Jesus In 1 Peter …. Our Greatest Hope …… September 16, 2018 Jesus In 2 Peter …. The Gospel of Salvation …… October 7, 2018

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Imagine ….. September 23, 2018

     But as it was written, What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those that love him. These things God revealed to us through the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 ESV

     This past evening, we had a church movie night in which we features the movie, I Can Only Imagine. The movie told the life story of the lead singer, Bart Millard, from the band Mercy Me, and how the song, “I Can Only Imagine,” came into being. It is an extremely powerful and moving story of pain, redemption, and the thought of a future that can only be- imagined. We can learn from this story that God, as always, takes tragic situations and produces glorious outcomes. If you study the Bible, you will see this is the consistent theme of who God is- a mender of hearts and lives. God can take things that absolutely make no sense and makes it good. He can heal all that Satan destroys. God is the creator of all that is good past, present, and future. Satan will endeavor to convince you otherwise; but more importantly, God has endeavored to show you that Satan is a liar. To believe Satan’s lies is to miss the fact and reality that God is the solution to all the problems in this world. Years ago I was talking with a young man about all the tragedies in the world and the confusion that comes with trying to understand them. In our discussion we reflected upon how many people blame God, to which the young man asked the question, “Why doesn’t any one ever blame the Devil?” When Jesus identified the devil, he said these words, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44 ESV  Jesus, when referring to himself, says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 ESV  When you live for the devil, you will die for him; but when you live for Jesus, it is because he died for you. When Jesus died for you and you believed in Him as Savior, you can only imagine what it will be like one day to live with him for all eternity. It is something the Spirit of God brings to the mind of the true believer. It is not about heaven being a safe place and avoiding hell. It is about spending the rest of eternity with Jesus, the one who saved you by his grace, and loving Him with praises forevermore. I like the way Paul describes this in 1 Corinthians 2:9 when he says,

What no eye has seen, nor ear heard:
     This is the splendor of heaven that no one at this point had seen nor heard concerning the glory of Angles singing and the worship of the the King of ages. This is the place He is preparing for the Believer /Christian when He comes to take us home. (John 14: 1-3) It is described by the vision of John in Revelations which was overwhelming to him. We can only imagine seeing him face to face and hearing the sound of praise and worship unlike anything we have ever seen or heard. The natural man will not think in this fashion but the growing Christian will tend to become more homesick for Jesus as he / she grows in the faith.

The heart of man imagined:
     I am amazed at the ability of a person who can take an image in their mind and put it on canvas. Where did this ability come from? …. GOD! God gives us glimpse of things to come in the form of art, for he was the ultimate artist creating all things. I have seen beautiful, beautiful, beautiful paintings but nothing compared to what I believe heaven will be. We dream and talk of heaven, but I believe our reaction when we really see heaven will be WOW!!! Man left to himself will only see beauty in this world of which there is much, but as a Christian, let me encourage you to remember, If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set you minds on things that are above, not the things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2 ESV

What God has prepared for those who love him:
     Love is the word that stands out to me in this part of the verse. To love him is to do his will. Love is doing for another with actions that speaks louder than words. Salvation in Christ is not fire insurance from hell; it is loving him with all your heart, soul, and mind. (Matthew 22:37… Mark 12:30…Luke 10:27)
Loving Jesus will change how you live and will create in you an anticipation to be with him for all eternity.

Let me close with this thought…… I— Can Only— Imagine.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

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