Jacob Braude tells the story of a man who hadn’t seen an old friend in years. “How is your wife?” the man asked.
“She’s in heaven,” replied the friend.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” Quickly realizing this was not the appropriate response, he added, “I mean, I’m glad.” And that was even worse. Finally, he said, “Well, I’m surprised.”
Friends, I’m surprised about all the stuff you’re packing for your celestial journey. Nicole, 8, says she’ll pack her toothbrush and toothpaste along with her blanket and stuffed animal. Nicole, your dentist will be glad to know you intend to have the brightest smile in heaven.
The good news from Natalie, 9, is that we won’t need our toothbrushes or dentist appointments: “You can take your spirit and you will leave your old body. You will get a new body in heaven.”
Yes, Natalie. The Apostle Paul described this new body as incorruptible, glorious and spiritual (I Corinthians 15:35-58). Yea, no tooth decay! The new body is patterned after the resurrected body of the Lord Jesus Christ. The mortal, fleshly body of Jesus that was nailed to the cross was transformed into an incorruptible body when he was raised from the dead.
Other items my friends plan to pack in their heaven-bound suitcases: pizza, football, dogs (cats didn’t make it), snowboards (from Joey in Alaska), money, a violin, a glass angel, flowers, a dove, Mom and Dad.
Emily, 12, says to leave all that stuff behind. “We can’t take anything to heaven with us because we won’t need anything in heaven besides what’s already there. God is there, and he is all that anyone needs. You won’t need CDs or TVs or any of the things that we use every day.”
Emily knows God will fill the lives of his people. We won’t need toys. The Apostle Paul wrote that in Christ “dwells all the fullness of the Godhead” (Colossians 2:9). He added that Christians are complete in Christ. God wants to fill you with his fullness now!
Most Christians don’t realize all the divine resources available to them. This is not the health and wealth gospel advocated by some TV evangelists. Rather, it’s the gospel of living in light of a new reality. If Jesus lives in Christians, he has all the resources to deal with all the trials and tribulations this life has to offer.
Being complete in Christ is somewhat like having an unlimited checking account. The money is in the bank, but checks must be written to draw upon it. When Christians rely on their own resources, they act and look like bankrupt paupers when they should be drawing upon Christ for their strength.
Janie, 11, understands what this means when she says the Bible encourages Christians “to lay up treasures in heaven,” and explains, “treasures are not gold and silver, but your heart and soul.” Adam, 10, agrees: “I will take a loving heart” to heaven.
Think about this: The gold of this world is so much asphalt in heaven. Christians are assured of entrance into heaven because they have passed from spiritual death to life when they trusted Jesus Christ as their savior. But some will enter heaven empty-handed because they didn’t make deposits into their heaven account. They preferred to follow their own plans instead of living God’s way.
Memorize this truth: “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20).
Ask this question: Where is your treasure?
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Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
COPYRIGHT 2013 CAREY KINSOLVING