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Posts Tagged ‘new creation in christ’

Pastor J began a Heaven series last night and he ended his message with Phil Wickham’s Heaven Song. Have you heard it?

As the song played, I looked around the sanctuary to see if I was the only one fighting tears. I wasn’t. And yet, I think people were being touched by this song in very different, very personal ways.

When Phil first sang, “I want to run on greener pastures, I want to dance on higher hills,” I thought, I don’t even dance now, why would I dance in heaven?

And then I thought, why don’t I dance now?

As the song played, tears came to my eyes as a totally new revelation stung my heart: I’ve lived nearly 50 years a prisoner of humiliation. Easily embarrassed, inhibited by insecurities, imprisoned by self-consciousness and fears. And I will probably spend the rest of my earthly life bound by these things.

But in Heaven . . .

I had never thought of heaven as a place of freedom from shame. I’ve worn shackles and chains so long I’ve learned to live with them—forgotten they’re even there. What would it be like to live without crippling fear? Emotional pain? Humiliation? Without the destructive effects of sin or shame or selfishness or any of the things that limit us here?

Will I dance in heaven?

Yeah. Thanks to the spirit of God speaking to me through a song, I can (almost) see myself dancing with abandon and joy. Without a single self-conscious thought. I’m going to dance with Jesus and we’re going to laugh!

And not at my dancing!

“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:9

Heaven will be a place of many incredible, unimaginable joys, including freedom from the shackles and chains we’ve been dragging around. Please take a moment to listen to this song. May it help spark and fan into flame whatever your heart quietly longs for.

More on Heaven:

Pastor Jeremy’s Heaven: Looking Forward To Home Series

Randy Alcorn’s Eternal Perspective’s Ministries

Alcorn’s Life Promises sample chapter

www.heaveniq.com

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A few years ago, while traveling out of state to take our daughter to college, I heard a sermon about God’s grace and what I have to offer him that bounced my heart & mind out of a rut of misconception about what I actually “have.”

This pastor had us jot words across a paper representing the good things or actions we as Christians do or have because of God. Like repenting of sin, salvation, prayer, reading the Bible, following Jesus, trusting him, serving others, sharing the gospel, surrendering our will in favor of his, etc. Then he had us draw an arrow from the good act pointing up or down, depending on where the act originates. For example, if prayer is from you to God, draw an arrow up from that word. If salvation comes from God to us, draw an arrow down.

When we’d finished, he smiled and asked how it went, was it a mix with more or less one way than the other, etc. He smiled again and showed us his “paper.” All the arrows pointed down. Everything good we have and do and offer to God comes from God, by his grace.

I’d always been grateful and amazed by the grace or unmerited favor of God, but had never attributed every “good thing” in my life to being gifts of grace. Not that I ever took “credit” for being a new creation in Christ, but it had never occurred to me until that moment that EVERYTHING I thought I’d given or surrendered to God was given by the power of his grace, not mine. Every spiritual act, every good deed. If I am inclined to pray, he inspired that. If I think to serve someone in need, he supplied the thought and the drive, courage, resources, etc, to follow through.

I realized I got nuthin.  And I was relieved! I realized anything I strive to do for God is not up to me and my puny strength and sporadic inspiration, but each of these acts come about through him, by him, for him. So rather than reacting with the thought that Hey, I can’t do anything good on my own, might as well give up, I find great freedom in having nothing to offer. He does want me to follow and trust and serve and live in him with an eternal focus, but not through my limited strength and flawed human abilities. I don’t have to depend on myself at all, (this coming from a fiercely independent chick!!) but I depend entirely on God and his amazing, unmerited grace toward me. Since I got nuthin, I’m not limited. I’m free to rely on the power of Christ in me for everything I do. Like I’m off the hook, but only to get out of the way and let him do his thing. Does that make sense?

2 Corinthians 12:9, the Lord tells us, “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in your weakness.” This is not license to be weak and do nothing, this is a promise that if we set our little box of good deeds aside, he can really get to work through us. The possibilities are endless, since it all originates with him.

God LOVES you.  He wants YOU so much that he paid the highest price for your redemption. And he didn’t stop with your ransom.  He wants to cleanse, renew, and empower you to live each day in him.  By his grace, we have the promise of an unimaginable eternity with him.

Do you see his grace at work in your life?

 

The end of this Hillsong video says it all…

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