When I was a kid we often took vacations or road trips with my aunt, uncle and cousins. It was always fun to ride with Aunt B and Uncle S since they weren't my parents (it is always more fun to ride with someone other than the people you see everyday). We used to sing lots of "car songs" like the one above. Maybe you sang it when you were a kid.
Why is it that we never think about Heaven unless we think our trip there is immanent? I know that I never did.
This past spring I started a couple groups of people studying the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn. I had read the book a few years ago shortly after my father died. At that time I pretty much just looked for the key things that I was interested in and zoned out on the details.
But this year I have really read the book intensely and we have worked through the workbook with both groups of Bible study friends at my church. We have about three sections of the workbook left and a LOT of reading yet to work through. It has been life changing for me and hopefully for the others in my groups.
On top of that it seems that now everything I read in Christian books, in the Bible, everything our pastor preaches about on Sunday mornings and every song I hear points me to Heaven. Kind of like when you are pregnant and everywhere you go you notice pregnant women or babies. Or maybe when you WANT to be pregnant! Or when you want a new car and everywhere you drive you see people driving just the car you're dreaming of. I think we call that FOCUS.
But I am pretty sure that God built that into our hearts. The Heaven thing I mean. (You'll notice that I capitalize the word Heaven. I do that because it has become such a very real place to me just like London or New York City.) And God has put clues and gems about Heaven all throughout the Bible and not just in the book of Revelation. It reveals to me the lavishly loving heart of God the Father that he would not leave us, as Randy Alcorn calls it, in 'the unfolding drama of redemption' without a way for us to see where we are heading if we choose to trust in Him.
One of the instructions that God has for us is that he tells us to get ready and to bring people with us. That is an awesome responsibility. I have to admit that I have spent very little time in my life persuing personal evangelism. I have read books about it and listened to sermons about it but when it comes right down to it, except for the year of my life I spent as part of a traveling ministry team whose JOB it was to do so, I have failed in this area. Also, as the mother of five children I guess I assumed that if I evangelized them that was a job well done. But God calls me to do more.
Today Pastor Charlie's sermon was best titled by the special music that a sweet young girl shared right before he spoke. The song was entitled "The Lost Get Found". I'm going to share his outline with you.
- Think outside your life, have forward thinking. Don't just think of today think about eternity.
- Be aware of the desperate need and the "dead" line.
- Examine your love for God by your investment into the lives of others for the purpose of loving and bringing them to salvation through Jesus.
I don't know about you but I feel like I don't know what it is most of the time that I can do for
Him. I'm not a missionary in the travel-across-the-world sense of the word. I don't like to travel and my food allergies make it difficult to live in other cultures. So strike that one.
But then Charlie referred to the scripture in Luke he was preaching from and said "Use everything at your disposal, your resources for eternity." I can do that! I can give to others whose passion it is to live in another culture and share the Gospel with other peoples. I can share my home with others in hospitality and show the love of Christ. I can use the talents that God gave me to point others to Him. And I can examine my love for God by investing my life, my LIFE, into the lives of my children for the purpose of loving and bringing them not only to salvation but to discipling them as they grow in Jesus.
You can too. And what more motivation do you need than that Heaven is SUCH a wonderful place?!!!