the temple courts, a day
when Jesus, our Lord, had been handed over, was being 'tried' and on His way to death
by crucifixion. I will paraphrase rather than quote scripture, but you know the story and can look up the text.

Simon Peter has kept his word and followed the Lord into the temple grounds, not too close, but there, at least. He is warming his hands by a fire when he is approached by a woman who identifies him as being with Christ. You know the backdrop. Jesus had told the twelve that He would be taken, beaten and killed; yet Peter, as we have come to know Him, refuses to believe that they will all fall away and exclaims that he will not deny the Lord. Jesus
had assured him that at the rooster crow, he will have already denied the Lord three times.

Jesus is the last great prophet so things work out just as He has said. There, in the gospel
of Luke, their eyes meet at the moment of final denial. How terribly heart breaking for
Peter; yet, I believe he would have found compassion in Jesus' glance for Jesus loved
Peter despite his ways.

Later, in one of my favorite moments, as Peter and companions are fishing without
success, a Man on the shore suggests moving the nets and things change. Peter dives
into the sea to meet His Master and the wonderful three-fold questions are asked. Do 
you love me, Simon? It's a wonderful reaffirmation from out wonderful Lord.

So what is my point? Those skeletons in the closet, the ones ready for the dig, are
not even close to what Jesus forgave on that beach that day. In fact, in my mind
and heart, I have placed a sign around those bones that reads, Forgiven by my King.

God is truly great!