Tag Archives: heaven

Going the Distance

“Reluctantly crouched at the starting line,
Engines pumping and thumping in time.
The green light flashes, the flags go up.
Churning and burning, they yearn for the cup.
They deftly maneuver and muscle for rank,
Fuel burning fast on an empty tank.
Reckless and wild, they pour through the turns.
Their prowess is potent and secretly stearn.
As they speed through the finish, the flags go down.
The fans get up and they get out of town.
The arena is empty except for one man,
Still driving and striving as fast as he can.
The sun has gone down and the moon has come up,
And long ago somebody left with the cup.
But he’s driving and striving and hugging the turns.
And thinking of someone for whom he still burns

He’s going the distance…”

Do you recognize those lyrics?  It’s the beginning of Cake’s song called “The Distance.”  It used to be one of my favorite songs because of the song’s funky style.  You need to check it out, but beware… the chorus WILL get stuck in your head.  He’s going the distance…He’s going for speed…

This morning, I was flipping through pages in my Bible, just looking around, and I noticed something.  The theme of endurance is all throughout it.  Romans 15:5 even calls God the “God of endurance and encouragement.”  Here’s part of that passage starting in verse 1:

“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.  Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up…that through the endurance and encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope.  May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.” Romans 15:1-2, 4-5

Sometimes we can be like the man in Cake’s song.  Someone may have already won the cup in a worldly race, but we must keep on with endurance for the reward that we have in Heaven with Jesus Christ. (See 1 Corinthians 9:24-25)

Let’s yearn…. Let’s go the distance

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A Lizard Taught Me to Have Faith This Morning

Do you ever feel like you are a stranger in your own homeland?

This morning when I walking into the hallway, I saw a critter on the floor.  At first, I thought that it was a dustball being moved by the moving air from when I opened my bedroom door.  When I put my glasses on though, I saw that it wasn’t dust but that it was a baby lizard instead.

Knowing me and the animal/critter lover that I am, I said, “Oh!  A new pet!” but then I remember that I was living in a house full of 50+ women and thought against that idea.

And so, I got a small, Styrofoam cup and scooped it up with the assistance of a napkin.  After grossing out on of my sorority sisters with the news that I had caught a lizard outside of her bedroom door, I took it downstairs and out into the yard.

While I was doing all of this, one thought came to my mind: this little guy is a stranger in search of the way back home.

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on earth.  For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland… As it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”    -Hebrews 11:13, 14, 16

We were created to desire a better country, a heavenly one.  So have faith!  Even when you feel like you are an exile, even when you feel like a stranger, remember that God has prepared a place for those that remain steadfast in their faith.

Even as an exile, remain faithful.  Have faith!

When creation no longer groans…

Do you ever wonder what nature will look like in heaven?


Yesterday, I was laying in my hammock out in the middle of someone’s farm– I mean, there was no “No Trespassing!” sign, so I figured it was okay……

Anyways!

I was laying in my really neat hammock just listening to the birds sing and feeling the wind blow through the parachute material of it.  In other words, I was simply enjoying just being out in God’s creation, which to me, seemed perfect besides the poison ivy growing right on the ground all around me.  I had to tiptoe through it as if walking through a mine field in order to set up my hammock.

Just about the time that I began thinking about how perfect everything was around me–besides the poison ivy, of course–I remembered a passage in Romans.  In Romans 8, Paul says that all creation has been in “bondage to decay” ever since the day that sin entered the world (Romans 8:19-22).  This passage made me ask myself, If this scene is groaning from being frustrated by sin, then how amazing will it be when Heaven comes with Jesus?

All I could say to answer that question was, “Woah!  I hope God has hammocks in heaven because I can’t wait to experience this in heaven!”

As a Christian, we believe that Jesus Christ died on a cross, becoming the curse of the Law itself in order that we might receive the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21, Galatians 3:13).  This belief is what saves us, allowing us to have what God has created us for: eternal life with Him (John 3:16, John 16:22).

Go out into the world today and praise God for giving you (as a Christian) the promise of an even more amazing creation to surround us once we finally reach heaven!  After all, when creation is no longer groaning, that will be the day when we receive “adoption as sons and the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23).

Loving In Action

Do you ever have those moments, when you just want to stomp your feet and whine, saying, “Well, what if I don’t want to do it?!”

Well, I’ve been having some of those moments for the past few days.  Someone left a drink full of liquid in our trashcan.  On top of that, trash was pilled over the rim that when I tried to take the bag out, trash fell out.  Then, the bag leaked…everywhere.  Dishes had been left in the sink again.  Most other times when I’ve cleaned the sink, I have hardly ever gotten a word of thanks.  I said in my head, “Well, these aren’t my dirty dishes, and I took the trash out last so somebody else can do it.”

But then, I remembered the story of Jesus washing His disciples feet.

“It was just before the Passover Feast.  Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.  Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love” (John 13:1).

So Jesus began to wash their feet.  After having taken off his outer clothing, He knelt down and washed their feet with His hands (John 13:4-5).

Jesus has called us to love one another and to serve one another.  He has called us to love not just because we will receive “snaps” or “kudos” for being nice to each other, but because He loves us with a passion that burns inside of us.  It’s a passion that is so strong that we must share it with those around us.

“Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”

1 John 3:18

Jesus showed us the full extent of His love for us through His actions (John 13:1), so let’s do the same.  Let’s love one another through our actions. :)

Living with the Word in our mouthes and in our hearts

Whenever we read the Bible and hear God’s commandments, how often do we view them as being separate from who we are?  The Bible can become just that book we read on Sundays, and the Ten Commandments seem to be nothing more than a collection of old words like thou, hast, and shalt.  So often, thoughts like these fill my head, and I begin to think that parts of Christianity, especially parts in the Old Testament, aren’t relevant to me.

Just yesterday, I was reading in Deuteronomy, and I found this amazing passage about those misconceptions.  In the Message, Deuteronomy 30:11-12, 14 says,

“This commandment that I’m commanding you today isn’t too much for you, it’s not out of your reach.  It’s not on a high mountain–you don’t have to get mountaineers to climb the peak and bring it down to your level and explain it before you can live it.  And it’s not across the ocean–you don’t have to send sailors out to get it, bring it back, and then explain it to you before you can live it.  No.  The word is right here and now–as near as the tongue in your mouth, as near as the heart in your chest.  Just do it!”

Even more so than when Deuteronomy was written, every bit of the Word is relevant us.  John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God.”  With that being said, how could the Word not be relevant to us?  The Word is God!  And since the Word is God, that also means that God is in our mouths and in our hearts.  God is inside of us already!

Once we realize this, we see that God is committed to helping us follow His will.  He knows that it’s impossible for us to do it on our own; that’s why He sent Jesus Christ to fulfill the Law through dying on a cross for our sin.  He wants to help us follow His will so that we can experience the joy while worshiping with Him in our mouthes.  In our hearts filled with Him, we experience His amazing love and gifts of grace, more amazing than we could ever imagine.

Until the day that we live with God in His very presence, we have Him through the Word.  If that doesn’t make every bit of the Bible relevant to us, I don’t know what does…

Quick post in the midst of a study break….

Alright!  Here is a super duper quick post while I am taking a break from stacks of books and mounds of paper that should be in binders.

Keep your focus on God.

It’s that simple and yet that is your key to success.  Remember that Heaven is our ultimate destination, our place of desiring!

Here are some verses to read as a study/work/stressful moment break:

Romans 2:6-8

Romans 8:24-25

Romans 8:28

1 Corinthians 7:17

1 Corinthians 15:58

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

2 Corinthians 5:13-15

Look at these verses this morning and take a moment to let them wash over you.  How would your life change if you really took these to heart?  What about your life would look different if you actually lived by them?

I pray your day is filled with Sonshine,

Now if this graphic doesn't make you giggle or smile... well that could just mean that you didn't wake up before the sun rose to study...

Sarah :)