The Risen Christ: Day 12

Worship The Lamb

by

Today's Text: John 13:36-14:6, Luke 24:50-53, Revelation 21:22-22:7

Text: John 13:36-14:6, Luke 24:50-53, Revelation 21:22-22:7

And while He was blessing them, He left them and was carried up into heaven. After worshiping Him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy.
- Luke 24:51-52, HCSB

Our family of four moved across town into a new home last month. We’ve been planning toward this move for half a decade, and we’ve been anticipating this specific house since we fell in love with it months ago. But still, move-in week was unexpectedly difficult and clunky, as move-in weeks often are.

I had this bright idea to seize the new move as an opportunity to replace the ragged bath towels we’d received for our wedding 12 years ago with fluffy, new ones. I even sprung for new dishcloths and fresh toothbrushes and, ahem, new toilet brushes. I wanted it to feel like a happy, fresh start for all of us, but it turns out all the switcharoos made our new place feel even more unfamiliar than it already was.

For at least two weeks I woke up confused about where I was every morning. It took me a good, long while to get my bearings with light switches and kitchen cabinets and the trick to opening the windows more than eight inches. On our third night in the new house I cried like a big baby to Ryan, “It doesn’t feel like home—we don’t have any happy memories here yet, none of our own dirt, and these new towels don’t absorb anything! (sob, sob, sob) I wish, for one more night, we could fall asleep in our old bedroom.”

Bless our hearts. It was an emotional season and we were overtired, but those feelings of being disoriented and displaced were real for all four of us.

Has moving ever felt like that to you? Did it take a while for a new house (or city or country or dorm room) to feel like “yours”?

In those early weeks, my thoughts often wandered to Heaven. I thought about what Jesus said to His disciples in His farewell discourse before His arrest (John 13:31-16:33).

“Lord,” Simon Peter said to Him, “where are You going?”

Jesus answered, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you will follow later… In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. You know the way to where I am going…” (John 13:36, 14:2-4, HCSB)

I don’t know anything about Heaven outside of what the Bible tells us. I’ve never seen a floor plan for this new space, and I regret to admit I wasn’t invited to sit in on the tile selection meeting (though I hear we’re in for a treat!). Two things I do know: I know Who is preparing that place, and I know He is preparing it with me in mind. It’s personal, and it’s a promise.

When our time comes to meet the Father face-to face, we won’t be displaced or disoriented for a moment. We won’t know homesickness because we will finally be in the Home our souls have longed for from the beginning. If we are His, Heaven is where our souls will finally find rest.

When Christ ascended, the disciples worshipped, then returned home. When we are finally in the presence of the Lamb, worship will be our rest, and we will already be home.

And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God gives it light,
and its lamp is the Lamb.

And there will no longer be any curse.
They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.
Night will no longer exist.
And they will reign forever and ever.


Psst – want to read more about Heaven today? Here are a few great places to start—
The Throne Room of Heaven: Revelation 4:1-11
The New Creation: Revelation 21:1-8
The New Jerusalem: Revelation 21:9-27
Eden’s Restoration: Revelation 22:1-5

 

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  • Bathroom Towel

    Wonderful and good information, thanks for sharing with us.

  • Rosaroma

    Second star to the right, and straight on till heaven. What an address, and what a reality it will be to live with God, see Him in person everyday and know his face and be known by him.

  • clickhere

    Believe in your Lord, your creator.

    Everything will be fine. You will soon get used it. Do what it can to make it your new home.

    I know exactly how you feel.

  • Courtney

    Don’t know if anyone esle mentioned it because I didn’t read evey single comment, but I am currently in a Sunday School class about Heaven, and besides the Bible of course, we are using Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven. I highly recommend it!

  • “These words are trustworthy and true!” So satisfying to know all of these things written about Heaven will all make sense once we are there.

  • Kasey Tuggle

    Wow! How much I can relate to this!! Two days from being home from our honeymoon, my new home is definitely new and I’m not use to it being home! So very excited it’s my home but just not use to it yet. So when I say I can relate, I mean to every feeling you just said! So very thankful that when we enter heaven it will be home immediately!!! Because Jesus is our home! He is our loving Savior! He brings peace and joy constantly and I’m just so thankful for how he has covered me by his grace and brought healing and joy in this stubborn girl’s life. I am his and that gives me so much joy.

  • Reading this late but I so needed it! I have fears about heaven, I think too logistically about what it will be like. And one of the things I try to live by is, when I am faced with the scary unknown, focus on what I do know…but I haven’t lived by this when thinking about heaven, I’ve only applied it to my life here! Seems simple but a light bulb just went off for me. Thank you.

    • Danielley

      Randy Alcorn has a devotional book- 50 Days of Heaven. All scripture truths about Heaven. I highly recommend it! One of the most faith deepening books I have read. The hope of heaven changes everything!!

  • Bradley Cooper

    Very smooth. Your content and the way I read. It totally freshen me up.

  • Antimony

    Jn 14: “Do not let your hearts be troubled … Believe in Me. … I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me”.
    He makes some pretty big claims!
    [If u believe in Me you don’t have to be afraid”] … I am THE way (not A way) … THE truth (nothing else is truth. Only Him) … THE life (we think we have life. But it’s all a grand sham unless we have THE life that He offers).

  • eboneedavis

    Could you all do a study on Revelation? It's always been a book I've struggled to truly unpack. And, if I were being honest, it kinda frightens me. It's like my faith allows me to have joy and expectation for the things that it describes about heaven but my flesh is nervous about the unfamiliar, and i often struggle with trying to reconcile the two.

    • Abby

      Hey Ebonee! My church did an amazing series on revelation. You can get the sermons and resources here: http://graceinfo.org/learning-media/sermons/all-series

      One of my pastor’s weekly refrains was ‘it’s not the book of Dreadalation, it’s the book of Revelation. How is this passage meant to give me hope?” Anyways, the series was really helpful for me- it really painted a different, awe inspiring and very hopeful picture- much different than the wacky Left Behind Series that was popular when I was growing up.

  • it's so refreshing to be reminded that the constant strive to "feel at home" here may actually be unattainable. I am all about making a place feel like home while wanting to host people and provide a place for them to feel that way as well. While it's exciting to make a home and build memories, it's also exciting to know that my heart wasn't built in a way to ever feel the FULLNESS of home, here on earth. We can experience small tastes of it though by inviting the Holy Spirit to dwell in our living places and in our lives and what a JOY that is!

  • Lord,
    What a beautiful place you have prepared for me! God there is no way that I deserve your grace and your blessings, and yet you are a God who freely gives. Thank you. There are times that I read passages like this, and it is hard sometimes for me to believe that this is actually true, and that I will get to see all of this come to fruition. Lord I have done nothing to be a part of your story, and yet you ask me to come and empty myself to you. God I have nothing to offer you tonight except a broken spirit, and a life and passion for you that is mediocre at best. God I just ask that you continue to convict me, and to show me how to live my life for you. This life is not my own, and my choices and decisions need to be made with you at the forefront. All of this will pass away, but your promises will remain true and constant. Thank you for being the source of hope for a lost and dying world. I look around at the things that happen here on earth, good and bad, and I have to believe that there is something bigger than myself and all my failures. Thank you Lord that even on the days that I doubt your love, your grace, and sometimes even your existence, that you continue to be faithful and to show yourself in the most mundane situations in life. I love you, and I hope to mean that more each and every day.

  • Janae D. B.

    Wow! This message just hit "home" with me, literally! I just moved across country from Md to Ca, without knowing anyone, just me and a buddy. I got my first apartment and tried to make it as home-like as possible, that is, turning an empty apartment into a home with no furniture, just a few dishes, bath towels, candles, and blankets to fill the empty spaces. I've been very blessed though. There is a tree outside my window with birds that sing songs of familiarity just like in Md. The blaring sounds of ambulances and airplanes are comforting because in Md I lived next to a fire station and a military base. So these four walls that I come back to everyday–that keep me from the hot days and cool nights–I imagine that they're an extended part of my home in Maryland. I imagine the greatness and possibilities that lie on the other side of this uncomfortability and the growth that comes from this process. I still miss my village, not as much as I think I should though. Because it's almost like God tactically placed these tiny reminders around me as remembrance of them and to let me know, no matter how far I travel HE is always with me and thinking of me. And wherever He is, I am home. So what peace and joy it is to know that if I went from the house I grew up in, to a tiny studio apartment feeling even remotely close to home, then my God I look forward to having a place as glorious as Heaven that has been designed with me in mind and that I can dwell in and worship Him forever.

  • Raechel, this could not have been any more perfect. My family also moved last month, and I cried almost every day for two weeks! I was right there with ya, Sister! Nothing felt warm and welcoming. I couldn't get the flow of the house down. UGH. I kept reminding myself that this house was such a blessing (and it truly IS, because we had no idea where we were going to be when our previous homeowner decided to sell the home we'd been living in for 11 years!). Even the dog has had a horrible time adjusting to this new place! It has been exactly a month today since we moved, and we are all FINALLY starting to feel that this is home, and not just some cold house we're living in. But what a joy and blessing to know that our best home ever-our FOREVER HOME!–is already being prepared, with all the personal touches we love best. I can hardly wait to never be homesick again!

    • SusieT

      And, Lisa, I'm so glad that Heaven will be our "forever" home. My family & I have lived in many different houses and quite a few different states during the last 30 or so years…and the idea of moving onward to Heaven someday…and not then having to pack up and move on…is also a sweet thought! ;)

  • The comments, as is this devotion are beautiful. But what really made me smile was the story of the towels and discomfort in new surroundings. Many years ago as a young married woman, my husband and I moved into a new apartment to start a new chapter in our lives. I tried to be brave and excited but at one point just broke down sobbing. My sweet guy, rushed to me, wrapped his arms around me, "Honey, what's wrong?!" And bawling, I could only get out, "I wanna go home! And THIS is IT!" Oh, how often we have looked back on that and laughed. I am exceedingly grateful that when I finally relocate to heaven I will immediately finally feel totally AT HOME!

  • As a soon to be college grad in T-15days (ahhhh) this passage and message is so comforting. Amiss the changes in community and location, my God never changes and knows the pain of homesickness. Lord how good you are and perfect is your plan. May we rest in the assurance that you are coming back and soon there will be no pain or suffering, only worship of your Holy and Righteous name.

  • What spoke to me was this from John 14:6, Luke 24:52-53: Jesus is the way. The only way. FOLLOW him. Then WORSHIP him and be filled with joy. Worshipping Jesus causes joy. And continually PRAISE him and God.

  • When we moved across the country this year to and "unknown land," God gave me one scripture to hold on to through the feelings of homelessness and displacement. Psalm 90:1-2 "Lord, YOU have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God." HE HIMSELF is the secure home we rest in now, and ultimately the glorious home we look forward to in heaven!

  • Christina D.

    “We won’t know homesickness because we will finally be in the Home our souls have longed for from the beginning. If we are His, Heaven is where our souls will finally find rest.” Oh the anticipation of my soul finally finding rest in its home. We moved one year ago and the unfamiliarity of a new home is still fresh in my mind. It takes time for us on earth to get accustomed to new environments. But out heavenly rest and comfort will be immediate. My soul cannot wait for the day I breathe a sigh of relief and say, “I am finally home.”

  • The lyrics to this old hymn came to my mind as I reflected on today’s thoughts and comments.
    Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
    Look full in his wonderful face.
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim.
    In the light of his glory and grace.

    • Ruth

      Thanks for sharing that, Terry. I needed to read exactly that today. ❤️

  • I’m a military wife and I often feel like I can never fully “settle” because we will just be moving again. Everything feels temporary and I’m often homesick for my family. But I realized that earth is even more so our temporary home…and the ache in our souls is a homesick feeling for heaven. For the presence of the Father, for rest.
    We only get one shot at living here and being stewards of what God has given us in this life. Once we get to heaven there will be no need for preaching the gospel…so I want to take advantage of this time and be committed to spreading His love wherever I am.

    • Natacha

      Amen! Praise be to God. Well said Juliet.

    • Abigail

      I actually just got married, and my husband is a Marine. He is now getting ready for me to move across country. All I can think is how Peter just begged Jesus to be able to come with him- just like how I wish I could be with my husband when he had to leave. But Jesus was not leaving forever. He was preparing a true home for his diciples- and for us.

  • This part really resonated with me this mornings: “Two things I do know: I know Who is preparing that place, and I know He is preparing it with me in mind. It’s personal, and it’s a promise.” You hit it on the nail Raechel. After reading the passages recommended in Revelation including chapter 22 in its entirety, my heart is not only bursting of joy on what is to come through the 2nd coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but more incline as well to share the a Good news of salvation and eternal life to all who repent.

    “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. (‭Revelation‬ ‭22‬:‭12-14‬ NLT)

    Yes Lord Jesus come! Amen.

  • We once had to do a family presentation for a homeschool program we were a part of. We chose Heaven. We broke down all scripture in Revelation that described in physical detail what Heaven looks like; the gems used for walls, the exact measurements. We had a display that shared what those gems looked like and the scale of it's size in comparison to recognizable buildings and mountains. We were astounded by the detail and yet it's nothing compared to what we will actually see.

    It's astounding how God loves us, how He rewards us. Not only will we reside in His presence, but it'll be beyond our dreams. I remember when my Dad passed, I kept thinking about how much appreciation he had for the beauty of this world. He instilled this in me just by the way he was. When we would take walks, he'd pick up leaves and flowers and tell me all about them, about their tree. He would quickly point out a beautiful sunset, a new bug, or something most wouldn't even notice. We would take long Sunday drives just enjoying getting lost on back roads and sight seeing. As sad as I was to lose my Dad, life wasn't an easy for him and I was thankful for his rest, but the thing I smile about most is what his first reaction must have been to see such beauty, what must the awe on his face have looked like. It truly gives me warm fuzzies to imagine my earthly father and my heavenly father together in such beauty. It makes me well up because God loves us so much that He would gift this all for us ….. He'd gift Himself. When I am struggling in this world, when the day seems to not go my way or my dreams aren't met yet, I remember that my home isn't here. I look forward to the day I will head home and I am prayerful that no matter when that is, that my heart will reflect it's readiness! ~ B

  • He is preparing a place for ME. Not mankind in general. ME. Wow.

  • Kelly_Smith

    When I was younger, I remember wanting to live life out. The signs of Matthew 24 would show themselves on the news and I would pray, "wait, Lord!" Not because of the lost, but because there were things I wanted to do. I had a 5-year plan that included marriage, babies, and a home. My plan had no room for the second coming of Christ (or my death). And then, when the babies did come, I didn't want to leave them. What would they do without me? How sad to be without their mama. And the words of my prayer changed, but with the same sentiment: "Please, don't take me, Lord!"

    Somewhere along the way, God graciously showed me that my life had become an idol–as in my breath and my heartbeat. I wanted to hold onto life because I was too needed to go to glory. He reminded me that those children were His. He had a plan for them that may or may not include me. And they would be okay either way. If I wanted to be a wife and mama more than I wanted to be in the will and the presence of God, I was not a committed disciple. I remember tearfully and humbly raising my open hands, giving up my heartbeat, my literal heartbeat. Take it if You want it; it's Yours to have.

    There was a day when today's reading would have scared me. It would have caused a little panic. I would have ended with the prayer, "not yet, Lord." Today, this passage makes me smile. My heart rejoices in the promise of heaven, of being in the presence of my Savior. My prayer, "Lord, come quickly!"

    • ~ B ~

      "I was not a committed disciple" ….. apt way to describe something we all feel at points. ~ B

    • Maria

      Oh, Kelly, I feel this way often. Most recently when my husband and I boarded a plane to Georgia last week. We had a rough flight and I prayed most of the way there for safe deliverance to our destination and for the unborn baby's life that I carry. We had an even more intense flight home (extremely shaky turbulence for two hours straight and lots of elevation shifts to try and control the turbulence), but this time around my prayer changed and I found myself praying for peace with God's will, for his plan for our lives and entrusting rh lives of my boys into his hands. It meant a lot to me to read your story of change of heart, as this is something that I've struggled with immensely in my walk with Christ. Thank you for being open and honest!

    • Katy

      This is my biggest fear. And my sisters. We struggle with this all the time. Its hard to let God take the reigns. I couldn't bare leaving my daughter. Many times when I watch things on TV and people foretell that the end is near my throat gets tight I am fearful for not knowing how'd I protect my daughter. Or even dying. I'm still in a state where I would be crying to the Lord not to take me. I'm slowly working on it. But its by far my biggest fear.

  • Karen Sue

    As I sit and read about heaven, there is no need for sun because His Glory illuminates it, the most gorgeous sunrise is taking place outside my window. I love how the Creator blesses with His glory, it’s like a sneak preview of what is to come….perfect perfection!

  • Eighteen months after losing my girl, I found a lump in my throat…when I was going in to have my op to remove it, I remember thinking, if anything should go wrong, I'll be with Julee, I'll be fine….but my beautiful family, my two boys…my grandson…Ah that thought scared me more than going 'Home' '..that was then, 8 years ago..my thinking was different, my heart was in a different place, and I was still in a place of grief, that the way I felt dictated how I felt….TODAY, I know differently…I know that I will BE with Julee, but the icing on the cake, the nearest best bit is that I will be in Heaven..Paradise, ..Eternity with Jesus…and that…that right there has tears rolling as I write…

    Amen…

    SELAH……

    Phil Wickham s You're Beautiful came to mind.. as the tears rolled…
    I see you there, hanging on a tree, You bled, and then you died, and then you rose again for me..
    Now You are seated on Your heavenly throne, Soon we will be coming home..
    YOu're Beautiful…

    When we arrive at eternity s shore, ..When death is just a memory and tears are no more..
    We will enter in, as the wedding bells ring..Your bride will come together and well sing…
    You're Beautiful…

    I love these words…I love them and the truth in them….

    Be Blessed abundantly today in all you do today, Sisters…with love Tina.xxx

    • tina

      Here's a link to the beautiful song mentioned above… http://youtu.be/ANCWqr452Mc

      • Kelly_Smith

        What a great way to end this time of worship! Thank you for sharing your heart and this song!

      • L.Petit

        Wow, I watched the video after reading the inspiring comment above. I love the earth. I have been blessed so fully and often wonder how it could get better. But I have been looking at it all wrong. The beauty of the earth is not something God gave us. It is a true glimpse of God himself in all of His glory! Thank you for opening my eyes. NO longer will I thank God for the beautiful sunset, green fields, spring flowers, tiny ants… I will simply tell Him the truth…YOU, God, are beautiful.

    • ~ B ~

      Just the other day I was chatting with my teen about someone who had passed and was telling her how excited I was for him that he was home. That any tears are for the living, not the passing. I truly look forward to Heaven as well! ~ B

    • Connie

      We sang that song in church on Good Friday. I could hardly contain myself it was so beautiful. Thanks for the words. I’ll download it today! Bless you!

    • Connie

      I also lost my first born. Can’t wait to be there with him. So beautiful to have that hope.

    • Jessica

      What a beautiful story! I often long to be with my Dad in heaven but I remember I am needed here and when my time comes Jesus will come for me! REJOICE in Him!!!

  • I am kind of in shock at the description of Heaven. It blows me away. In all honesty it almost feels too hard to believe. I have to remind myself of the times when God has done or shown me something that I could have never conceived of in my mind. This passage draws me to 1 Corinthians 2:9 which reads:

    However, as it is written:

    “What no eye has seen,
        what no ear has heard,
    and what no human mind has conceived”[a]—
        the things God has prepared for those who love him—

    • Jess

      It blows my mind too. I cannot even begin to imagine what it’s going to be like!! I’m in absolute awe.

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