Meditation for 09/20/2019

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within e? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5, 11)

Twice in this psalm and once in the next (43:5), person’s soliloquy with his own soul called out for hope.

The hope looks beyond trouble and oppression to a future time when praise will replace grief. Such language also can express the fuller revelation of heaven and the endless praises made possible there.


Precious Abba, sometimes it seems that we are in a hopeless situation and all we can do is praise God, that in a future time, our hope will replace our hopelessness and bring joy and hope back into our souls, and we find solace to continue on. Sometimes, even when we can barely utter a whisper, Your Spirit speaks to You on our behalf, and You answer us even before we realize we have asked You for something. Abba, You are our truly hope that surpasses our understanding and brings us closer to You in a meaningful way, and we once again take a stride forward in our faith and belief in You and find exactly what we need at that moment in time and in exactly the way we need it. Thank You, Abba, for believe in us and loving us. Amen


Is what you are living for, worth dying for?”


“And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—-was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.” (2nd Corinthians 12:3-4)

Paul humbly described his own vision of “paradise,” a word borrowed by the Jews from the Persian language, meaning “enclosure, garden, park.” The early Greek translation of he Old Testament used paradise for the garden of Eden in Genesis 2—3 or of God (Genesis 13:10; Isaiah 51:3; Ezekiel 28:13; 31:8). In the period between the Testaments at least some Jewish groups developed the idea of paradise as the resting place of righteous sous before the final resurrection. In the New Testament paradise is )1 where the repentant thief would join Jesus “today” after the crucifixion, )2 a renewed garden of Eden promised to the faithful (Rev. 2:7), )3 and the place to which Paul was caught up (2nd Corinthians 12:4). It was apparently the same as the “third heaven” (12:2). Paul could not describe paradise. Neither was he certain whether he ha been transported bodily or whether he had a vision or his soul had left his body. Which he meant depends on whether depends on whether Paul believed in the traditional Hebrew understanding of the unity of body and soul or whether he was influenced by Greek thought and separated body and soul. Paradise is, at least, the place where departed righteous dead are present with God.


Last Things, Heaven: (Revelation 7:1-17)

The 144,000 and the great multitude in accordance with the various millennial views. The 144,000 refers to Israel of he Old Testament or the Israel of the end time. Some believe the numbers symbolize all the Old Testament saints. Others believe the numbers represent all believers as spiritual Israel. Yet others take the 144,000 as a literal number of Jews called to faith in Christ and to a unique ministry of witnessing during the end times. There is no basis here for a belief that only 144,000 will ever be saved. The great multitude refers to the believes in Christ.

Those in heaven in some way serve God continuously while enjoying unending, direct fellowship with God (21:3). Hunger and thirst are fully satisfied. Discomforts from nature’s elements are not experienced. Christ nourishes hose in heaven. All tears are wiped away by God Himself. Heaven can be described in terms of what will not be present, as well as of what will be there.

Second Thought of the Day:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take yo to be with me that you also may be where I am going.” (John 14:1-3)

Without using the “heaven,” Jesus nonetheless captured the essence of heaven as a prepared place called His Father’s house. He ascended to the Father to prepare for His followers to join Him.

The hope of heaven is a cue for troubled hearts. That hope is founded on trust in Christ. Te essential joy of heaven will be its abode with the Father and its fellowship with the Son.

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