That Which is in Store For Us

I Corinthians 2:9  “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

Today I had a wonderful meal.  I went to Cracker Barrel here in town and, well, what I ate is not important.  Let’s just say, it was a big breakfast.  What is important is that I enjoyed it.  I also enjoyed the company.  You see, my family and I were fellowshipping with three other families from the church.  Food and fellowship; these are staples to just about any Baptist out there.

The verse above made me think.  We’re going to be spending the an awful long time dining at the Master’s table once we get to heaven.  No matter how good the food is down here, and frankly, as good as Cracker Barrel is, it never beats my wife’s cooking, or my grandma’s, or my Nannie’s.  But when I get to heaven, I’m not even going to remember Cracker Barrel.  I’ll be dining with the King of Kings, and fellowshipping with the saints and martyrs.  Moses, Joseph, Rahab, King David, and Paul.  Stephen the evangelist.  Philip.  Perhaps I’ll run into D. L. Moody, or Scofield.

Eye hath not see, nor ear heard.  That is what the Bible says.  I had a great time out today with my friends.  It’s nice to talk about everyday things, and even spiritual things, with your brothers and sisters in Christ.  But how much more amazing to spend time with Jesus Himself.  We are supposed to love God, because He first loved us.  He sent HIs son to die for us, and all we have to do is be appreciative, and believe that He did.  And for that, we get an eternal life that puts this one to shame, quite literally.

Imagine the most precious thing you can.  Imagine the most beautiful thing you can.  Imagine the best day you could have.  And then realize that none of those things even come close to what God has in store for us on the other side.  God is preparing a place for us.  All we’re required to do is try to find more guests.

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Fear Thou Not

Isaiah 41:10  “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am the God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

I understand that verses are often taken out of context to prove a point, and as a general feeling, I abhor that practice.  Yet, this verse provides me comfort at times, and not necessarily in the context of the original writing.  I am not an Old Testament Israelite, after all.  In the original context, of course, the Lord is reminding Israel that he will see them through their battles, and that their enemy will be gone.  Of course, to a Christian, all of these things are allegories.  Yes, they actually happened, and yes, there is historical application, but for my life, it’s spiritual.

You see, it isn’t that God is going to be with us whatever we do.  That would be ludicrous.  Yes, he is ever-present with us, but he does not approve all of our actions.  The last part of this verse tells me that He is holding me up with His own righteousness.  Besides the obvious implications regarding salvation and the impossibility of losing it, it tells me that what I’m doing better be righteous if the Lord is holding me up.

Think about it.  If God Himself is going to strengthen you, if He’s going to be with you, and if He is going to uphold you, don’t you think you ought to be doing something spiritual?  This verse tells me that when God tells you to do something, don’t worry, He’s there.  If He has called you to a mission field, He’ll be there.  Don’t be dismayed.  If He wants you to preach, or teach, He will strengthen you.  If He asks you to pastor a church, or give money to that struggling family, or take that missionary out to dinner, yea, He will help you.

And if you take a stand against immorality, or deceitfulness, or sin in your church or home, or society at large, the Lord will uphold you.

I’m not telling you to go out there and act like the Westboro Baptist hypocrites, because frankly, they’re a bunch of low-lifes that don’t know how to read the Bible.  No, I’m telling you to go out there and do what God tells you to do.  Whether it’s leaving a gospel tract for your server at the restaurant, or telling that young man or young woman at the gas station about Christ, listen to the prodding of the Holy Spirit.  Nervous?  Sure.  But God says not to fear.  He is God after all, and His help is never far away.