John 14:2-3, Isaiah 11:6-7, Revelation 21, 22, 4:3-5

My family has a habit of reading the devotional, Our Daily Bread each day.  Recently, one writer wrote about someone who assumed Heaven is boring.  The writer quickly mentioned that when they went to the Grand Canyon, they were in awe at one part of God’s creation.  The author concluded that Heaven would not be boring.  I would like to add reasons I think Heaven will not be boring:

  1. Jesus will be there!
  2. Wolves, lions and bears can reside there (like a beautiful zoo with no cages).
  3. The sun is not needed because God Himself provides all of the light with no night.
  4. The River of Life is in front of God’s throne.
  5. Lightning and thunder come from God’s throne.
  6. There is a rainbow encircling His throne (no more waiting for the weather conditions to be just right for a rainbow).
  7. The main street is made out of GOLD.  God doesn’t have to mine for gold, since He can just make it.
  8. New Jerusalem’s walls will be decorated with jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, amethyst (my favorite), etc.  Is that enough precious stones for you?
  9. There are lots of mansions in Heaven.
  10. Jesus said He’d “prepare a place for you” which implies individual things might be included, like your favorite wild animals.

Will Heaven be boring?  Maybe one day’s highlights would be strolling down the golden street, hugging a lion, and doing a backstroke in the River of Life while watching lightning shoot out from God’s throne.  That sounds exciting to me!  Why would God make Himself a boring place to live?  That’s an insult to Him.  God is GOD and everything will be perfect.  Trust Him to provide eternal entertainment.

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1 Kings 18:45-46, 1 Kings 19:19-20

In studying 1 Kings 19:19-20 I found out that there apparently has been some controversy over the financial status of Elisha because of the number of oxen Elijah found him with.  Some wonder if Elisha owned all twelve yoke of oxen.  Some think Elisha and/or his father must have been rich.  In my study, however, I wasn’t searching for an answer to whether Elisha was wealthy or not.  It was verses 19b and 20a that piqued my curiosity, but I couldn’t find any source that addressed my question.  My question is that if Elisha just got Elijah’s cloak thrown on him, why did he have to run after Elijah?

In the above verses, Elisha was working with oxen when Elijah passed him, and threw the cloak on him.  Then, Elisha had to run after him.

At one point in Elijah’s life, he put his cloak in his belt, and was able to sprint past Ahab and his chariot to Jezreel’s city gate.  God helped Elijah run in that serious situation, but I wonder if Elijah was feeling playful and asked God to let him run like that again by Elisha.

It could be that Elijah was simply walking briskly past Elisha.  It appears it’s just one of those questions I’ll have to ask in Heaven someday.

 

Colossians 1:9, 2 Timothy 1:3

There are times when we may send a “thinking of you” card or balloons to someone in a hospital or another place.  Recently, I wondered if there are any “praying for you” balloons.  An online search produced only a handful of choices, but they’re out there.  Some choices were:  “Praying for Your Recovery,” and “Our Thoughts and Prayers are With You.”

Paul cared for others.  In Colossians 1:9 and 2 Timothy 1:3, Paul wrote about nonstop prayer for others.  I think that if mylar balloons were an option in his day, he would have sent prayer balloon bouquets to uplift others.

 

Ephesians 6:20, Philippians 1:13, Colossians 4:3, Philemon 1:13, 2 Timothy 1:16

Do you find it a chore to write a letter?  Paul wrote 13 letters and five of them were from prison.  He wrote even though he was in chains.  I think that the weight of the chains would have made writing difficult for Paul.

If you do a quick online search regarding letters Paul wrote from prison, you’ll soon see that only Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon are mentioned, not 2 Timothy.  But according to my NIV Bible under, “Title and Background,” when 2 Timothy was written, “…he was again imprisoned in Rome under Emperor Nero about 66-67.  He was languishing in a cold dungeon, chained like a common criminal.  Paul knew that his work was done and that his life was nearly at an end.”

Chances are you’re not in chains.  Is there some Christian good you can do by sending off some handwritten snail mail to someone soon?

 

James 1:5

While walking/biking on a path with the kids to a tennis court, a whopper, grasshopper jumped on one of their tennis rackets.  When we tried to get it back in the grass, it jumped on Emily’s bike tire.  From there, it hopped down and stayed on the heavily traveled path.  Was it wise of the grasshopper to land on a tennis racket, bike tire and busy path?  Nope.  It made unwise and even dangerous choices.

Whether you do or don’t like grasshoppers (I’m personally not a fan of the adult ones with all that swaying back and forth and spitting) we can still learn something.  We don’t always make wise choices, do we?  We might even make several unwise choices, like the grasshopper.

What’s wonderful is that we can ask God for wisdom.  He’s always willing to give wisdom freely.

John 1:1-5, John 8:12, 1 Timothy 6:14-16

Recently, I went out at night to shop.  Driving home, I saw a motorcycle with purple and blue LED accent lights above the kickstand.  I stared as long as I could, lifted by the shining light display in the dark.

Jesus’ light breaks through darkness on a much larger scale than the motorcycle.  Jesus is “the light of the world” and God is “in unapproachable light.”  It must make them laugh to see that I’m wowed by little LED lights knowing the light I’ll encounter in Heaven someday.

Deuteronomy 25:15, Proverbs 16:11, Jeremiah 5:1

I’ve been on a lot of errands over the last few days.  At one store, I purchased two mylar balloons, two latex balloons and some Hi Float to make the balloons last longer.  The total was under $15.  When I got home, I decided to look at the receipt before tossing it.  I discovered that I was only charged for the mylar balloons and the Hi Float.  I figured out that they undercharged me about $3.  It was night by that time, and, even though they were open, I decided to make it right in the morning.  Not long after their store opened, I came in with my receipt, waited in line, and when it was my turn, set my keys with a sparkly cross on the counter and explained that I was undercharged.  The clerk was surprised, but rang up my total which I paid.  She thanked me for my honesty.

There is a story told about Abe Lincoln and his honesty.  You can find it in The Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett on page 620.  It tells about Abe when he was a clerk.  A woman made a purchase that was a little over $2 and left.  Later, Abe realized that he had accidentally overcharged her 6 1/4 cents.  After work, he walked in the dark two or three miles to her house after thinking, “The money must be paid back.”

Honesty is important.  If you read in Proverbs or Deuteronomy you’ll run across verses about honest scales and weights.  In Jeremiah 5:1, it looked like an honest person was a rare find.

Abe Lincoln might have been tired from his work shift, but he pressed on in the dark, risking embarrassment, to show that customer what honesty looks like.  The lady in the story might have been timid to open her door in the dark and then startled to see Abe.  But once he explained, she could gladly receive the change and instead of feeling troubled, he could feel a positive change inside.

https://books.google.com/books?id=ljEXPcTDquQC&lpg=PA620&pg=PA620&output=embed

Luke 12:22, John 1:1, John 14:27

My family receives e-mail from Web MD and one was entitled, “Nine Ways Worrying Can Wreck Your Health.”  The subsequent slideshow revealed that worrying can “speed up heart rate” and “raise your blood sugar.”  Also, “Your body may not fight germs as well.”

Jesus doesn’t need to subscribe to Web MD health tips.  Jesus was with God in the beginning and knows what we need and don’t need.    While on earth, so long ago, He instructed others not to worry.  At one point, Jesus specifically mentioned the heart.  He didn’t want our hearts to be troubled.  If you look up troubled on thesaurus.com, a synonym is “worried stiff.”  Jesus doesn’t want us to be worried stiff.

Jesus said He can give peace.  Whenever we’re tempted to worry, let’s remember to trust Jesus for the peace only He can give.

John 14:27

While on a walk at a nearby park on Friday, I heard an elderly man from a bench call out to me, “Where’s the flowers?”  I approached him and let him know that if he veered right on the path, went over the bridge and straight over, he would find the flowers.  From his view, instead of flowers, he could see a lot of tall weeds and an area under construction.

Let’s say the weeds and construction represent stress and flowers represent peace.  If you’re at a point in your life where you’re surrounded by weeds and construction, go to God in prayer, and ask Him to show you where the flowers are.  Giving peace is Jesus’ specialty.

 

Luke 12:1, Romans 10:9, John 14: 2-3, 15

When I was a kid, my parents took my sister and my grandma to the Grand Ole Opry to see Loretta Lynn.  Mom said that the crowd was calm getting tickets, but since there was no reserved seating, when only one or two gates of all of the gates, opened, the crowd changed to a swarm, pushing to get through.  We had no choice but to submit to the momentum of the crowd.  Mom and Dad held on firmly to us and we reached seats in safety.

In Luke, there was a crowd of thousands upon thousands trying to experience Jesus.  In their struggle to get to Him, they began “trampling on one another.”  Jesus was and is famous.  If you want to see Him someday and you’re not saved, you can ask Him to forgive your sins, believe He rose from the dead, proclaim that He is Lord, and follow His commands.  Then, He will make arrangements for your reserved place in Heaven.  He already knows your name.  Place your reservations today!