Tuesday 27 October 2020

Bible Book:

But as it is, they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. (v.16)

Hebrews 11:8-19 Tuesday 27 October 2020

Psalm 6:1-9


Perhaps it is built into our DNA as human beings to desire more than we actually have. We don't just want material things. We might be longing for improved relationships, justice for all, better health, fairer systems of government, more awareness of environmental concerns, and so on. Actually, the list is a long one! Can we really expect to enjoy 'heaven on earth'?

 I am reminded of a quote attributed to the author Thomas Hardy, “The main object of religion is not to get a man into heaven; but to get heaven into him." Apologies for Hardy’s sexist language, but I rather think that Jesus would have agreed with the sentiment. Why else did Jesus begin so many of his parables with, “The kingdom of heaven is like…”? Have a browse through Matthew 13, 18,19, 20 for examples of Jesus teaching in everyday language, using examples of everyday life, to explain what might be possible in everybody’s existence – to be in the kingdom of God.

The desire for something better, for something beyond us, is why the poet Robert Browning wrote, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp. Or what’s a heaven for?” Jesus is surely trying to say to those around him, and now to you and me, that heaven can be glimpsed, or even fleetingly grasped, in the everyday examples of goodness all around us. In Jesus, the kingdom of God/heaven itself is present, so we would all do well to study the life and teaching of Jesus as closely as possible!

 Jesus left his Spirit with the disciples, and of course with us today. Paul writing to the Galatians suggested how the fruit of his Holy Spirit might appear in daily living – in the form of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Whenever we see these in action, do we not experience a small understanding of what heaven is like, as well as what it will be like? It’s a case of the 'now and not yet'; we glimpse now the better country, the heavenly one.

 What a boost for our faith it is to see God’s fruit in action in daily living.


To Ponder:

  •  Be prepared today to be treated to a 'foretaste of the heavenly banquet', for God is at work in his world. How might we join in with what God is surely doing?
  • Consider the words of verse 5 of hymn 457 in Singing the Faith :
    "The things unknown to feeble sense,
     unseen by reason’s glimmering ray,
    with strong, commanding evidence
    their heavenly origin display.”

In everyday life, what evidence do you see of things that have a 'heavenly origin'?


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