Reading your Bible is not about finding yourself, it is about finding God; which allows you to find yourself.
Devotion for the week of 7/7/14-7/13/14 (Better late than never)
There have been many books written and stories told about people who have died and seen Heaven and then came back to life. Last year I was told that none of those stories could be true. I thought about it and I realized that all the stories I’ve heard aren’t consistent with each other. The descriptions of Heaven are all so vastly different. So then I went looking for some verses that would verify what I was told. What I found was John 3:13 and Revelation 21:27. John 3: 13 says, ‘No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man’. I take that to mean that the only one who has been to Heaven and then left it is Jesus. That proves that it is not possible for people to die and go to Heaven and then come back to life. Revelation 21:27 says, ‘Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life’. I have heard of atheists who have seen Heaven and then came back and became Christians. But that is not possible because this verse states that you can only enter Heaven if you are a Christian. That’s what it means to be written in the Lamb’s book of life. The book of Revelation talks a lot about Heaven, so I will share some verses that describe what Heaven looks like. Revelation 21:21-25 says, ‘The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass. I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there’. This is where we get the term ‘pearly gates’. And I’m sure you’ve heard of the streets of Heaven being paved with gold. I think it’s interesting, and I just learned of this not long ago, that there is no night in Heaven and that God and Jesus are the light. There are lots of stories out there of people who claim to have seen Heaven. But don’t believe all that you hear, especially when there is proof that it’s not true. Your view of Heaven should not be based off of descriptions from ordinary people who claim to have seen it, but instead off of the reliable account of John’s vision. Of course, nothing we can picture in our minds is even close to how marvelous and beautiful Heaven really is. We’ll just have to wait until we get there and see for ourselves.
Devotion for the week of 3/24/14-3/30/14
In Revelation 3:15-16 God says that He does not like ‘lukewarm’ Christians. He wants them to either be ‘hot’ or ‘cold’. He says that if they are ‘lukewarm’ He will spit them out of His mouth. Imagine a fence down the middle of two different areas. On one side is dead, dried up grass, and on the other is green grass. Now imagine someone sitting on that fence. God doesn’t want us to be ‘on the fence’ about what we believe. He wants us to either believe strongly and whole-heartedly, or believe half-heartedly. He would rather us believe half-heartedly than be in-between. But, of course, He would prefer if we believed strongly and whole-heartedly. Not only does He not like ‘lukewarm’ Christians, but He also doesn’t like two-faced Christians: people who claim to be Christians but act two different ways depending on who they are with. In James 3:10-12 James, the brother of Jesus, tells us that praise and cursing should not come out of the same mouth. He compares that to a grapevine producing figs and a fig tree producing olives. It’s just not possible. He says that a salt spring cannot produce fresh water. We shouldn’t be two-faced. We shouldn’t be Christ like around some people and worldly around others. Good and bad should not be spoken from the same mouth. The worst would be a two-faced, lukewarm Christian. God would surely disapprove of that person. So if you are a Christian, act like one consistently. Don’t change how you act based on who you are around. Also, be strong in your beliefs. A consistent Christian strong in their beliefs pleases the Lord.