October 22, 2020
Revelation 4:1-3
After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”  At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.  And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby.  A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne.
New International Version (NIV)
            Do people go to heaven and come back?  Periodically we hear a remarkable story about an adult or a child who goes to heaven and comes back with new information about life after death.  Is this possible?  We know that Apostle Paul was caught up to the “third heaven” and saw unspeakable things.  So he didn’t speak them.
The Apostle John went up to heaven after he delivered the mail to the churches.  A door opened in the sky above him and he went up to see what must take place in the future.  What did John learn about heaven?  First, he tells us that there is a throne and a King who sits on it.   One of our adjustments in our self-centered lives is to get around to the fact that both heaven and earth are or should be centered in God.  The elders also sit on thrones and the angels worship the King night and day.
What makes God worthy of our worship?  The angels say he is, “Holy, holy, holy.”  Holy means different, other.  God is the authentic, original One.  He is incomparable.   He is not just a little bit holy around the edges.  No he is perfectly holy.  Our powerful God is the eternal King.  He always was.  He still is.  He will always be. 
Taking their cue from the angels, the elders fall off their thrones before him, cast their crowns before his throne and say, “You are worthy.”  God deserves our undivided attention and our united praise.  Our God is the great Creator and author of creativity.  God created everything.  He created us by his will, because he wanted to.  Only because he created us, are we here.  Our life comes from God.  So we should give our lives back to God.
John’s words make me skeptical of the occasional stories of those who went to heaven and came back.  I have no doubt that John went and saw God.  He came back talking about God.  His trip to heaven made him long for more of God.  He does not try to adjudicate the style of singing in heaven.  John does not tell us about what our rooms in God’s house will be like.  He is fixated on God.  Somehow I believe, if we went to heaven and saw God like John did, we would be too.  Shouldn’t we be?  Fixated on God, I mean?  He is not only in heaven but he is here.  Our holy, sovereign, almighty, eternal King is right here.  We ought to serve him and praise him and sing about his holiness and worthiness.  When we worship him rightly we experience heaven on earth.
Pray with me:         
Father, open our eyes to see your presence all around us today.  Open our ears to hear your voice speaking to us throughout the day.  Open our hearts to receive your goodness and grace.  Open our mouths to declare your praise to all who will listen. Prepare us today for the place you are preparing for us.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.    
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 7:9-10
Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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