Charles Stanley –A Place Called Heaven

 

John 14:1-3

If you asked a dozen people what they know about heaven, you’d probably get all sorts of answers. Even Christians have various ideas about what it is, where it’s located, and what it will be like. Some people imagine heaven to be an ethereal, dream-like place where the inhabitants are vaporous spirits—but this is contrary to what the Bible teaches.

Put simply, heaven is the home of God. Separate from and beyond creation, it’s an entirely different realm of existence. But it is a literal place with form and substance, and it contains the holy city. The apostle John had a vision of this place, and what he saw is recorded for us in chapters 21 and 22 of Revelation. A wall with foundation stones and gates surrounds the city, which has a street, a river, God’s throne, and the tree of life. All of these are material objects, although they far exceed anything of earthly substance.

Jesus told His disciples that He was going away to prepare a place for them in His Father’s house. He also said He’d return to take them there so they could be with Him forever. Then they watched as His resurrected body ascended from the earth and returned to heaven (Acts 1:9). He is still there today in His physical body, sitting at the right hand of the Father’s throne.

When Christ returns, He will resurrect Christians who have died, transform the bodies of believers who are still alive, and take us all back to the eternal home He has prepared for all His followers. Only then will we finally understand what heaven is.

Bible in One Year: 1 Corinthians 14-16

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

 

Our Daily Bread — Is There Hope?

 

Bible in a Year:

  • Ezekiel 40–41
  • 2 Peter 3

If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Romans 8:31–39

Edward Payson (1783–1827) led an extremely difficult life. The death of his younger brother shook him to the core. He struggled with bipolar disorder, and he was affected by extreme migraine headaches for days. If this wasn’t enough, a fall from a horse led to paralysis of his arm, and he almost died from tuberculosis! Surprisingly, his response wasn’t one of despair and hopelessness. His friends said that before Edward passed away, his joy was intense. How could that be?

In his letter to the believers in Rome, the apostle Paul expressed his complete confidence in the reality of God’s love regardless of circumstances. He asked with boldness, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). If God gave His very own Son, Jesus, to save us, then He will provide everything we need to finish this life well. Paul listed seven seemingly unbearable situations that he himself faced: trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, and the sword (v. 35). He didn’t imply that Christ’s love would stop bad things from happening. But Paul said that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (v. 37).

Through the uncertainty of this world, God can be trusted completely, knowing that nothing, absolutely nothing, “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (v. 39).

By: Estera Pirosca Escobar

Reflect & Pray

When you face seemingly hopeless situations, how do you typically respond? What promise of God can you cling to, knowing He is faithful?

Faithful Father, thank You for Your Son’s sacrifice so that I can have eternal life. Thank You that, no matter how gray life may seem, I can trust in Your promises.

To learn more about living with the difficulties, visit bit.ly/2wXd3Jj.

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids -In God’s Time

 

Genesis 21:2

Did you ever notice that God doesn’t seem to be in a hurry? Often it seems as if he waits until the last moment to answer our prayers. God had promised Abraham that he would make a great nation out of him, but Abraham had no children. How was he to become a great nation if he had no son? It was thirty years from the time God first promised Abraham a son until he held his little boy, Isaac. Later, Isaac’s son Jacob had twelve sons, and the children started multiplying. After many years they formed a nation—the nation of Israel.

What is your family praying about? Is there something you’ve waited and waited for? Don’t give up. Keep praying, and God will answer in his time, which is always perfect.

When Isaac was finally born, there was much happiness in Abraham and Sarah’s house. God’s promise was worth the wait. And it will be for you too. When Jesus finally answers your prayer, you’ll be smiling.

Dear Lord, I’m looking forward to that happy day when you answer my prayer. Amen.

 

Joyce Meyer – Trust in Him

 

Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves]. — Philippians 2:14 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource Power Thoughts Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

The scripture above tells us not to complain against God. Since God is our Father, our Provider, and the One Who watches over us, when we complain about anything, we are basically saying we don’t like what God is doing and we don’t trust His leadership in our lives. Even if what is happening in our circumstances is not something God is doing, it is something He can fix if we will trust Him to do so.

We can judge by our words if we are thankful and appreciative of God’s goodness or if we are discontent. If we truly trust God, then we won’t murmur and complain, but instead we will voice our thankfulness to Him for working in our lives and giving us the strength to do whatever we need to do while we are waiting.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for the good things You are doing in my life. Please help me to trust You in everything…the good and the bad. Help me to always be thankful—in my thoughts and through the words I speak. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Strength and Peace

 

“He will give His people strength. He will bless them with peace” (Psalm 29:11).

Scott, a professing atheist with the morals of an alley cat, insisted that he had peace in his heart. Though rare, it is possible for people to harden their hearts so much that God ceases to draw them to Himself, and they experience a counterfeit peace.

The psalmist, of course, is talking about a different kind of peace. Ocean voyagers in the storm are at peace because they know the ship is sound and the pilot is skillful. In the same way, we as believers are at peace because we serve God who gives His people strength and blesses them with peace.

“His people,” of course, refers to those who have placed their trust and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior. None other may claim such a wonderful promise.

Significantly, “strength” comes before “peace.” This is God’s strength: “Who would certainly fail without it. Then this very same strength results in peace, God’s peace “that passes all understanding.”

God’s strength enables us to contend with the powers of darkness, within the world and within our own natural depravity.

Peace, the great blessing of the gospel is two-fold:

  1. Peace with God through Christ, and
  2. Peace of mind.

Strength and peace to live the abundant, supernatural life is available to all His people. You may claim your share today by faith.

Bible Reading: Psalm 71:9-16

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Those two great blessings, strength and peace, will be mine today in direct proportion to my faith and trust in Him, who is my peace.