Saturday, July 11, 2015

Focusing on Heaven


Images like this are but a taste of what God has in store for us.  
What do you focus your life on?  For me, I have come to realize that the ultimate happiness in the world comes from the Lord, our creator.  He has a promise for all of us that if we follow His precious son, we will inherit the gift of eternal life.  We will be able to bask in His glory for all eternity.  Can you imagine?  An eternity in Heaven?  A place where there is no sickness.  A place where we do not have to fear death?  Where the most beautiful places we can't even imagine spread forth before us?   Where we have an infinite universe to explore and learn about for an unending period of time?

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  (Revelation 21:4)
I think it sounds amazing, don't you?

Sadly, while this thought is very pleasing for most, many do not focus on God enough.  Many are content with going to church once a week and cracking open the Bible when told which verse they should read by a pastor.  God is everywhere and He has such an interest in the lives of all, yet so many are not interested in Him.  Or, if they are, it's only a fleeing interest that disappears when their favorite television show comes on the air.

Many people say that they want to be in Heaven, but their actions tell another story.  If asked, they say that they believe in Jesus and are happy for what he has done for them, but also take the stance that life in the world is meant to be enjoyed in ways that are not in harmony with the Lord.  Ask yourself: "Would I do what I do here in Heaven?"  If the answer is "no," you should not be doing it here on Earth.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8).
Many have turned from God and replace Him with things of this world such as drugs, alcohol, entertainment, strange vices, gambling, television, games, and other distractions that have nothing in them that could be called Holy.  Instead of reading the Bible, taking in the meanings, and contemplating the things that Jesus has done for us, many would rather let their mind be distracted on silly things that have no real place in the life of a Christian.  It may sound harsh to you, but watching people kill each other or smoking marijuana is not going to open any doors to the promised land.   And just because something is legal does not make it right in God's eyes.  Are you starting to hear me?

There is much beauty in the world - but it does not compare to the beauty that will exist on the New Earth.
We are to savor the things that God has given us.  There is a lot on this Earth that points towards Heaven, and we should savor those things.  We are given the ability to create.  What can we create that points to our Lord?  We have been given nature in its glory.  Although nature is disappearing, there is still areas for us to explore and behold.  We have been given the ability to comfort others and spread God's love.  Many of us have children that long to spend time with us.  We have stories about our lives that we can share with others.  We have been given the ability to reason - why not pick up the Bible and use our minds and go deep into our imagination, allowing us to understand more deeply the stories of Noah, Adam and Eve, Jesus and the disciples, or the patriarchs and prophets?

Every day the world slips further and further away from what Heaven will be like. We are to come out from the world and partake in a Godly life. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:17). Gay marriage has overtaken the news, and if you do not believe in gay marriage, you are told that you are a hate-monger. Marijuana has become legal all over the United States, and while it may have some health benefits in the plant itself, smoking marijuana, just like smoking cigarettes, is not healthy in the slightest. Remember: What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19).   People are arguing about what rights others should have.  Freedoms are being lost and fought for every day.  We are growing so materialistic and prideful that all we think about is fashion, new devices, technology, and ways to pacify ourselves while showing off to the rest of the world.  Everyone is involved in a war over being popular, "liked," and looking better and feeling smarter than everyone else.   Many spend years in college only to rack up debt and find that their degrees are useless in society.  Greed has overtaken the world - money is on the minds of the masses - and people will do just about anything to have more and more money, no matter how rich they are.  Look around you - people are sick and dying while others live in opulent mansions that cost tens of millions of dollars - and many don't even seem to care about their fellow human beings!  Jesus said "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15).

Places like this on Earth are a fantasy for many - on the New Earth, the entire earth will be covered in far greater.
We are to focus our time and our minds on the things of the Lord. We should be spending time daily meditating on God, Heaven, Jesus, and things that go beyond the cares of this world. Why spend your days building up treasures on a planet where death is the end result, where vice and crime run rampant, where greed permeates like a rampant disease, and where pride and envy fight like beasts? Why not come out of the world and walk as Christ did? Can you truly say you are better than that? If not in words, look to your deeds? Pray that the Lord will guide your mind, to help you know right from wrong, and to let you focus on the eternal prize. Ask the Lord to remove unnecessary want from your life and to be content and thankful for the things that you have been blessed with. Ask Him to take away your want to partake in senseless and violent entertainment and speculation, and instead, fill your heart and mind with the things that are pure and Holy. Open your Bible again and begin to understand just how amazing of a book it is. No other book or form of media comes remotely close.

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