OPEN HEAVENS Devotional – Wednesday February 24th 2016
TOPIC: HEAVEN: ARE YOU PREPARED?
Read: 2nd Timothy 4:6-8,
6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Bible in one year: Luke 19:28-21:24, Job 28:7-19
In the Bible, the word ‘Heaven’ is often used in three ways: to describe a physical part of the universe which is above the sky, the prevailing condition whenever God reigns in the affairs of men, and the invisible dwelling place of God, also known as paradise. Today’s devotional focuses on the need to prepare for heaven, the dwelling place of God, and what such a preparation entails.
First, the Bible presents heaven as the dwelling place of God, where His manifest presence is a permanent feature, as He is the only source of light there. Because of the constant presence of God in heaven, it is a place of extreme joy and peace. Heaven is also a place of recognition, reward, celebration, and total rest from trouble. Holiness is the only acceptable currency in heaven.
Several passages of the Bible stress life’s mystery and brevity using two vivid metaphors of “a fading flower or withering grass” and “a swiftly passing shadow”. That life offers little joy, peace and satisfaction is well known even to children. Also, all human beings are familiar with the progressive labour, pain, insecurity, sorrow, and disappointments that we all have to endure as long as we are alive. Furthermore, the concepts of death and the afterlife presented in the Bible reveals the God had purposely packaged heaven as the final destination for all humans that pass the entrance examination. John 14:2-3 says:
“In my father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
This is an expression of God’s love and mercy to all human beings. Out of this everlasting love, the Almighty God has convincingly and systematically revealed His eternal plans and purposes to humanity, about how we are created to start our lives here on earth for the singular purpose of doing the perfect will of God. This is to enable us live our lives in ways that honour God in all things, for the ultimate goal of spending eternity with Him in heaven. Therefore, the above passage makes it very clear that heaven is being specially prepared only for those who are prepared to do whatever it takes to enter. I therefore pray that God will help our preparations and graciously admit us into heaven in Jesus’ name.
Now, Matthew 19:23 says that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven, not because riches and wealth are evil, nor because heaven was made only for the poor, but because the typical characteristics of affluent people are contrary to the will of God. Such behaviours include pride and confidence in human wisdom, fame, achievements, money, and power. Anyone found with these will not enter into heaven. The truth is; Jesus extends the promise of heaven to all who come to Him by faith without classifications such as financial status, gender, age, culture or nationality. Matthew 18:3 says except a person is converted and becomes a little child in faith, total submission and obedience to the will of God, he or she will not enter into heaven. Finally, Matthew 7:21 says, not all churchgoers will be admitted into heaven, but only those that operate in the will of God. The big question is, are you prepared for heaven?
Father, please whatever will make me miss heaven; take it out of my life in Jesus’ name.