2000-10-24 - Thinking Heavenly
Colossians 1:5, "because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel."
I do not think that we think much about heaven. I also do not think that it is a natural thing to do. I am not sure that we need to think about heaven all the time either, but we should to some degree. I think we are like the little boy in a children's choir, who, when they were singing the song, "I want to be an angel, and with the angels stand," was told by the leader, "Sing louder, boys and girls," to which the little boy responded, "We are singing as loud as we feel."
He was at least being honest. It is not natural to focus our thoughts on Heaven. We know very little about it and it is out of our realm of experience. Everything with which we have experience is earthly. It is only natural to have a desire to live, and to live long lives. We ought to seek to live productive, fruitful lives as long as God spares us. But while we live here, we ought to be in preparation for living in Heaven. One of the reasons I have always loved the Puritans is because of their focus on life and our preparation to die well. Dying well … what a curious thought.
There is, as the above verse from Colossians says, hope laid up for us in Heaven. Hope is like faith; it is a look forward to something beyond what we can see. Hope is that anticipation that a six-year-old child has when he sees those wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree. He knows that under the paper, and in the box, there is something, something he will like, but he is not sure what it is, just that it is a good thing. That is hope. It is much like Scripture says, "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 Such is, really, our hope of Heaven.
Again, I think it is only natural for us to be about the business of life and lose sight of heaven. It is easy to do, but I am not recommending it. We ought to be Heavenly-minded. Our life here is but a vapor, and while we are in this vapor it is easy to focus on the moment and lose sight of the future outcome. In many way this is justified, but it is also proper, good and needful that we retune ourselves from time to time and focus Heavenly. Such a tuneup will effect our conversation, mindset, actions, and dispositions, and these are good things to have tuned up from time to time. "But as it is, they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them." Hebrews 11:16
A poor man was once reported to have said to his minister that the way to Heaven was short, easy, and simple. It only has three parts, "out of self, unto Christ, into glory."
Soli Deo Gloria,