50 Days of Heaven Challenge

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Resurrected Bodies!

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Philippians 3:21 – “Who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

What kind of authority does Jesus have? According to Matt 18 -  “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him”. Why, because he made himself nothing, become a servant, was made in human likeness, took on the appearance of a man…and then humbled himself completely in obedience to His father, even dying on a cross.

With that power he is going to transform us…he is going to make our bodies as God has viewed and continues to view our bodies from the very beginning…perfect.

Will we have beautiful bodies? Yes, not in the fleshly sense, but in the perfect sense. We won’t over-eat or under-eat on the New Earth. With health, vitality, and freedom, we will all get plenty of activity. The bible does not address if calories will affect us the same way, but the bible addresses that there will be no stress. We most certainly will no longer experience heart disease, diabetes, asthma, osteoporosis, arthritis, cancer, MS, HIV, or anything else that sin caused to affect our bodies. Revelation 5:9 and 7:9 address that there will be nations in eternity and we will be recognizable. We will also maintain our memories and our creative spirit. How creative are you in this life?

Will we have five senses in our resurrected bodies? Yes, and even more! Jesus is going to restore us. Psalm 139: 14 states, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” When sin is no longer tearing you down, you will see clearly. You will taste flavors that are perfect. You will smell the rich passion of God’s creativity. You will hear sounds beyond the spectrum of the limited ears. You will touch the very essence of life in everything you touch. You will also have a new sense … a sense perfection. Do you appreciate your senses today as a glimpse of what is to come?

Will our new bodies have new abilities? Yes, We know that we will be made like Jesus in his resurrection. Jesus was able to walk through walls and he was able to ascend into heaven. When he was walking with those on the Emmaus road, he also disappeared. Moses and Elijah in Luke 9:31 “appeared in glorious splendor” and they were recognizable. What abilities do you have today that you simply do not use?

Will we take our scars with us? Yes, but they will be restored to fully functional use. Again, remember that the journey is preparing us for the destination. Our scars will be visible and part of our destination…but they will be fully restored as God intended for us to be.  I don’t know about you, but when I want something and have to wait for it and dream about it … I appreciate it all that much more when I get it. It doesn’t mean I forget about how I got it. 2 Corinthians 4:17 addresses this with, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

Our pain and struggles define our existence in Jesus. How could we know that He is able to get us through, if we never had to go through anything?

Will our new bodies have genders? There is some misconception because of Galatians 3:28, where Paul states that when we are in Christ there is neither male nor female. We must be careful to examine the text. Paul is not addressing gender. Paul is addressing equality. A better scripture is to examine Jesus on the shore after his resurrection in John 21. While the disciples were out on the water struggling to catch fish, Jesus calls out to throw their nets on the other side of the boat. During the conversation, they think they are talking to a man … not a woman or a genderless ghost. Our resurrected bodies maintain our identities … the JOY is that we are made perfect in our identity. It is not about marrying or bearing children, it is about being perfectly redeemed and restored in the likeness of Jesus.

Your identity is unique to you. The person next to you has an identity that is unique to them. Why are we so eager to squeeze everyone into the same identity box, when God created, appreciates, and celebrates our identity?

My friends, the journey prepares us for the destination. Jesus will transform our bodies by transforming us into what we were always intended to be.  

It will be exciting. I look forward to sharing it with you. You know I love ya, Don

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Heaven is an actual place of relationships!


God’s Kingdom and dominion are not about what happens on some remote, unearthly place; instead, they are about what happens on the earth, an actual place, which God created for his glory. God has tied his glory to the earth and everything connected with it: Mankind, animals, trees, rivers, everything. 

Isaiah (6:3) says, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” His glory is manifested in his creation and His relationship with that which He created. The Hebrew here can be translated, “the fullness of the earth is his glory.”  This earth and the restored earth of our future is a place of relationship.

God does not see you and this earth as disposable. It and you are essential for his plan … he created you so that you could have a relationship with him and Heaven is an actual place of relationship. 

You know I love ya, Don

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Heaven is an actual place of restoration!


Restoration involves trust. The legal definition of trust is: “confidence placed in a person by making that person the nominal owner of property to be held or used for the benefit of one or more others.” In others words, Jesus is saying trust me, I got this and I am going so that we can live in the world as it was intended to be…perfectly made.

Trust God who made who made this world … he will restore it in the next…without the curse of sin. No more night or separation.

It is impossible to understand the ministry of Christ without the larger view of Jesus’ purpose. Albert Wolters points out that most of Christ’s miracles  “are miracles of restoration – restoring health, restoring to life, restoring to freedom from demonic possession.” Jesus’ miracles provide us with a sample of the meaning of restoration … He restores that which is bound by the shackles and torment of sin. He is in the business of reinstating that which was supposed to be.

God placed mankind on Earth to fill it, rule it, subdue it and develop it to God’s glory. But that plan was challenged and thwarted because of sin. God Determined from the beginning that he will redeem mankind and restore the earth … Why? So his original pan will be fulfilled. 

You can be restored! You know I love ya, Don 

Friday, January 15, 2016

A Definition of a Believers Optimism


When you are heavenly optimistic you are living as someone who goes after Moby Dick in a rowboat and takes tartar sauce along … because you know the power of Jesus is active, you live the holiness of his resurrection, and you are striving to a greater renewal, healing and restoration.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Heavenly Minded: Foundation for a greater Existance!

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Colossians 3:3-4; “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

We weren’t raised with Christ and left in the graveyard. We may be physically on earth but spiritually we should be soaring. Heavenly-minded people are living a life with the foundation of an eternal existence.

Heavenly minded people live Isaiah 40:30, which states: “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Heavenly Minded is to SOAR in life because Jesus lives and working in our lives today and is working to give us a greater future.

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he brings;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

And then one day, I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to victory,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!


My Friends like that Eagle, we weren’t made to remain on the ground, we were made to spiritually soar. “SOAR” We weren’t raised with Christ and left in the graveyard, we weren’t raised with Christ to mire in crud … we were made to reflect love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control…Run and not grow weary… Walk and not be faint…heavenly minded is the foundation for an eternal existence that fuels our every action and reaction. 

Being a Jesus follower is being heavenly minded because that is where Jesus is … He is our foundation for optimism. Jesus defines the best possible outcome because of his love. We are to diligently, actively, single-mindedly pursue the things of Jesus. We need to be a generation of heavenly minded people who see human beings and the earth itself not simply as they are … but as God intended them to be…

Heavenly minded is to live optimistically because of the foundation of an active Jesus, of right living, and an eternal existence.

Do you believe God walks on water?
            God is walking on whatever you are drowning in.
Do you believe God gave sight to the blind?
            God sees beyond what you cannot see.
Do you believe God parted the red sea?
            God can part the obstacles in your life.
Do you believe God healed the broken?
            God is ready to heal you broken relationships.
Do you believe God provided manna for the people?
            God is ready to feed your spiritual hunger.
Do you believe God raised Jesus from the dead?
            God is ready to lift you from the death and set you to soar with the eagles.

God is able and willing to mount you up and lift you to the highest heights as you set your mind on Heavenly things. Keep looking up and you know I love ya, Don

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Heavenly Minded is the foundation for knowing an active Jesus!


Colossians 3:1; “Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.”

Being heavenly minded lays the foundation that Jesus is working in your life. Jesus is seated on the right hand of God mediating on our behalf. He is active, he calms our spirit, empowers our work, and strengthens our resolve.

"Before refrigerators, people used icehouses to preserve their food. Icehouses had thick walls, no windows and a tightly fitted door. In winter, when streams and lakes were frozen, large blocks of ice were cut, hauled to the icehouses and covered with sawdust. Often the ice would last well into the summer.
One man lost a valuable watch while WORKING in an icehouse. He searched diligently for it, carefully raking through the sawdust, but didn't find it. His fellow workers also looked, but their efforts, too, proved futile. A small boy who heard about the fruitless search slipped into the icehouse during the noon hour and soon emerged with the watch.   ----   Amazed, the men asked him how he found it.

I closed the door,' the boy replied, "lay down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking."

God desires us to focus our thoughts and therefore our minds on the eternal and not the worldly… Jesus is sitting on the right hand of God … When we focus on the Heavenly Work of Jesus…we calm down, we stop struggling and we listen to hear him.

Heavenly-minded thoughts are the foundation for a sharper focus on the work of Jesus. 

Keeping looking above! You know I love ya, Don

Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy New Year! - Rest, Reflect, Renewal

Christmas is over. (Deep breath.) Another season of rejoicing in the birth of the Savior has come and gone. We are packing away our decorations, unstringing lights and taking Christmas music off our playlists, while the kids are in the other room playing with new toys. We are all ready for a bit of rest from the celebrations, cooking, traveling and the joyful busyness of the holiday. The New Year is upon us - an amazing opportunity to rest, reflect and pray for renewal for the year ahead.

Rest - “Come to me, all those who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” -Matthew 11:28 (NIV)  As strange as it sounds in a culture that pushes activity, the Lord calls us to rest. After celebrating Jesus’ birth in such glorious (but likely tiring) fashion, what blessing it is to simply sit, take a breath and rest. Rest in who He is, what He is doing and what He has done for us this year. How? He may call us to rest in Him in so many ways, by switching off devices, perhaps opening our Bible or journal in the peace of the morning or just simply sitting in quiet prayer are all great ways to start.

Reflect - “I will meditate on your wonderful works.” (Psalms 145:5b)   A new year is an opportune time to reflect on how the Lord has worked in and around us. Take note of what He has done with a sense of gratitude. Pray with an honest and open heart about any ongoing difficulties, and talk with God as you remember moments that have changed you or have shown you more of Jesus. And for those who blessed you this year, take an opportunity to send a thank you card or a note or gift of encouragement to thank them.

Renew - Isaiah 40:31 says, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.”  The new year is dawning, and maybe it’s time for a new, or renewed, you. As we pray for and seek renewal, we are called to place our hope in the Lord. Reminding ourselves of where our hope lies, praying without ceasing, fixing our thoughts on things above and not on earthly troubles - these are among the many ways we can seek the kind of renewal that only comes from Christ.
Let's trek into 2016 with a fervor and hope for what the new year holds! Let's seek and pray for rest, reflection and renewal as we - through grace and faith - strive to walk according to His will.

You know I love ya, Don

More on this devotion:
http://www.dayspring.com/articles/rest-reflect-renew-this-new-year?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20151227%20-%20Rest%2C%20Reflect%2C%20Renew&utm_term=DaySpring%20Devotions