Saturday, June 19, 2021

What Does Heaven Sound Like?

Have you ever wondered what Heaven sounds like?  Not sure about you, but I have.  Sure, Heaven will sound wonderful because there will be no pain, no suffering, no tears, and no sin.  And definitely Heaven will be filled with voices of the redeemed, and the heavenly host of all God's created beings offering worship and praise to Him continuously.  But what will that sound like?  I think we will be surprised one day to discover that much of what Heaven sounds like...we've already heard...at least to some degree.

Recently during a very powerful time of praise and worship to God, His life-changing presence was very tangible. No one could deny that He was in the room that day...no one. We were not physically in Heaven, but certainly a measure of Heaven came to us. In the midst of it He spoke something very clearly to me. He said, "You are hearing the sound of Heaven." I began to ponder this as we all continued to worship and the presence of His Spirit became stronger. "I am hearing the sound of Heaven" I thought. "What does this mean?" Then it began to come to me!

I was reminded of the thunder. Before the storm arrives and before we even see the lightning, we hear the thunder. When we hear the thunder...we know the storm is not only approaching, but it will come. Before a train arrives, we hear the blast of the horn and the rumble of the big diesel engines. And even though we know the train is approaching, it is even more certain to us that the train will arrive. Why?  Because we're hearing the sounds of the train.  

The sounds I just described establish the genuineness of the sources producing the sounds. In other words, we know the storm is real because we hear the thunder. And we know the train is real because we hear the horn and the rumble of the engines. There could be no denying the genuineness of Heaven in our gathering recently.  Why? Because the room was filled with the sound of Heaven!  I heard it! I helped to make the sounds! (Excuse me while I ride out a few chill bumps!) What were the sounds of Heaven? The voices of people glorifying God with an intensity that was growing. You could say there is something "heavenly" about the sound of people audibly worshiping God. Of course you can! Those are genuine sounds of heaven! The book of Revelation tells us that even now, the heavenly host surround His glorious throne night and day and give praise, worship, glory, honor, and power to the Lamb who sits on the throne. When they do, the 24 elders cast their crowns of authority at His feet and fall on their faces before Him. Obviously this is heavenly worship and I'm sure sounds incredible! But very recently I too heard the sound of heaven, because we too were casting our crowns of pride and our own personal authority before Him, falling on our faces as we offered to Him that same adoration.

God said to me, "It is the sound of heaven that draws the lost souls to Me.  As the worship goes up, My glory comes down, and the reality of Heaven is revealed to the world." I can't wait to gather again with God's people to make and hear the sounds of heaven!

 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Steadfast, Immovable, Abounding

The very title of this post connects us to one of the most powerful verses of Scripture we can learn and apply in our walk with Jesus. "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 15:58) What a verse! In this one verse is contained the condition for living and being a powerful, successful follower of Jesus!

Let's talk about the word steadfast. The word (from the Greek) means: (to sit); sedentary, that is, (by implication) immovable: - settled, steadfast. Simply stated, this word means to sit or plant yourself firmly. Steadfast means that you don't drift back and forth, or as Paul says, "be carried away by every wind of doctrine." (See Ephesians 4:14) What you need, to be a powerful Christian bringing much glory to Jesus, is to be steadfast. You need to be settled in on and permanently sitting on God's Word. God's Word is forever settled in heaven. "Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven." (Psalm 119:89)

Paul also uses the word immovable. From the Greek there is another extremely  descriptive word for immovable. Get ready to write this down because it is so immensely profound. Here it is: UNMOVABLE. Got ya! What the world needs now are followers of Jesus who are not only steadfast, but they are also unmovable. Unmovable believers are not moved by circumstances, feelings, or the personal opinions of others. Instead they are settled and anchored to God's Word, and at the same time building on their relationship with Him as the Word is applied in their lives.

Steadfast and unmovable Christians are anchored to the Rock of all Ages, but yet they are moving forward in the things of God. They learn and hold firm to the immutable principles of God's Word, provoking the supernatural work of God in and through them. The result is they are spiritually effective in their call as they grow in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus.

ALL Christians should be Steadfast and immovable (unmovable). But the only legitimate reason for being steadfast and immovable is for the purpose of abounding. Abounding in what? Abounding in the work of God! So what does the word abounding mean? From the original Greek we see powerful descriptive words like: Superabound, excel, more, abundance, more abundant, exceed, increase and more! Doing the work of God should be our number 1 priority! As a matter of fact, we should be obsessed with doing the work of God. Doing God's work should far exceed any other desire we have in this life! The desire to do God's work should by far excel even our personal desires.

Being steadfast and immovable causes you and me to abound in God's work. As a result we know and are convinced, even in the face of the lies of the enemy, that we are not toiling in vain. Being steadfast and unmovable prevents any circumstance, feeling, emotion, lies, or personal opinion from convincing us that God's work is not legit. The choice to be steadfast, immovable, and always abounding in God's work is yours. If you choose to do so, you will never question the legitimacy of the work you do for Him! So...anchor in!

Saturday, May 29, 2021

The Overwhelming Goodness Of Our God

Sometimes I become overwhelmed with the goodness of my God. Even though the Bible continually declares His goodness, it's not until I dwell on His goodness that it hits me! I believe we treat most of the Bible like that. It declares nothing but pure truth and most of the time we readily receive it. But it doesn't always come to life in our spirit until we apply the Word personally.

Again, the Word clearly and distinctly declares the goodness of God. 

  • "How great is Your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, Before the sons of men!" (Psalm 31:19)
  • "They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness." (Psalm 145:17)
  • "O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!" (Psalm 34:8)
  • "...for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13)

Often I think about my life as a born again follower of Jesus. It stretches over 4 decades now. But as I reflect on the path He has been leading me down, I can see  there are many milestones that wouldn't exist had it not been for the grace and the goodness of my God. I look at how Jesus saved our marriage over 40 years ago. I can see the events that set the course of our ministry. I can see times when Jesus literally protected me from death and destruction. What I cannot remember is one single time when Holy Spirit didn't welcome me into His incredible presence with open arms. I can't remember a time when Jesus failed me. I can't remember a time when His Word failed me. I cannot remember a time when His joy was not my strength.

Bottom line: God IS good! Everything about Him is good. His very essence is good. Knowing Jesus is nothing but good to those who follow and trust Him. "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." (Psalm 73:28) Being as close as I can to my Jesus is without a doubt the most beneficial quality of my entire life. How about you?

Friday, May 14, 2021

Can There Be Unity In The Body Of Chrst? (3)

We are in the series "Can There Be Unity In The Body Of Christ?". This is part 3. We dig deeper into the truth that even though the body of Christ (the church) has many differing members, functioning differently, we are ONE body, and members of each other.