Most of us have such a puny view of heaven, we'd rather spend a wet weekend in Waynesboro. Pearly gates, jeweled crowns, and roads paved with 24-karat gold? Heaven seems so boring, our great literary minds have done a better job depicting the other place. Somehow we have allowed Satan to rob us of what God intends to be the sizzle and salsa of the Christian life--our view of heaven.
The self-helps tell us we're special and destined for greatness. But what if greatness isn't measured by our possessions and status, but by the size of God's kingdom in our wake? God's rule isn't just for our benefit, but a power that endures for all generations. The best life worth celebrating is the one in which the next generation speaks the power of God's awesome deeds.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 145
The fleetingness of time explains much of our puzzling behavior. We dash for the express lines and say, “Hurry up, I haven’t got all day.” The sand is draining through our hourglass! We want to stop time. Why? Psalm 90 says it’s because our earthly lives are like the grass of the field, like lawn cuttings in the sun on a hot afternoon. Therefore, says God, “Be wise. Number your days. Seize the moment!”
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 90
Most people picture their life like a bell curve. You go up, up, up until you peak, then down you go until you die. Our world's dream is to be young forever. But in the Bible, the view of life is a gradual ascent all the way into eternity. God is filling you with more and more wisdom until at last you may discover the true meaning of life is not competing and accomplishing but knowing and enjoying God’s presence.
SCRIPTURE: Ecclesiastes 12: 1-8, 13
As soon as Jesus rises from the dead he starts doling out presents - the best of which is faith. Only by meeting Jesus personally do you get faith, and then a sackful of additional presents - peace, purpose, joy, hope and more.
SCRIPTURE: John 20:1-8
Accusation is in the middle of all that is broken in our world. From political arguments to fractures within the family, we all feel its sting. Accusation inspired Adam and Eve’s deviation from God’s plan in Genesis 3 and accusation sent Jesus to the cross. What we see in Jesus’ act on the cross, however, is God’s unwinding of accusation with a stunning display of affirmation. Following Jesus is a “yes” to life, not a “no.”
SCRIPTURE: John 12:12-19
Recent research shows that two weeks of not using your legs can cause a loss of more than 30% in muscular strength. Inactivity leads to a rapid decline in flexibility, strength and fitness. What is true for our physical body is true for our spirit. Here is a great way to get spiritually stronger.
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 25:14-30
Athletes stretch their bodies to the limit in order to keep themselves lean and fit. The Apostle Paul asks, Why can’t you Christians be more like an athlete—focused, dedicated, and willing to suffer for the cause?
SCRIPTURE: Luke 5:17-26
We all know the physical benefits of a good workout, but knowledge alone is often a poor motivator. Staying on track with our fitness, requires meaningful goals. Likewise our faith requires us to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and press on toward the finish.
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 3:7-14