Can you remember the article titled ‘Now Picture This’?
I didn’t ask whether or not you liked it.
I asked whether or not you can remember it.
There was an interesting mix of reactions to that article.
Some people loved it.
Others thought that I may have been smoking some herbs or something!
Why did I write it?
I’ve always wondered what the mood in heaven was like during Jesus’ torture and crucifixion; and what transpired when Jesus returned triumphantly to Heaven.
I want you to try something.
Remember Handel? That’s right – he of Handel’s Messiah.
I want you to listen to the Amen finale whilst reading the second half of the article – when the gates opened for Christ to enter.
Don’t be shy.
Give it a try
It’s good to allow your imagination to free flow every now and then – in a positive way of-course.
Although it’s nigh impossible to fully grasp the magnificense and majesty of it all, it’s good to imagine what heaven is like – the beauty – the splendour – the glory; reminding us that despite the trials and tribulations of this life, there is a place we can look forward to going to – where there will be everlasting peace and everlasting joy.
No no no – this is not an excuse to give up on life on earth. You still have a lot do here – for God and for those around you.
Remember – you are here for a reason; to serve and bless the King of kings.
Imagining heaven every now and then serves as an effective reminder of the absurdly high price that Christ paid for us; a constant reminder of what is really important – love and service to God and each other.
So what is dear Segs saying this time????
Stop living life as though earth is where it all ends.
Do your best to love and serve God.
Do your best to love and serve those around you.
Do all you can to bless those in need.
No matter what you’re going through there’s someone in a much worse situation.
Let go of the self pity
Let go of the anger
Let go of the anxiety
Let go of fear
Remember – God says ‘blessed is the man / woman whose iniquities are forgiven’.
Through Jesus all your sins are forgiven.
You don’t have to earn it.
It’s a free gift.
It’s not about which church you attend.
There’s no ‘them’ and ‘us’ in Christianity.
Which church you attend, whether Pentecostal, Baptist, or Anglican is irrelevant.
So stop comparing
We are all one family – united in Christ Jesus.
The only factor that is relevant is Jesus.
His two greatest commands are to love God with all your heart, strength, and mind; and to love your neighbour likewise.
Finally, I want to tell you how God cheered me up last week.
I was invited to say a few words at graduation ceremony last Saturday.
My message was on Vision and the importance of Adding Value.
After speaking, I felt rather unsatisfied with my performance. The students and guests really enjoyed my message. But as far as I was concerned I didn’t speak well at all (I’m a wee bit of a perfectionist).
As I’m sure you can imagine I ignored all the good points and focused only on the things I didn’t do well – the points I missed out.
Slowly but surely my mood descended into one of irritation and disappointment; getting more and more upset by the second.
Add to that the weekly Saturday afternoon torture of watching Arsenal disintegrate further and further into something more resembling of an under 9s’ girls team (sorry ladies) than a premier league side and I’m sure you can well imagine how I was feeling on Saturday evening!
Yes, Arsenal won 2 nil but the manner of the victory was so poor. And who knows what they’ll do on Monday night!!
Anyway, I digress.
Fortunately for me a good friend of mine called me on Saturday evening.
Being an astute observer of people’s moods he was quick to ask me what was wrong.
After explaining myself ( I left out the Arsenal bit) he told me some very important facts of life.
1. It’s not every day that we’ll get things spot on.
2. It’s the mistakes and failures that enable us to succeed
3. As sure as night will turn to day God will not give up on us – so we must not give up on Him or on ourselves
The next morning (Sunday morning) I woke up feeling a whole lot better.
A new day
Another chance to be the best I can be
On my way to church I remembered (actually the Holy Spirit reminded me but I don’t want to sound all spooky) that The Experience had been held on Friday.
I remembered that the House on The Rock usually has a service at Eko Hotel’s Expo Hall on the Sunday immediately after The Experience – giving us another chance to worship with Don Moen. There were off-course other excellent international and domestic artists but I’m a huge Don Moen fan so that’s all that mattered to me.
So I decided to go to House on The Rock’s Sunday service at Eko Hotel’s Expo Hall.
After parking the car, I decided to walk through Eko Hotel’s reception area rather than take the more direct route from the car park.
On my way to the Expo Hall I bumped into an old friend.
Whilst chatting in the reception area something wonderful happened.
Can you guess????
Don Moen walked out of one of the lifts.
Like a star struck teenager I said to my friend ‘that’s Don Moen. He’s my favourite Christian musician. I have to say hi. I just have to.’
‘Cool. Go for it,’ she replied.
“Naa, let me not bother him,” I replied.
Fortunately for me my feet decided to ignore my shyness, and before I knew it I had walked over to Don Moen to introduce myself.
“Mr. Moen, so good to see you. I’m attending this church today because of you. You are an inspiration.”
He was so nice. He put his arms around my shoulders and thanked me.
I was absolutely chuffed; totally made my day.
Needless to say the worship service that morning was awesome. Indeed it was during that service that God gave me my previous article – ‘On His Shoulders’.
It later occurred to me that it wasn’t a coincidence that I opted to take a different route from my car to the Expo hall.
It wasn’t a coincidence that I bumped into an old friend in the reception area of Eko Hotel.
It wasn’t a coincidence that Don Moen walked out of the lift whilst I was chatting with my friend.
God simply wanted to cheer me up.
God cares about you.
He’s going to do something to cheer you up today.
Just follow His lead.
Have a fab weekend.+