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"A Glimpse Of Heaven"
"After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: 'Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb'" (Revelation 7:9,10).
There is so much division in our world today, from the international level down to so many homes and marriages. Local churches can face seasons of disharmony. Our country is deeply divided and the recent election merely underscores this.
Last night in our home Bible Study this phrase from the Apostle Paul to the Philippian believers really ministered to me, "I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel" (1:27). That is our prayer for our marriage, family and Christian associations.
But one of the most certain hallmarks of heaven will be genuine unity. What a wonderful glimpse of heaven is found in today's text. It speaks of when we get to heaven and the astounding difference we will experience on the other side. Throughout the Bible we have only glimpses of what heaven will be like. Much of our understanding is based on conjectures attained through these glimpses.
Consider the great multitude in the glimpse we have today. People of faith comprise "a great multitude that no one could count from every nation, tribe, people and language." Representation from every generation since Adam and Eve will be present. Enoch will be there, along with Noah and Abraham, and all who have lived by faith, serving God, throughout the ages. We know the names of only a tiny fraction of this great multitude that happen to be recorded in Biblical history, church history or are famous people of faith in our own time. The cast, vast majority will just be ordinary people like you and me.
The skin color of the redeemed next to us won't matter. Neither will their ethnic background or age. Who knows, I might be standing near a black believer from Ethiopia who lived for God hundreds or even thousands of years ago!
We will be "standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb." This is a glimpse I can scarcely imagine. The Lord will need to make a transformation for me since I'm not drawn to large crowds but I am most confident that it won't matter here. I will be engaged in worship to the only true God.
Frankly I also don't know how comfortable I'll be wearing a white robe and holding palm branches in my hands. But I know I'll get over it, because the real focus will be toward the throne and the Lamb!
I have a loud voice and I'll have no difficulty making the greatest declaration of all time as I stand with the redeemed multitude and cry out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb"! Will you join me there?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father we the redeemed declare here on earth, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power. Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength belong to You, our God, forever and ever. Never again will there be hunger, never again will there be thirst. You will wipe away every tear from the eyes of those who have suffered. How we long for that glorious eternal event to take place in our lives. Amen!
(adapted from Revelation 7)
Monday we shared a link to the testimony of Mary Lou Long and many of you have read it and commented. I received a note from Ed DeLapp, a longtime friend from the Kansas City area who works with the City Union Mission. He shares this insightful persepctive, "I'm convinced that countless folks we meet have had an experience similar to hers early in life. Embittered by a difficult experience, their heart turns cold toward the Lover of their soul. And we can be the "spiritual ice melt" in their life ... if we will only invest time and demonstrate genuine love." Amen!
Mary Lou's testimony
City Union Mission My Mom volunteered with the City Union Mission. It maintains a strong witness for the Lord and has this statement: "City Union Mission is committed to serving the Lord by meeting the physical, spiritual, educational and emotional needs of the poor and homeless. We receive no government support or United Way funding and depend completely on donations from individuals, groups, businesses, foundations and churches."
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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