As the dust continues to settle from last week’s presidential election one overarching truth has been the dominant force in the societal narratives these days: our country is extremely divided. We have the left digging their heels in, and the right not wanting to budge either. Words such as anxious, fearful, and nervous can be used to describe many of us during these days, even those who are in Jesus Christ are nervous! I’ve been experiencing many emotions, but I will say as I write this post I’m at peace. In looking at Heaven I’m reminded that God is in control and are future is set. One big teaching moment during these days for us as the church to look at: have we put WAY too much hope in flawed human beings we call politicians and not enough hope in Jesus Christ?
1) Let Heaven blow up your expectations about what good is.
I love what Louie Giglio says, “We don’t think a lot about Heaven, because we often equate Heaven to our best day here on earth.” I’m writing to remind you, Heaven will be better. Heaven will always be better than our earthly existence. There are many reasons to always choose Heaven and always fix our eyes on Heaven, but one reason trumps them all. In Revelation 5:12 John writes that the angels were singing, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” Heaven is better because of Jesus. There is nothing that this Earth can bring our way that will be better than being in the presence of Jesus for all eternity.
Heaven will always be better. We fear often on earth because we fear this is as good as it will get. I want to remind you that Jesus has prepared a place for us, and He will come to take us to that place. (John 14:1-6) One thing I can bank on, Jesus always keeps His promises.
2) Stop trying to work your way into Heaven.
Many of us hold true to the promise of scripture: we are saved by grace through faith. (Ephesians 2:8-9) We quote this scripture, talk about it, preach on it, but there are many of us don’t live this truth. We either fall in one of two camps: 1) we try to work our salvation out tirelessly or 2) we don’t take the promise of our salvation and the need to produce spiritual fruit seriously enough.
So, where does that leave us? Well, if you’re like me I’m an action guy, and here is what I encourage you to do: 1) Know your salvation without a shadow of a doubt. Many of us have this amorphous time when we prayed a prayer when we were young, and we think we’re saved. No, no, no know the time and the day when Jesus entered your heart and reconciled you to Him. If you don’t know the day or time, make today a HUGE priority to recommit your life and ask Christ to save you today.
2) Understand who you are in Jesus Christ. What I mean in saying this is you are beloved. You don’t have to prove yourself, Jesus will always point to the Cross to remind you, you are beloved. Live as a beloved Son or Daughter. Pray out of love not obligation. Worship freely and joyfully because you want to not because you live in fear. Allow the Holy Spirit to shift your motivation, and you will be amazed at the results.
3) Join and Go. There are many steps in your Christian journey, this in no way is an exhaustive list. But, I encourage join a church and a Christian education opportunity that allow you to explore, ask questions, and grow. When opportunities arise, especially those that correspond with your gifts, be confident and go and serve. Look to dialogue with Christian leaders and people you respect, and they will begin to show you wonderful ways and opportunities where you can live out your faith.