Interactive Flash presentation of the Gospel:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Glory of God, the Paradise of God

Yesterday I read about the Glory of God, yesterday Satan worked overtime to cause friction between Jimmy and me. Yesterday ended, thank God, with Satan on the losing end.

I read John 11: 1-44. It is about Mary and Martha's brother, Lazarus, who died and was brought back to life. In verse 40, Jesus says to Martha, "Did I not say to you that if you believe you would see the glory of God?"

Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Through Him we can have eternal life. Jesus could have restored Lazarus to good health while he was still alive. But many of Jesus' actions are for us to know and believe and accept and trust that He is the Son of God, that He was sent by God. Lazarus' resurrection from death proved that point. It demonstrated (beyond any shadow of doubt) the glory of God even more than restoration from a sick bed.

There were and there are so many who point fingers, who do not believe, who do not comprehend all that He is and does, now, in time past and in time to come.

You pray. Mary and Martha prayed. But Jesus had something else in mind.
It doesn't mean God is absent when He doesn't answer our prayers. His plans are not our plans. His intentions are not our intentions. He knows more than we will ever know. He knows ALL.

Who are we to become angry and resentful at God for our preconceived thoughts of what we think He should do?

God's presence is everywhere. If He's not where you can feel Him, perhaps you are not doing your part.

Death is only an interlude between life on earth and life in heaven ... or life in hell.

You stand at the portal. What do you choose - life with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to earth to die for our sins, to renew us to righteousness, or life with Satan, a fallen angel, who came to earth to deceive us for his gain alone...

Today I considered Paradise.

Where indeed is that
Is it some Hawaiian island
Some quiet spot off the road near a pond, a good fishing hole perhaps.
Where is Paradise?
What is Paradise
What will we have when we get there
A place of rest
Perhaps Paradise can be found in the deep recesses of our mind
To a place we grew up surrounded by happy thoughts, happy memories.
Or perhaps we think we are living in Paradise
-- would that be like seeing the world around us through rose-colored glasses?

Jesus spoke of Paradise.

In Luke 23, hanging on a cross between two thieves -- one denounced the Lord, the other asked
to be remembered. And Jesus says to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today, you will be with Me in Paradise." (verse 43)

The apostle Paul spoke of Paradise.
In 2 Corinthians 12, he shares his visions and revelations (perhaps at the time of his stoning), "how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter." (verse 4)

And John also spoke of Paradise.
In Revelation, during the time of his exile on the island of Patmos, he shares prophecies of God. "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God." (Chapter 2, verse 7)

It is where God abides. Where He lives. Where His kingdom is. Where His children go.

Paradise is Heaven. And Heaven is Paradise.

What about you? Are you a future resident of Paradise?
Or are you uncertain of where to go, what to do, are you questioning your existence, are you fearful, have you been duped, are you being deceived into believing the best is what you have now, where you are now ... Nothing more.

But there is more. There is Jesus. We must look to Him, stay focused on Him, believe in Him, accept Him, trust Him, obey Him, for us to gain entrance to the heavenly realms of Paradise.

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6