Where There Are No Riots

In the days following the election of Donald Trump, there have been several riots across the heartland. A number of “unhappy campers” are joined in both peaceful and violent protests which include desecration of property and theft. Quite obviously, they are not presently happy in the country and some are threatening to leave. Continue reading Where There Are No Riots

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The Half Has Not Been Told

It is crucial to think about heaven. Think about this, if we spend eternity there, all but a tiny, tiny speck of our entire existence will be spent there. Why do we get so wrapped up in this world when the time we will spend here is only a small blip on the radar compared to eternity?  Shouldn’t we think about heaven?

But there’s one thing we must know, even after reading what the Bible has to offer on describing heaven, I’m still convinced “the half has not been told.”  Heaven’s glories will still surpass even what God, with human words, has sought to tell us about it.  We will just have to plan to see it for ourselves.

It reminds me of the story when the Queen of Sheba visited Solomon in God’s nation of Israel.

Sheba Travel
No matter how long and difficult the journey was, the Queen of Sheba was determined to see God’s kingdom. How much more we should desire to make the journey to Heaven!

She traveled a thousand miles through desert territory to see Solomon’s kingdom.  Such a journey must have been hard, but is was certainly worth it.  Even more so, heaven will be worth the journey for us.  No matter what trials we face, we press through them all just to see the city.  “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God”  (Acts 14:22).

The queen was quite wealthy herself and yet God’s kingdom “took her breath away.”  The text says when saw it, “There was no more spirit in her” (1 Kings 10:5).  It was a place with unmatched wisdom found in its leader, a place of beauty and a place filled with wonderful riches.  When she saw the kingdom, she said, “I did not believe the words until I came and saw it with my own eyes, and indeed, the half was not told me.  Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame of which I heard” (1 Kings 10:7 – emphasis mine).

All the earth sought the presence of Solomon, who surpassed all the kings in riches and wisdom (1 Kings 10:23-24).  If that was people’s desire for Solomon, how much more so should we seek THE KING who gave him such riches.  Solomon would have been nothing without the Lord.

ShebaBeforeKing
Imagine the moment when the Queen of Sheba saw the king and the glories of his kingdom. Such a moment is coming for the Christian…in heaven.

The kingdom of Solomon was filled with gold, for silver “was accounted as nothing in the days of Solomon” (1 Kings 10:21).

Imagine it.  Silver was counted as NOTHING!  It reminds me of heaven where there is a street of gold (Rev. 21:21).  In fact, the city itself is pure gold (Rev. 21:18).  As we stated in a previous post, the place is surely fabulous when gold is the asphalt!  Eclipsing all of this is the glory of the One we most desire to see.  Our God.  King of Kings!

Why did Solomon enjoy all of this?  It was because God loved him and delighted in him (1 Kings 10:9).  But dear friend, the same can be done for you if you become a Christian and live your life for God.  God is ready to pour out all the riches of heaven upon you.  Read carefully these verses.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus”  (Ephesians 2:4-7, emphasis mine)

And what will your reaction be?  I’m pretty sure it will be something like, “This place exceeds everything I ever imagined.  The half was not told me.”  Heaven!!  Don’t miss it for the world.

– Jeff May

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Why Do You Stand Gazing?

Anything that lifts our eyes upward and sets our minds on the heavenly things is a blessing indeed. On Tuesday of this past week a very rare cloud formation appeared over Costa Rica. And as you will hear in the video, it made the videographer think of the Lord’s return.

These things we know:

The Lord is coming again (Acts 1:9-11).
He will return in the clouds.
The lost will be separated from Him (2 Thess. 1:8-9).
Saints will admire the sight of Him.
Saints will rise to meet Him in the air and ever be with Him (1 Thess. 4:17).
He will come “as thief in the night” (unannounced), hence the need to always be ready (2 Pet. 3:10-11).

Enjoy the YouTube video and remember to look in the clouds often. Think of Him, prepare to meet Him by obeying His gospel and live faithfully ’til the day He arrives. Oh, for a home with God!

– Jeff May

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You Can Learn A Lot From A Dog

Throughout scripture God uses the animals to teach spiritual lessons. He even uses something as tiny as an ant to teach the value of hard work (Proverbs 6:6).

In the final chapter of our book on “Heaven: O For A Home With God”, we refer to a dog named “Hachi” to teach us how we should be looking for Jesus every day and remain loyal until He returns. The message learned from this dog is so powerful.

We thought you might enjoy this video to show you the entire story of Hachi. Get your copy of the book today and learn more about this wonderful adventure that leads from here to home. May God help us also to keep waiting for the Master.

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Practicing for Heaven’s Game

In May of 2002, NBA Superstar Alan Iverson sat down before Press members and unleashed a rant that has become one of the most famous press conference tirades in American Sports history.

Iverson was upset at his coach, Larry Brown, for contending that Iverson’s missing practice and practice habits may have cost his team another final’s appearance.

Iverson could hardly believe he was having to answer questions about practice, saying, “I’m supposed to be the franchise player, and we in here talking about practice. I mean, listen, we’re talking about practice, not a game, not a game, not a game, we talking about practice.”  

In a span of two minutes, Iverson would say the word “practice” more than twenty times!  NBA players reacted mostly with laughter and mimics of the interview.  They know how tremendously important practice is for the successful athlete.  Their dads probably pushed them saying, “Practice makes perfect!”

Listen to the contrasting sound of two 1992 “Dream Team” members.

Michael Jordan’s teammates say his practice habits were intense.  It was like they had a game instead of a practice.  Jordan says, “Every day in practice is like a competition – so when the game comes it’s nothing that I haven’t already practiced.  It’s a routine.  Whatever happens in the game, okay, I’ve done this before.”

Larry Bird says, “I don’t know if I practiced more than anybody, but I sure practiced enough.  I would still wonder if somebody, somewhere, was practicing more than me.”  He continues, “Push yourself again and again.  Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.”

Practice is even more important for the Christian.  Eternity’s game is coming. We are simply in practice now.  Switching analogies, we are in the dress rehearsal now.  One day, if well prepared, we will be ushered onto the stage and the curtain will open for the big play.

Our practice includes reading God’s word, living it out in daily life, praying to God, developing Christ-likeness and serving others.  We not only accept it when our Heavenly Coach corrects us and shows us our flaws, we covet such a coach. We say…

“Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me, and know my anxieties;

And see if there is any wicked way in me,

And lead me in the way everlasting”

(Psalm 139:23-24)

We practice to hone our knowledge and skill (2 Pet. 3:18)  We practice to learn how to defeat our opponent – not being ignorant of his game (2 Cor. 2:11).  We practice to become spiritually fit for heaven (1 John 3:7).  We practice to build spiritual muscle and stamina so that we are still going strong in the final quarter (Phil. 3:12).  One of the strongest Christians ever said it this way…“Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all” (1 Tim. 4:15).  That sounds a little like Jordan and Bird.

The truth is, heaven’s eternal game is for those who love the game so much they begin practicing it now.  They love to study and pray and sing and serve.  They love seeing themselves becoming like the Master player Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13).  Those who never practice, never show great desire, and never show any progress will not be on Heaven’s Dream Team.

For now the gym is open.  The roster is not settled.  Opportunity is there for all. Will you practice today?  It’s what all of God’s franchise players do.  Watch today’s ESPN video.  Think about it and have a blessed day.

 — Jeff May

 

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Camping Toward Canaan’s Happy Land

I love camping…well, sort of. I love the great outdoors, the sights and sounds of nature, and a good campfire for roasting hot dog wieners and melting down some marshmallows for s’mores! And I love that very first night when I crawl into my tent.

But within a little while it comes back to me that because I’m now past fifty years old, I just don’t handle sleeping on the ground very well. An air mattress sure helps these old bones if I have one. But even at that, after several nights, I’m weary, ready to pack up the tent, and go home.

Did you know the Bible calls your body a tent?  Your body is not the real you. The real you is a spirit, made in the image of God (James 3:9; Gen. 1:27) and made for an eternal home with God.  And for now, the real you is simply camping on the low plains of this earth.  The summit is ahead for the Christian.

One day, any day, the real you will move out of the tent and return into the keeping of God, the Father of spirits (Hebrews 12:9), Who first breathed into you the breath of life (Genesis 1:7). The tent, this ole body, will return to the dust from whence it came (Ecclesiastes 12:7).  The next destination for the real you depends on the direction your tent has been pitched – a life lived for God (heaven) or a life lived for self (hell).  The Bible story of Abraham and Lot shows us that it really does matter in which direction you pitch your tent.  Compare the two when you can (Genesis 12:8; 13:12).  Even though a righteous man, Lot’s tent was aimed toward much grief, while Abraham stayed more focused on “the city that has foundations whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10).

Peter used this “tent” metaphor when he neared the end of his life.

“Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent,

to stir you up by reminding you, knowing that shortly,

I must put off my tent, just as the Lord Jesus Christ showed me.”

(2 Peter 1:13-14)

It will be a great day when the Christian “breaks camp.”  The spirit will break free from the confines and limitations of the earthly body.  We yearn for the new tent, the one specially suited for heaven’s eternity.  The new tent (the new body to which our spirit returns) never has leaks, dry rots, mildews or becomes totally unusable.  It is incorruptible, glorious, spiritual, and raised with great power (1 Cor. 15:44).

“For we who are in this tent groan,

earnestly desiring to be clothed with

our habitation which is from heaven.”

(2 Corinthians 5:2)

Remember, you don’t have to be post-fifty for the spirit to break camp.  It can happen at any time, hence the need to always be ready (James 4:13-14).  Won’t that be a wonderful day if you awaken with a new tent in Canaan’s happy land?  Shouldn’t you pitch your tent in that direction now?

 – Jeff May

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“You Brought Pavement?”

I once heard a story that was intended to express how heaven’s riches are beyond measure.  It was a story about a rich man who was near death.  He grieved because he had worked so hard and wanted to carry his riches with him.

The rich man pleaded with God and was allowed by God to bring one bag. Overjoyed, he loaded his suitcase full of gold bars.  Upon arrival at heaven, he was checking in and was told by Peter the bag would not be allowed.  He insisted that he had permission.  Things were checked on, and it was found that he did have approval from God.  When the bag was opened to see what was so needed by the man, Peter exclaimed, “You brought pavement?!”

Imagine a place that is so vast in its riches that gold is its pavement!  The Bible says…

“…And the street of the city

was pure gold, 

like transparent glass.” 

(Revelation 21:23)

It reminds me of the time in the Bible when the queen of Sheba came to visit Solomon and see the splendor of His wisdom and His kingdom.  Remember that she is very rich herself.  Yet, look at her words when she saw THIS kingdom!  She says…

I did not believe the words until I came

and saw it with my own eyes; 

and indeed the half was not told me.

Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the 

fame of which I heard.”

(1 Kings 10:7)

Even she was “blown away” by what she saw!  Solomon’s kingdom was so loaded with gold that nothing was made from silver for “silver was counted as nothing in the days of Solomon” (1 Kings 10:21).  Imagine that!

Indeed, God uses the grandest earthly riches and colorful words to try to describe heaven’s beauty to us.  Yet, I am still persuaded that within the first few seconds of actually seeing it with eternal, spiritual eyes, we will exclaim, “The half has not been told me.”  

An entire suitcase of gold is as nothing there, especially when the street is laid with the finest gold ever quarried!  And then to see God and our Lord Jesus Christ whose wisdom, splendor, love, and kindness have no equal!

O, for a home with God!  Read about it.  Ponder it’s majesty.  Obey God’s plan of salvation.  Live the adventure that leads to the mansions of glory.  You will be eternally glad you did.

– Jeff May

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Jesus’ Blood: A Special “Wite Out”

Quite often I come across Christians who wonder how they could ever be fit for heaven.  They wonder, “If heaven is a perfect place and I am imperfect, how could I ever be allowed there?”

wite-outJesus’ blood provides the way for us to be blameless, perfect and suited for heaven.  It has been compared to liquid paper (“Wite Out”) used by secretaries, especially in the days of typewriters.  The boss hires a secretary and expects her to turn out excellent work.  But he knows that even while she strives for excellence, she will occasionally make a mistake.  So, he provides “Wite Out” to her.  The “Wite Out” is not provided to encourage mistakes but rather to cover them.  One day she is typing and she notices that she has made a mistake.  Immediately, she reaches for the “Wite Out,” blots out her mistake and then retypes.  What is presented to the boss at the last?  A perfect paper.  It’s not perfect because she has been perfect but because she made use of the “Wite Out” and then retyped to get it right.

Likewise, you and I can be presented holy and blameless before Jesus on the judgment day.  Each day, with the help of God, we strive to be like Jesus in every way.  When we sin and fail to be like Him, we reach for His blood through prayer and ask God to blot out our mistakes.  The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).  Once He has blotted out our sins, we then continue to be about the business of striving to be like Jesus—retyping, if you will.

The blood of Jesus, our special “Wite Out” keeps us perfect before God.  It’s our progress in becoming more and more like Jesus that God wants to see.  And when we have given our all to be like Jesus, God will cap it off at the last by making us just like Him—perfect and suited for heaven (1 John 3:2-3)

 “Though your sins are like scarlet, 

they shall be as white as snow” 

(Isaiah 1:18).

                                                                                                    - Jeff May

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