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Showing posts with label heaven. Show all posts
Showing posts with label heaven. Show all posts

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Last Shall Be First

 Last week, I posted this Facebook status:

I know that's not what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 20. It's just that crazy, random thoughts pop into my head, and if they make me giggle, I tend to share them. But seriously, this is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. You see, I'm one of those workers who were hired in the ninth hour. I didn't make that journey down the aisle to the altar until my forties. February 2001. Right before I married the tall guy.

I know ladies in my church that have been devoted followers of Jesus since they were young children. They have spent their entire lives living for Christ, sharing the Gospel message, and laboring for His kingdom. The time I've spent mentoring children and teens, serving meals to homeless people, etc. is but a drop in the ocean when compared to their service. Yet, when the day comes that I stand before God, I will be their equal. I will receive a denarius. The same eternal reward as these Godly women.

I looked up the dictionary definition of salvation:

When a weather advisory tells us of an approaching storm, we protect what we care about—what we say is valuable enough. Worth saving. Worth protecting from harm. To God, we are worth saving from destruction.

All of us.

The joy in my heart from this promise is especially strong today. My friend's husband received Christ. In his eleventh hour. Short of a miracle, this man's time with us is just that—short. He is battling that dreaded disease that takes so many before their time.

I also have a favorite passage that talks about  another man short on time...

Jesus answered him,

“I tell you the truth, today you will

be with me in paradise.”

Luke 23:43
Do you know to whom Jesus was speaking? The criminal next to him on another cross. A condemned man. A sinner. A dying sinner. Why would Jesus promise the reward of paradise to this horrible man?

He asked.

Then he said, "Jesus, remember me
when you come into your kingdom."
Luke 23:42

Did Jesus ask, "Are you truly sincere?"  Did He ask, "How are you going to prove it?" Nope. That's not how it works.

It is simple. 
You ask. 
He forgives.

No matter where you are, what you've done, who you've been...
None of it matters.

If you've never accepted Christ as your Savior, it's not too late.
Don't wait. We aren't promised tomorrow.

If you have any questions about salvation
through Jesus Christ, ask me.

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
1 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard.  2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.  3 "About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing.  4 He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.'  5 So they went. "He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing.  6 About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?'  7 " 'Because no one has hired us,' they answered. "He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.'  8 "When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.'  9 "The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius.  10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius.  11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner.  12 'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.'  13 "But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius?  14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you.  15 Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?'  16 "So the last will be first, and the first will be last."

Friday, September 4, 2009

Resume for Heaven

God has a job for me. I sometimes wonder about what God intends for my job here on this earth to be. I try to intently listen for His still, small voice. I desperately want to follow His lead, to be where He would place me. Am I succeeding?

What about heaven? Will we have a job to do there?

Whenever heaven has been described to me, it is a place of perfection... streets of gold, gates of pearl, angels singing, no tears, no pain... We will forever worship Him. Is that it? I mean, day in and day out, for eternity? Do we just hang out, singing and praising... feasting on the good stuff? Not that it sounds bad; but eternity is a pretty long time, and all that sounds pretty simple for a God that conceived of this intricate universe.

I have been fortunate in my life to have spent time in nature, surrounded by calm and beauty, feeling the presence of God. There is no greater feeling; but as great as it felt... how long could I honestly sit there? A day? Sure. A week? Mmm... relaxing. Years? Well...

Eternity is a long time. I have a few questions:
  1. Will we sleep? If so...
  2. Do we have to get up at a set time... or can we sleep in?
  3. What will we do when we wake up?
  4. Do we eat breakfast? Where does it come from? Is it cooked?
  5. Who does the dishes?
  6. Are we then, off to work?
Silly? Perhaps; but will we have a job to do in heaven? Is our time spent here in preparation for our career in the afterlife? That might explain a few things. Then again, maybe not...

I was reading something that got me pondering again the subject of pain and suffering in this world. You know... that old 'Why would God allow...' thing. I know that, just as the analogy speaks in the Bible, a grape vine thrives when pruned. It grows strong and bears much fruit. The rough times of my life have always turned out to be a blessing. Sometimes it takes longer to see it. I don't wish to go through the pain again; but it made me who I am. It prepared me for how I live my life right now. Did it also prepare me for something else ...something greater?

If heaven has all these souls filling its space, will not it be a society? In any society, there are roles to be filled. Even Jesus talked about a body needing hands and feet. Heaven is perfect, right? So what is a perfect society? Maybe one filled to the brim with compassion and understanding? Genuine caring for your fellow man? If there is no evil, no pain, no suffering, how much compassion will be required? After all, isn't compassion more of a react to a situation, rather than a tangible thing?

OK, now I'm rambling in circles... Does anyone have the answers?