Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Love, Heaven on Earth

Luke 20:27 There came to him some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, 28 and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man [6] must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died without children. 30 And the second 31 and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. 32 Afterward the woman also died. 33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.”

34 And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, 36 for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons [7] of the resurrection.37 But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.38 Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.” 39 Then some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” 40 For they no longer dared to ask him any question.

Often when we fall in love we compare that love to an eternal one. We talk about how we will be with that person forever, not just bound in this life, but that our love will transcend beyond the grave. We wishfully think about what it will be like to spend eternity with our spouse, and tell them we are going to love them forever. When I first stumbled upon this verse above, I was kind of heartbroken. How sad it seemed that the Bible was teaching me that when I died, I'd no longer be my wifes husband. I even dwelt on it sadly for a few days.

A while back though God gave me a glimpse into this verse and why it's such a powerful reminder of how things will be in the life after this one. You see love transcends death, so in Heaven not only will I love my wife just as much as I do here on earth, but I'll love her even more. The flesh will no longer constrain the limits of my love, and I will love her with the true, pure love that we strive for here. A love so pure and unconditional that we love completely, sacrificially, and with no thought of our own selves. Why then wouldn't we be married? If our love is even more full, more pure in Heaven than here?

Because in Heaven we will be purified. We won't love the way we do here, what we love here is just a reflection, a dim vision through a veil. It helps to understand a little more the two commandments that Jesus taught us were most important.

Mathew 22:36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a]38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

You see in Heaven we are going to love God with all of our heart and soul and mind. That first glimpse shows us that we are going to be so consumed with the love of God that we aren't going to be worried about things like marriage, food, video games... we are going to be concerned with one thing truly, and that is worship. Giving God the glory we should already be trying to give Him here in this world. That alone makes us think about what Heaven will be like. Where there will only be one source of light to illuminate our new worlds, the Lord Jesus Christ. We will see, eat, drink, and exist simply on that source of light and life.

But there is another commandment there as well. Love our neighbors as ourselves. In Heaven our love for our spouse will be perfect. It will be unconditional, it will be so far and above the love we have for them here (and that's a lot of love! Think about how much you love your spouse now)! Now think about the fact you're going to love EVERYONE with that same love. Not just your spouse, but your friends, your family, the saints, and even those people you didn't particularly care for here on earth. Think about that for a minute! You're going to love those people you dislike now so much that you would give your life for them. Marriage here on earth is a glimpse of the relationship we are going to have with EVERYONE in Heaven. A pure, unconditional, and yes sacrificial love with concern only for them.

When we look at it that way, we don't need 'marriage' in Heaven.. because we will be united as one Body. We will be so full of love for one another, that there will be no cliques, or groups, or even two single people with love more for another. Let us pray that by getting a glimpse of that beautiful truth, that we can start to implement it now. To live our lives as we will in Heaven, by spreading the love. By loving each other unconditionally, and trying to love everyone as we love our wives. And first and foremost, by loving God with all our hearts, minds, and souls!

In Christ,

Friday, July 1, 2011

Get out of the way!

As I was sitting in Adoration, my mind began to dwell on a particular verse. 1 John 1:5 - This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. The shadows being formed at my feet kept bringing my thoughts and prayers back to this simple verse and concept.

I noticed that if I sat directly below one of the lights, both of my legs cast a separate shadow. Two legs, two shadows. Much like when we are in a relationship with someone, each person casts a separate shadow. Even though the light of God may be present in one or both of their lives, they are still living apart from one another. They aren't allowing God to transform their lives.

Then I noticed that if I sat between two of the lights, the shadows instead combined. Even though there were two legs, because there was light all around me there was only one shadow. As my friend Laci says, it takes three to make two into one. The bible tells us that when we get married two become one. If we allow the light of God to surround both of us, not just one or the other, not just sometimes, but every moment of our lives; we no longer cast two separate shadows. Instead we are one person in God, and we only have one shadow.

Then God said to me, this is not all I want you to learn from this. He said for me to get out of the way. I was kind of floored to be honest. Instead of getting upset or ignoring that thought in my mind, I instead began to wonder how I was in the way. Then it hit me. Shadows are only cast when something is blocking the light. All of us have to get out of the way of God's light, and stop putting ourselves in the way of Him. If we all step back and let God guide us, allow His light to not only surround us, but to fill us to the top, then there won't be any shadow at all. Only light. We will shine with the light of God.
That's my prayer for today. That God will continue to help me get out of the way. To allow Him to mold me into what He wants me to be, till when people look at me they don't see me at all... all they see is the light of the universe, Jesus Christ.

In Christ,