This Is Not Heaven!

Are you lonely, discouraged, disappointed or distraught?  Welcome to life!  I do not mean to be insensitive or flippant, but sometimes we need an ice cold splash of reality in our faces to remind us that this is NOT heaven!  In fact, it is my hope that you will be encouraged by this reminder because it underscores the very reason Christ Jesus came to this earth.  Philippians 2 presents a realistic depiction of the sacrifice He made in leaving heaven to enter the world as we know it:

  In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
 Who, being in very nature God,
  did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage;
   rather, He made himself nothing
  by taking the very nature of a servant,
  being made in human likeness.
 And being found in appearance as a man,
  He humbled himself
  by becoming obedient to death—
  even death on a cross!  (Verses 5-8)

We celebrate Christmas as a season of remembrance: when God’s Son left the purity of heaven to enter this very dangerous and sin-polluted world.  Jesus came to save those who would trust Him for heaven.   

Think about His life on this earth, it was about sacrifice from beginning to end.  Jesus was:

  • Born in a barn to parents who would soon be on the run, seeking to protect their baby from a crazy king bent on His destruction.
  • Raised in obscurity in a poor family and in a town regarded with disdain.  (“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” [John 1:46])
  • Rejected by those He came to redeem, He certainly knew the pain of loneliness, disappointment and suffered the cruelty of men.  ( He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him.   He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.”  [John 1:10, 11])

We celebrate Christmas when we take our minds off ourselves and the world around us, to embrace the Hope of Heaven that belongs to those who have faith in Him.

“Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.  (John 1:12, 13)

There is no lonelier place than feeling discouraged, disappointed or distraught in a crowd . . . especially at Christmas.   But take heart, there is more to life than circumstances that can change with the tides.    Instead of avoiding the pains of life by filling those moments with busyness or chatting about nothing, turn your attention to the One who came down from heaven to save you and praise Him:

Thank You Lord for loving me and for saving me from myself;

Thank you Jesus for granting me the hope of heaven; help me to go deeper in appreciating all that You sacrificed for me . . .

Thank you God for Christmas as a season of remembrance . . . may You be magnified in my life this day and always!

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”  (John 14:1-3)

 All to His Glory!

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