Tag Archives: heaven

Crown of Glory

 

The Crown of Glory:

“Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.

And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.” I Peter 5:2-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us exercise them accordingly; if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his service; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12:6-8

“And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-13

As a christian, we all should know these verses.  These verses tell us that we have been given work to do here after salvation.   Salvation is free but there is work to be done. Ephesians tells us that we are saved by grace; it is not a result of our goodness, deeds or service.  That same chapter tells us “we are created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10.

Our reward in heaven will reflect how much we have done with what we have been given. Have we become what God intended us to be?  Have we been faithful to do the good works He prepared beforehand?

The crown of glory will be given to those who equipped the saints, who used their efforts to build the body of Christ.  Yes, it is a pastor’s crown or a minister’s crown.  BUT…. we are ALL ministers!  If you are a Christian, you are a minister and if you are a minister then you have a ministry. Something I heard from a dear pastor teacher. Thank you God for the pastors that are faithful in the ministry of equipping the body.  Now the pastor may have done his job, but we are also have a responsibility to carry out our ministry.  If you are not feeling equipped, dear brother or sister, may I please exhort you?  Have you done you part in exercising your gift?  Your pastor or your teacher can give you the instructions, the insights into the Word of God that should guide you but you have to use them, exercise them, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)

I have been challenged by reading Dr. Erwin Lutzer’s book, Your Eternal Reward: Triumph and Tears at the Judgement Seat of Christ”.  Dr Lutzer quotes A.J. Gordon, “I cannot think of a final divine reckoning which shall assign the same rank in glory, the same degree of joy to a lazy, indolent and unfruitful Christian as to an ardent, devoted, self-denying Christian.  If this life is a training ground for greater responsibilities, believers will be thoroughly judged; then once eternity benefits they will differ in glory as lightbulbs differ in brightness.”

OUCH!!

From the same book, Earl Radmacher is quoted.  “The person I am becoming today, is preparing me for the person I shall be for all of eternity”

Sometimes we need a good long look at what our souls look like.  Are we changing into the image of Christ?  Or are we becoming more and more like the world?  Are we laying up treasures in heaven or accumulating treasures here on earth?

The reality is we must be committed to one side or the other.  No man can serve two masters.

We must chose as Joshua did in Joshua 24:15 “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve.”

 

 

https://youtu.be/ew53fdyVVrY

 

Crown of Rejoicing

 

 

 

Proverbs 11:30  “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who is wise wins souls.”

“Must I go, and empty-handed,”
Thus my dear Redeemer meet?
Not one day of service give Him,
Lay no trophy at His feet?   
Refrain:
“Must I go, and empty-handed?”
Must I meet my Savior so?
Not one soul with which to greet Him,
Must I empty-handed go?

The Crown of rejoicing.  Sometimes it is called the soul winners’ crown.

How much thought have you given to meeting Jesus empty handed?

The hymns says, “not one day of service give Him”.  Will that be me or you? What service have we given that pleases Jesus?

One day we will stand before Jesus and give an account for every word and every deed.   For some it will be a thrilling to meet with Jesus and receive rewards for service to the King of Kings.

Daniel 12:3 tells us, “Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven,  those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”   For the Christians who have led others to  Jesus, they will shine brightly like stars forever.   In heaven, there is rejoicing any time souls are converted. Luke 15:10. “In the same, way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Paul writes to the church at Thessalonica, “For this cause also we thank God without ceasing, because when you received the Word of God you heard from us, you received it not as from men but as it is truth.” (I Thessalonians 2:13.)

They received the Word as the truth.. They were saved by believing. Paul continues in verses 19-20. “For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation?  Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?  For you are our glory and joy.”

Philippians 4:1 Paul writes again to the church at Philippi. “Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.”

Paul loved God’s people.  He loved that he was an instrument used by God to bring people out of the darkness into His marvelous light.

The song “Thank You” in the 90’s  was a wonderful reminder that there will be those in heaven that we helped along the way.  Those we walk along side on this earth will be our crown of rejoicing.   Hopefully, we will have been obedient to the call of service.  Winning others to Christ is the last command Jesus gave before He left. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you, always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

In 2 Corinthians 5:11, we read, ”It is because of this solemn fear of the Lord, which is ever present in our minds, that we work so hard to win others.”  Paul’s greatest desire was to bring others to the saving faith and knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He continues in verse 14 of the same chapter in Corinthians,” the love of Christ constrains (compels)  me so that I do not rest–I will not rest–until I have expended every effort to win men to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ” (II Corinthians 5:11 & 14). The Living Bible.

Do we have a solemn fear of the Lord?  Is it ever present in our minds so that we work hard to win others? Does the love of Christ compel us to talk to others about Jesus?

Will we be like the verse in I John 2:28 below?
I John 2:28 “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”

Reaching the lost for Christ is NOT a request from Jesus but a command.  Don’t let Satan steal your joy and your crown!  Evangelism is simple.  It should not be hard.  It is only the story of how you came to know Jesus.  Telling your story.  Telling His story.  Let the Holy Spirit do His work.  We never save anyone!  Only the power of the Holy Spirit working in a person’s life will bring them to the truth.

Father I pray we will awaken from our slumber and finish the race set before.  May we desire, as Paul, to win others for the kingdom. May we have confidence in your appearing and not be ashamed at your coming.

In Jesus Name,

If  you have emotional courage, listen to these songs.  These four songs will challenge your heart for soul winning.

Must I go and empty-handed (Hymn) https://youtu.be/28NHRB5vew8

Each One Reach One- by Babbie Mason https://youtu.be/rJXIugwiN7Qhttps://youtu.be/rz15fa9g9IA

Casting Crowns  -Jesus Friend of Sinners https://youtu.be/rJXIugwiN7Q

 

Thank you -Ray Boltz  https://youtu.be/UFrdJ2V3r7Y

 

With Great Joy and Anticipation


joy-to-the-world
Joy To The World-Unspeakable Joy   Chris Tomlin
https://youtu.be/tC3SwhJsLqU


With Great Joy and Anticipation

Have you ever anticipated when you would finally meet someone, the reaction you would have? In business, we talk to many people and I often wonder what they look like, how they are in person verses on the phone.  When we are waiting on our children or grandchildren to be born…the anticipation to see them, hold them, to love on them.  It is so hard to explain the feeling and excitement waiting on that moment to arrive.  What do you do when it gets here? The joy is so much that you can hardly stand it and hard to explain to someone…you just have to experience it.

The other day as I was driving to see my precious granddaughter for her second birthday, Mercy ME’s “I Can Only Imagine” came on the radio.  I was listening to the words as I was singing along.  I start praising and worshiping the Lord as I began to imagine that day I finally get to see my Lord’s face.  At one point, I shut my eyes to just praise. (This I would not advise since I was driving…. but it was a brief moment, on back roads, with no one in site).  I was so caught up in trying to imagine what it will be like to finally see my Lord!!!    You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.  PSALM 16:11    I was filled with overwhelming joy trying to imagining being in HIS presence.  No matter how much I tried it is so unimaginable.  When that day comes, this I do know…. if thinking about it brings me that much joy…how much more will there be when it becomes  reality!!!

Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9

I Can Only Imagine

MercyMe

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By your side
I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When your face
Is before me
I can only imagine
Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son
I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine
Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I…
Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I Ifall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship you

By Lori Walker
Thank you Lori for the reminder that one day we will see Jesus face to face. For now we can only imagine and work and wait for the kingdom to come.

The Lord is My Portion

 

 

my-heart-and-my-flesh

The Lord is My Portion

“The LORD is my portion, says my soul, Therefore I have hope in Him.”

“My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever… But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the LORD GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.” Psalms 73:26,28

Charles Spurgeon defines what it means to have the LORD as your portion, “It is not, ‘The Lord is partly my portion,’ nor ‘The Lord is in my portion’; but He Himself makes up the sum total of  my soul’s inheritance.  Within the circumference of that circle lies all that we possess or desire.  The Lord is my portion.  Not His grace merely, nor His love, not His covenant but Yahweh himself.”

When the Israelites left Egypt for the promised land, they had to learn how to walk with their God on a day to day basis.   Living as free people was all new to them.  God knew that it would take time to grow into the people he desired.  Once in the desert, they began to grumble and complain.  They looked back at their old life and thought it was better to be slaves and have pots of meat and bread than to live believing God would provide.   God provided in a manner that required trust for His provision day by day.  Five days a week the people were to gather a “portion” which would be enough for that day.  On the sixth day, they were to gather enough for two days and rest on the seventh.  This testing of their faith trained them look to Yahweh as their provider.  God gave them manna each morning.  It would be “enough” for one day.  God is our “portion”.  He is all we need.  He provides for us just as he did for the children of Israel.

“Cheleq” is the word in the Hebrew for “portion”.  It is to have a share in a possession.  The tribes of Israel were all given portions of the land except for the Levites.  Levites were to have no portions.  “God was the unique inheritance to the Levites. He was the focus of their service, the source of their sustenance, and the significance of their calling. Their inheritance included cities, daily food, and a constant vocation, but it did not include the same type of land inheritance given to the other tribes of Israel.” https://www.gotquestions.org/God-inheritance-Levites.html

The Lord is my “portion” speaks to us today about God’s provision.  He is “enough”.  In John 6:31-35, Jesus tells the people Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. 33 For the bread of God is [a]that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” 34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.”35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

John 6: 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”

The Lord is my “portion.”  

Not only does He want us to trust Him for our daily provision.  He desires that we trust Him for our eternal life.   Jesus is our inheritance just as He was the inheritance for the Levites.  The Levites were to carry out His Worship in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple.  Theirs was a life of service to Yahweh.

Romans 12: 1-2 “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”

Lastly, many times the writer of the Psalms used these words while struggling to understand why the wicked prospers, why does my enemies continue to pursue me, and why the world seems so unfair.

Psalms 73:26 is an example of Asaph’s realization that there is an inheritance – a portion- that is not of this world.  Our inheritance is in heaven with the one who died that we might live eternally with Him one day.

Psalms 73: 23-26 “Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
   And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
   but God is the strength of my heart
   and my portion forever.
27 Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
   I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
   I will tell of all your deeds.” NIV

No matter how hard the road may become, no matter who rules this world, we have a portion, a possession that rises above all the suffering, trials and difficulties we may face.  His name is Jesus.  He is our Sufficiency.  He is enough.  He is our true bread from heaven.

Father,

I pray we trust you in the days ahead to be all we need.  You are our portion, our inheritance and we are your possession.  I pray we give ourselves in worship and service to you.

Revelation 5:12 “ Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”

Center of Surrender Uncluttered Album by Gwen Smith

A Land of Being Alive

We welcome Karly again. Karly first shared this story with her mom at the age of four. Her vocabulary has grown but the story has remained virtually unchanged in the past eight plus years. We pray that you will be blessed by Karly’s experience. These are her words alone. No editing has been done.


A Land of Being Alive!

If you have seen Heaven is for Real or God’s Not Dead, you have your own opinion. Do you believe it? Would you really think a young child has the power to tell a grown adult “I visited heaven.” Or would you have the courage to stand up for your beliefs?

At the young age of four, my precious, beloved grandfather passed on. He was special and one of a kind. I called him Toy. He was for sure a man after God’s own heart!

Hebrews 12:28-29 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”

I know he knew God would give us an eternal kingdom that would be forever!

I was so upset and I thought my world had ended.

A few days later, I went to bed like normal and I got a surprise, I was awakened being grabbed by the hand of a man in glowing white linens…. He pulled me out of the bed and all of a sudden light soared at us and the sun was beaming down. We walked up the rays as they were stairs.

Entering on clouds at the top, this man who I soon figured out was an angel left me at a gate. No ordinary one this gate was the most finely constructed, intricate detailed gate I’ve ever seen! They are giant gold gates with loops and pearls at the end. When you enter them it’s a glimmering gold street, lined with trees full of fruit and the river of life flows on the right. The water is so crystal clear you can view your reflection in it.

Now I walked on and the road just keeps on going. Then you come upon a field. It was full of children playing, dogs running happily, cats purring loudly, bunnies bouncing joyfully. A lion lying beside a lamb! But when I walked toward them I noticed a man. When I was right behind him he turned. I knew instantly and blurted out “JESUS!” He turned and swooped me up into a hug.

I was all very confused on how I ended up in heaven. That was all cleared up when Jesus put me down and clasped my hand to his. We headed along the gold street toward this crystal structure that loomed in the distance, passing mansions for future people to enter his kingdom. We arrived at this crystal structure(a barn) and I couldn’t believe my eyes, I asked was this a dream? and Jesus replied “No my child, you are really in heaven.” He pushed me into the barn and there were horses of every size and color! He even allowed me to meet his white horse who he will enter the world on. But in the wash rack there was my surprise. Toy turned and ran toward me; he was so excited to see me! And I to him. We talked for what seemed like hours and Toy took me to this palace when we entered there was God in the middle, Jesus on the right, and a place for the Holy Spirit on the left. I sat in Jesus’ lap

until he said it was time to go. I asked would I see him again and he said you will be with me again.

I woke up after he put me back in bed and I shared my journey!

If you get saved, you can be with Him. If He can promise a thief paradise don’t you think He can promise it to you?

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

-Karly

Jesus Has a Horse from Heaven Is For Real Soundtrack