The Weekly Word - A Devotion for the Week of January 18
Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb…No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there – no need for lamps and sun – for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:1 & 3-5)
Christians tend to focus on heaven, which makes sense, of course, given the fact that we live in an imperfect world. We like to think about spending eternal life in a better place – a place free of animosity, injustice, suffering and death. What will heaven be like? we wonder. Who will be there? How will we spend our time in eternity?
Sometimes we even find ourselves yearning for that heavenly peace and rest right now. We look to heaven as an escape from our present hardships. We find peace and hope in John’s prophecy that one day there will “no longer be a curse upon anything.”
In setting our sights solely on heaven, though, we miss an important part of Jesus’ command for us while we are still here on Earth. “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven,” He taught us to pray. Jesus intended that the seeds for His kingdom be planted by us right now, during our short time on Earth.
Jesus came down in human form from heaven to Earth and sacrificed Himself so that we may live free from sin and death. Through His love we are resurrected with Him, and we will spend eternal life with Him. As Revelation prophecies, someday we will see God face-to-face; someday we will live entirely free from evil, despair and darkness.
Nevertheless, this does not diminish the fact that each of us has an important role to play in planting the seeds for God’s kingdom while we are still here on Earth. We cannot overlook the fact that we do, in fact, see God here on Earth – perhaps not as clearly as we will in heaven, but here and now nonetheless in the faces of our loved ones, in the faces of our neighbors, in the faces of the strangers we pass on the street.
Our mission is to seek God’s face right where we are and to help grow His kingdom on Earth. Heaven begins right here, right now – with us.
Gracious God, help me do Your will here on Earth, as in heaven. Amen.