Living a Heavenly Life?

“O believe the record true; God to you His Son hath given!  Ye may now be happy too, Find on earth the life of heaven.

The great hymn-writer Charles Wesley penned these words ages
ago, and I fear that over those ages, we’ve lowered our expectations of what
life can be like.  Wesley wasn’t content
with just getting along in life.  He
wasn’t waiting until the glories of heaven delivered him from the surly bonds
of earthen sadness.  He was as excited as
ever to face each day, knowing that because of Christ, he didn’t need to wait
for heaven to experience it.

Today, we still believe heaven will be an exciting place,
but this world?  We just have to take
what we can get, right?

A friend of mine recently posed a question that I’ve been
forced to ponder numerous times: “Is the Christianity you’re experiencing the
kind that Jesus died to provide for you?”

I’m not sure. 

What if my friend, along with Charles Wesley, has stumbled
onto one of those lost treasures that, once unearthed, could change everything?  What if we haven’t been expecting nearly
enough in this life?  What if we’ve grown
content with a distant, quiet, tame version of faith that doesn’t ignite or

Come to think of it, Jesus said something along these lines
in John 10.  “I have come that they might
have life, and have it more abundantly.”

I know I have life, but do I have it abundantly?

Perhaps we’re selling ourselves short in assuming that
having money in the bank and a palm tree out our back window is as close to
heaven as we can get.  Perhaps real
happiness, the kind of abundant existence Jesus mentioned, has far less to do
with our physical circumstances and far more to do with a mission-driven,
God-centered life. 

If so, then Christmas gets a lot more exciting.  The gift God gave us on the first Christmas
morning wasn’t just salvation from sins and a promise of a future life in
heaven, it was a gift that touches our lives today.  When God sent Jesus to earth he was called Immanuel,
which according to Matthew 1 means, “God with us.”

As you celebrate the Christmas season and look toward
another year of “regular” life, why not join me in wonder at what God’s real
intentions might be?  


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