Heaven, Prayer & Devotion

Heaven is Jesus

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Here is a sobering truth: if you are a Christian, this earth is not your permanent home. We are pilgrims. We can join the ranks of the men and women of faith in Hebrews 11, who “acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth” (v. 13) and who “desired a better country, that is, a heavenly one” (v. 14). “Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city” (v. 14). There are many things we can look forward to: a milestone birthday, an anticipated vacation, or a long-awaited retirement. But, at best, these are merely earthly blessings, and though we can be grateful for them, there is something better.

I feel my grip on this earthly life tightening. Reminders from others, including fellow bloggers, about the dwelling place that Jesus is preparing for us in heaven have served to loosen that grip. In my previous post, Things Above, I shared a quote by C.S. Lewis that is worth mentioning again, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. . . . It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this” (Mere Christianity, chapter 10). God knows the number of my days here, and I can make the most of that time by keeping my eyes fixed on the hope to come.

This is my “heavenward” thought for today: Jesus. John Piper writes in his book, God is the Gospel, “The critical question for our generation—and for every generation— is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?” (p. 15). Surely, we can’t deny the excitement we have in fully experiencing the benefits of heaven, but we must start with the main thing. Let us remember, heaven is not heaven without Jesus Christ.

I attended a pastor’s funeral earlier this year. Everyone, who knew him, agreed that his sole purpose in life was to exalt the name of Christ. It was also no secret that this beloved pastor loved to quote other godly preachers, who also made it their aim to preach Christ. He would always tell his congregation that his favorite preachers are all dead. During the memorial service, his son shared, “You’re probably picturing dad talking with Jonathan Edwards and Spurgeon, just to name two. But if you’re picturing that, then you’d be wrong. My dad is worshipping at the feet of the One he has been longing to see.”

Let us spend our days here, thinking deeply of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and prepare ourselves for an eternity of worshipping the One who died for our sins.

I hope to post about this regularly, at least once a week. How I need to dwell more on the things above and meditating on the sure hope of our permanent home with Jesus! Will you join me?

Previous posts on heaven:
To Die is Gain
Breaking the News
Things Above

10 thoughts on “Heaven is Jesus”

  1. One reason I don’t really want to visit the Holy Land is because Jesus isn’t there. The first time my wife took the kids to see grandma and grandpa and I came home from the train station, the apartment was empty. I don’t mean because no one else was there, but because she wasn’t there. Heaven itself would be empty if Jesus were not there.

  2. Absolutely beautiful sister. It is ALL about Jesus. My brother died about 5 years ago and I remember telling my mom how jealous I was that he gets to be in paradise with Jesus. Oh the glorious day when I can meet Jesus face to face and just worship Him for eternity. I am crying just thinking about it. That is why death has lost it’s sting!

  3. Yes! Yes! Your post reminds me of something D.A. Carson said. He said, “We go to heaven, not to be saved, but to see Jesus’ glory, because God has determined, because of His love for His Son from before the foundation of the world, that His Son’s glory would be displayed. Now, I know that’s bound up with our salvation… but unless you see that this is not simply so that we will be saved, but so that we will see Jesus’ glory, then even heaven itself becomes slightly domesticated by some assumptions that we are at the center of everything, when it’s Jesus who is at the center of everything.”

    1. Great quote! I remember many years ago, D.A. Carson came to our church once to preach a sermon called “The Ironies of the Cross”. The title alone got me at the edge of my seat. Praise the Lord for gifting him with preaching and teaching His word! Thanks for sharing!

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