I have recently become very interested in reading things from the great Christians of the past.  One of those great Christians was a man named, C.S. Lewis.  Lewis once said, "if you read history you will find that the Christians who have done the most for the present world are the ones who think the most of the next.  It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world (heaven or hell) that they have become so ineffective in this one."  In other words thinking about heaven and focusing on heaven gives us the strength to be the people that we are called to be today.

Yet how much time do we really spend thinking about the next world?  We think about the cares of this world don't we?  We agonize and worry over things.  We get caught up in temptations and sins.  We become burdened about things that don't matter.  We are like children who are content to play in the mud puddles when we have the ocean right before us.  If we could only focus on the glory of heaven and the beauty of being with Jesus we would find strength for whatever life throws our way today.

Temptations?  No thank you, I have something far better waiting on me because Jesus has prepared a place just for me.  Worries, anxieties, fears? Again no thank you, I trust God and He has everything under control.  Burdened? Yes but there is light at the end of the tunnel and that light is the glory of God shining througout the beauty of heaven. 

Thinking about the next world changes us.  It helps us focus on what really matters, it helps us have strength for the journey of life.  It even helps us care about other people because "we are compelled to love them" and care about what happens to them in the next world.  No wonder Jesus taught His disciples, "seek FIRST the kingdom of God....."  He also gave us a wonderful and precious promise, "I have come so that you might have life and have it more abundantly. " (John 10:10)  Perhaps that abundant life really begins to happen as we think about the promises of God for the place called heaven.

We certainly don't know everything about heaven, but we do know this it will be something more than floating through the air on clouds playing our harps (as you see it depicted today).  It will be a permanent encounter with the Living God, and that makes me speechless.  We will be beginning a study on Heaven on Sunday night at 6:30 on February 21st.   Come and be a part of this, it will be hope giving and life changing.  It will help us once again focus on those things that are really important and hopefully help us to me more effective Christians in this world as we live longing for the next.