Life At Its Best: Heaven: A celebration
There's nothing more fun than a party and, as a family of six, we've had many opportunities for celebration. These occasions typically include a tasty meal, sugary dessert and fun family games.
However, my favorite part of the night is at the end, when we gather around and take turns sharing what we love most about the person we're celebrating. We do this because it helps us remember it's not just about the gifts or the food, although those things are great, but it's about the person.
Heaven is like God's party. He designed it as a place where his family can come and enjoy time together. But while on Earth, it's easy to lose focus on what we'll really be celebrating.
Just like the family parties I described, when we celebrate with God, it won't be about the huge feasts or beautiful mansions, although those are certainly things to look forward to.
It'll be about who he is and what his presence means in our lives. And the only way we can understand and appreciate the true meaning of that now is by spending time with him.
In Hebrews 11:8-10, we see that Abraham understood this principle. Verse 10 says that "he (looked) forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God."
Abraham was confident in God's promise of Heaven. He believed it was amazing as God said it was, so he didn't want to wait to experience its beauty. He spent time in God's presence, celebrating him, every single day. And we can, too.
When we spend time with God, we're experiencing a piece of Heaven. Being in His presence is the closest thing to having Heaven on earth. So if you want a glimpse of what eternity with God is like, spend time with him now.
Maybe you're not to the point of wanting to experience Heaven yet because you're not sure it exists in the first place. If that's your position, I encourage you to try spending some time with God as well. Start with five or ten minutes, and see if you aren't convinced of his reality.
Take time to read his word and allow it to speak to you. If you do, and then begin to obey what he asks of you, you'll soon see his promises being fulfilled in your life. And if all his other promises are fulfilled, why would the promise of Heaven not be?
Once you begin to live convinced of reality of Heaven, you'll start to look forward to it. Just think about it; it's an amazing place with no sickness, disease, pain, sin, or sorrow - an extraordinary blessing that God has invited us to enjoy forever with him. How awesome is that?
So if you want to get a taste of what Heaven is really going to be like, spend time celebrating God. Just like we do in family parties, tell him why you love him. I guarantee you that after you experience the reality of God's presence, you'll have a greater anticipation for this amazing place called Heaven.
Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. faithfamilyvictoria.com.