Heaven Our Reward

Sep 16, 2013

Even as we settle into our new home, I can’t get my mind off heaven. It’s not that I’m discontent here, I’m not. Our house is so peaceful, and the longer I’m here the more I thank God for this gift, especially after our journey over the last two years.
It’s just that I think God has answered my prayer. While I was on the journey learning lessons about how temporary everything here is, I asked Him to not let me forget. I don’t ever want to get so comfortable here again that I forget where my real home is.
But that is so easy to do! The early Christians in the New Testament didn’t have this problem. Since they were being persecuted, they were not in danger of feeling to comfortable here. Instead, they needed frequent reminders, from writers like Paul, to help them remember why they were hanging in there. Because really, without heaven as their goal, what was the point?
We need those same reminders today. Our lives here in the US are completely different from the early Christians in many ways. We don’t face persecution, not really, and our lives aren’t in danger for the gospel. But they are just as pointless without heaven as the goal.
Then I hear the naysayers, “But I don’t want my service to God to be based on some reward.” Think about it, though. Most if not everything we do in this life is based on some type of reward or goal. We set aside money for retirement, so we can live easier when we’re older. We raise our children “right,” so they will grow up to be Godly people. We go to work each day, so we can provide for our families. We give to charity to better others’ lives, often because Christ gave to us, and we want to be like Him. All are based on some sort of reward or goal.
The reward of heaven is not just peace and rest, golden streets, and crowns. The true reward is the relationship. Ever since Adam and Eve left God’s presence in the garden, we’ve been hungry for the restoration of that relationship. In heaven it will finally be restored and whole.
No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. ~ Rev. 22:3-5, ESV
Yes, we will also reign forever with Him, but the true reward is still seeing him face-to-face and getting to live with Him forever. So, no, heaven is not a bad goal to have.
Instead it should be the goal under which all other priorities fall. As Paul writes,
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For the slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. ~ 2 Cor. 4:16-18, ESV

Questions such as what job we take, how we spend our money, how we raise our children, how we spend our time, should all fall under our first priority, the goal of heaven. To help keep us on track, we should remind each other frequently where our real home is. Remind each other that our days can be full of meaning when we keep heaven in sight.
So as I sit here in our new house, no I’m not discontent, but I am hungry. Hungry for the day when I reach heaven, can run into His arms, and that relationship is completely restored.
As you may have noticed, I have slowed my posting down to once a week. This is to give myself more time for other writing projects, while also keeping family time a priority. I’m pretty excited about what I’m working on and will share more about them later on.

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