As we shared with you last week, two of our gr'children graduated.....
Halston from Purcell High and Hailey from Friendswood High.
Our neighbor's daughter graduated on Saturday and cars lined our street for her 'after graduation party'.
It is a great and festive time....
but the greatest graduation of all is coming.
Heaven will be our ultimate 'graduation day'.
Many Scriptures speak of Heaven, but here are my favorites:
"Lay up treasures in Heaven."
"Rejoice because your name is written in Heaven."
"In my Father's house are many rooms."
"Heaven is where Jesus is."
II Cor. 5:1:
"If our earthly house be dissolved, we have a building of God,
a house not made by hands, Eternal in the Heavens."
"We are to look for a city which has foundations whose builder and maker is God."
This is from our daily devotional book, 'Streams in the Desert':
"My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus"
What a source - God.
What a supply - His riches in glory
What a channel - Christ Jesus
It is our sweet privilege to place all our needs over against His riches...
and lose sight of the former...in the presence of the latter.
1) HEAVEN IS ONE OF THE RICHES OF GOD RESERVED FOR YOU:
In his later years, the great preacher and evangelist D. L. Moody, said to a friend...
"Someday you will read in the papers that D. L. Moody is dead. Don't you believe a word of it! At that moment, I shall be more alive than I am now. I shall have gone up higher, that is all. Out of this old tenement into a house that is immortal."
Heaven will hold no surprises.
We will be there because of Jesus and our faith and trust in Him.
Heaven will be the ultimate fulfilling of God's Promises.
Don't wait until death to prepare. You prepare now:
a) You need to be saved (Romans 3:23, Isa. 53:6)
b) You can not save yourself (Titus 3:5 and Eph. 2:8-9)
c) God has provided a way for your salvation (I Cor. 15:1-4 and I Peter 2:24)
d) You can be saved today (II Cor. 6:2)
e) Your part is to repent and believe the Gospel
(Mark 1:15 and I John 1:12 and Romans 10:9)
My website paper of 7-29-05 speaks of Heaven as:
1) a real place (John 14:1-6 and verse 9)
2) a place of relief and release (Rev. 21:4 and I Cor. 15:50-57)
3) a place of reunion (I Thess. 4:13-18)
4) a place of rewards - "Well done thou good and faithful servant".
A religion that does not satisfy your heart and soul (in life and in death)....
is worse than no religion at all because it keeps you from finding the true religion!
This true religion is wrapped up in The Person of Jesus Christ:
and coming again at His Second Coming.
II) HEAVEN IS A PERFECT PLACE (Rev. 21:8-14; 18, 21)
Every gate is a separate pearl. Pearls are produced out of the suffering of the oyster.
The way into the Pearl of Heaven is the suffering of the One Who was Himself...
"The Pearl of Great Price".
Heaven is a place where many people will be. (Rev. 21:15-17)
By our life and witness, we should be reducing the size of hell....
and increasing the size of Heaven.
Heaven is a permanent city. (Rev. 21:19-20 and Hebrews 13:14)
"Here, we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come".
Heaven is like a tabernacle. (Rev. 21:1-5)
A place of fellowship with God (on earth...and in Heaven).
So much has happened for God at Falls Creek Baptist Assembly near Davis, Ok.
Churches throughout the state take their young people each summer for a week of
Bible Study, Worship services, Missionary testimonies, sports and fellowship.
Most weeks, there will be over 7,000 young people and sponsors there.
Thousands of lives have been changed by decisions made at Falls Creek....
including us, our children and gr'children.
I didn't get to experience Falls Creek until I was an adult as I was always playing Summer League Baseball, but La Moyne said that she began feeling called to Missions as a teenager, while at Falls Creek each summer.
Years ago, La Moyne and I were seated near the front of the tabernacle, waiting for the worship service to begin.
Only fifteen minutes before the service was to begin, Bill Allen came and asked if I would preach in place of the preacher who had suddenly become ill.
I said, "Yes" and began asking God 'what' He wanted me to share.
God led me to share from Ephesians 2.
The Spirit of God came down and there were over 400 decisions for Christ.
Years later, a young preacher (Lance Dilbeck) came to me and said,
"I surrendered to preach the night you preached in the tabernacle at Falls Creek."
(Lance is now pastor of Quail Springs Baptist Church in north Oklahoma City)
A new tabernacle was dedicated this past weekend with over 3500 in attendance....
a testimony of the special place Falls Creek holds in so many hearts.
Heaven is like a beautiful garden. (Rev. 22)
In the Garden of Heaven, everything we need will be provided.
It will be a City of perfect fellowship, perfect protection and perfect provisions.
If Jesus had not risen from the dead, I would have some doubts.
Soon to be 79, I am more sure of Heaven for I am getting closer to it every day.
I'm ready when it comes. Are you ready for YOUR Graduation Day?
Christ has truly replaced the dark door of death....with the shining gate of Life.
Heaven is a perfect home. Down here, homes are broken up.
Not so in Heaven for in the vocabulary of God, there is no such word as 'Goodbye'.
People ask, "Will we know our loved ones in Heaven?"
Dwight L. Moody replied, "Sure, as we will have more sense there than we have here."
In the delightful book, "Hope For The Flowers" by Trina Paulus, a caterpillar named 'Stripe' learns that there is more to life than just getting to the top.
He is driven by a desire to fly and drawn by the love of 'Yellow' (his mate).
His quest for something 'more' finally takes him into this cocoon where he experiences the freedom of becoming a butterfly.
Emerging from the cocoon, 'Stripe' is free to fly and able to feed the flowers.
He has 'become something more' in order to 'do something more'....
and in becoming (and doing) he has found the 'something' he sought.
If God can perform this kind of miracle, He can surely perform our miracle when death comes.
When La Moyne was little, her Mom taught her a song:
"Butterfly on painted wing...
Don't you wish that you could sing?
Don't you wish that you could fly...
Like a bird up in the sky?
No my child, I'd rather be....
Just what God intended me.
So I'll fly from flower to flower,
Making glad each sunny hour."
One day during Mary's 6 yrs. of being bedfast...
La Moyne recorded her Mom singing that little song.
At Mary's Memorial service, we played the recording of Mary singing the butterfly song.
Then our 5 gr'children stood and sang the song in honor of their Great Gr'mother.
As you can imagine, the butterfly has great significance in our family.