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Sep 17, 2017

In Heaven

In Heaven

Passage: Revelation 21:1-4

Speaker: Pastor Chris Riedel

Series: Lord, Teach us to Pray Sermon Series

Category: Prayer

Keywords: heaven, prayer

Heaven represents that God is at work NOW to heal, renew and to redeem.

Devotional


In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. -

 

(KJV) - John 14:2

This particular Scripture passage from the King James Version evokes good thoughts from my childhood. I wanted to be in church all the time and every time those doors were open, I was there. I heard this verse often and recall many Sunday’s joyfully singing songs and hymns about heaven. Having studied the Book of John in Seminary last year, one practice I have grown accustomed to doing is to read Scripture from various translations so that all avenues of scriptural understanding can be explored and studied more deeply. I spent time exploring the term “many mansions” and found that various translations remain consistent in that there are “many” dwelling places. Some translations describe this as “many rooms” while others refer to “more than enough.” As a result of this study, I have determined that heaven has plenty of room!

This week in the sermon series on prayer using the Lord’s Prayer as our model, we discuss in depth, Our Father, which art in heaven. Jesus emphasized for the disciples that prayer be directed to God who dwells in heaven. Heaven is the place in which God rules and reigns over all living things. The Old Testament places God in the firmament, the sky, the stars, or up above and all nations are under heaven. So, I and many of you look up to the sky when we consider and think of heaven. I see no reason to think heaven could be anywhere else. When I look to the sky, I find beauty, awe, and wonder. And, when I consider this hopeful verse from the Gospel of John, in which Jesus clearly states that we will someday dwell with God in heaven, I find myself contemplating how I choose to spend my time here on earth. God is not only faithful; God has given to us the gift of life that can be richly shared with others in order to bless others and to carry out God’s good purpose under heaven. In order for me to carry out my purpose under heaven, I find it necessary to pray to God to guide me.

There is plenty of mystery surrounding heaven and how we are all going to get there, but for now, we are confident through the words of Jesus that there is plenty of room. Not only that, but we have some great songs to sing about heaven. Here are some of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs about heaven called “I’ve Got a Mansion Just Over the Hilltop” by Ira Stanphil:

I’ve got a mansion, just over the hilltop
In that bright land where we’ll never grow old.
And someday yonder, we will never more wander
But walk on streets that are purest gold.

Amen to that!

Prayer

God above, remind us this week of that great place in which you dwell and in which we someday will also dwell with you. Lead us and guide us as we navigate our lives so that your great purpose for us will be lived out under heaven. Amen.

Written by Tianna Durbin. Tianna leads the music ministry and worship of Arcola Church. She also attends graduate school at Wesley Theological Seminary and looks forward to finishing her Master's Degree in the near future. Besides work and school, she and her husband Chris stay busy keeping up with their two teenagers.