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That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NLT)

One day Jesus was watching people. (Matthew 9:36) As he watched them he began to have compassion on them. He saw their plight and wished he could lighten their load. He likened them to sheep without a shepherd. What he didn’t mean is that they were just wandering around physically and doing nothing in particular. He didn’t see random activity; he saw a lack of passion and contentment in life.

That man there was struggling because the woman he loved wasn’t the one he went home to every night. The woman in the corner had been out partying and found herself in bed with someone she didn’t know. That person just got the doctors report and has only months to live. Some were burdened with debt. The man with his chin on his chest was trying to figure out how to tell the family he’d just lost his job.

Some carried emotional scars that seemed to cast a shadow on everything in life. Others were tired of trying to follow a life philosophy which only demanded more and never said “I have enough.” They’d tried religion and found it irrelevant. They’d tried chemicals and felt the pain of rejection. They’d bounced from one relationship to another to another and now, this one was on the ropes.

What Jesus saw was nothing new. It happens everyday. Stop and have a cup of coffee in a mall and just sit and watch those going by. Don’t just see the bodies. See the stories etched on their faces. Sit for a few moments in the doctor’s waiting room and take notice of the wringing hands and nervous body shifts. Visit a prison, a hospice, a drug and alcohol recovery center, a prison. Every person different; every longing the same. The longing for passionate relationship and contentment in life.

Solomon saw it too. He was the rich kid on the block. He had all the new toys, the biggest house and the coolest dad. When he had a party you knew it would be good. Only the most popular kids would be invited to this one.

Once ole’ Sol’s dad died the spending took off in earnest. He lavished himself with everything he could possibly think of. But even then nothing filled the void. All the women, all the houses, all the boats and newest gadgets couldn’t heal the gaping wound in his soul that cried out for meaningful relationship and freedom from emptiness.

So his final conclusion is one that each of us needs to heed. What’s needed to fill the void isn’t people, toys or philosophy. It won’t be found in religious dogma, political activism or having the right to ‘choose’. The healing of our wound can only be found in a relationship with the God of Genesis and following the life examples of his son, Jesus Christ. Nothing else works. People throughout the history of the world have tried everything imaginable. Only Jesus works and he longs for you to come to him for healing.

PRAYER: God, I’ve tried so many things to try to find happiness. I’m tired of the battle. I feel beaten up, bruised and scarred. Empower me with your spirit to stop fighting to find a way. Help me to follow your way to healing by living for you. In Jesus name, Amen.

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2

A few years ago we were fortunate enough to be able to visit Disney World inOrlando,Florida. We’d never been there before but it was always a dream of ours. Once we got there our dreams came true in ways that seemed bigger than life. It was just like in the pictures we’d seen.

Sometimes, I wonder what heaven will be like. We get pictures, word pictures that is, from the Bible but they are nothing like the pictures of Disney World because no one has ever been there, taken pictures and posted them.

Heaven is an intriguing yet scary place because we’ve never seen it. But there is one thing I know about Heaven that makes it all seem worthwhile to go to, a place where I can look forward to my arrival. I’ll see family members that have died before me. I’ll meet Bible heroes in real life. I know I won’t be sick anymore. I’ll never get tired, never get hungry.

But the thing I look forward to the most when I get to heaven is that I’m going to get to meet Jesus. Even more incredible than that is the fact that when I see him I’ll be looking in a mirror! I’ll look just like Jesus!

So what will I look like? Not sure of course, but here’s some ideas.

  • I know I’ll have compassion on everyone. I’ll know that because here on earth Jesus never looked the other way when someone was in need.
  • I know I won’t have to worry about sin because I’ll be able to implement, in heaven, what I could never do here on earth, resist sin. Oh, I have the power to resist today. But I also have this nasty human nature at war within me telling me to do things I know I shouldn’t and keeping me from doing things I know I should do. Once in heaven I’ll be free. The battle will be over, the war will be won!
  • I know that I’ll be able to take a walk with God himself! Just like Adam did. I’ll be able to have questions answered that I’ve always wanted to ask.
  • I know I won’t have to struggle with failure or rejection anymore. Those of us in heaven will see, once and for all, that sin is sin is sin is sin and God has forgiven all my sin (and yours) and there will be no favoritism or judgmental attitudes anymore. I know that because Jesus treated everyone that followed him the same way.

I don’t know what heaven will be like. I only know two things for sure. Because I have asked Jesus to forgive my sins and have claimed him as Lord of my life, I will see him and live with him for eternity.

The second thing I know is that when I see Jesus I will be transformed into his exact likeness and so we will be in perfect, passionate relationship for the rest of time.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. There are so many things I don’t understand about life here on earth, death and the life beyond. I read your word and get a glimpse of what lay ahead for me in Heaven with you and I’m scared and excited at the same time! Thank you for loving me enough to give me eternal life with you. I can’t wait to see you so that once and for all I will be like you. In your name I pray, Amen.

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