Here is a collection of good reads gathered from the internet this past week. Enjoy!
On heaven: Heaven in a Person by Ryan Higg
The reality of a new earth and a new body is mind-blowing; I don’t want to minimize this. But the most important—indeed, the most glorious, joyous, and rewarding fact about heaven is that God is there. With our new eyes, we will see him face to face. With no more curse, we will enjoy him in new and fulfilling ways we cannot imagine.
Long for heaven. Stretch for it. Gather everyone you can. Heaven will be breathtaking, because God is there. (click here to read more)
On family devotional time: Starting a Family Devotion by Michael Kelley
There’s a pattern to everything, a routine for most every part of life. And any time you disrupt that routine, even for the noblest of reasons, there is going to be backlash. So, before you get started, you’ve got to commit to consistency. Decide on the time of day and keep it at that time. For us, it’s 7 am at breakfast. That will likely change in the coming years, but if you don’t pick a consistent time then it’s doubly difficult to keep the practice going. (click here to read more)
On the greatness of the gospel: Misfits Are Fit for the Kingdom by Chad Damitz
Then I met Jesus. I didn’t run to him; He ran to me. A misfit, a drunk, and a mouth like a sailor. Jesus wanted to hang out with me? I was unclean. Unfit for a relationship with the sovereign King of the universe.
But then I realized Jesus was known for hanging out with misfits. So much so that he was labeled a “drunkard and glutton” (Matt. 11:19) by the religious establishment. However, Jesus never comforted me in my sin. He made it very clear, “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.” (click here to read more)
On how shame can lead us to Christ: The Right Kind of Shame by Matthew Gilbert
The wrong kind of shame believes past sins are greater than future grace. However, the right kind of shame cringes at attitudes and actions that dishonor God. There are simply things about our lives outside of Christ and current behaviors consistent with our lives outside of Christ for which we should be ashamed. The purpose of God-centered shame is never despair or guilt, but instead the praise of the God who bears our shame and uses our shame for our joy. Sin is a kill-joy, but God-centered shame kills sin and creates joy in those who know God in Christ. (click here to read more)