“When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. Then He placed His right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever …” — Revelation 1:17-18
How often do you think about Heaven?
I was recently brought to this scripture in Revelation 1, where the disciple whom Jesus loved, John, is exiled on Patmos, a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea. Here, he is given a revelation of the times to come, and is immediately met with the Son of God in His fullness of glory.
Instinctually, John collapses on the ground (as though dead!). He understands full well the presence of whose he dwells. He recognizes the weight of the moment in front of Him. It instantly causes him to collapse in worship, fear, and awe.
I love thinking about what this moment will be like for me. It sobers me up a bit. It makes me think about all of the things in my life that I get so caught up in — the good and bad — and how in a millisecond of being on the grounds of Jesus, I will forget it all. The worst day of my life and the best day of my life will be so far removed from my mind that it will almost be as if they didn’t happen.
Picture it for yourself: The moment where all is new, perfect and holy. To be with God entirely.
In this context of Revelation 1, Jesus would have every right to boast of Himself for His own sake. To push John’s head further into the ground and say, “Yeah, that’s right, you better worship Me.”
Instead, the God of the universe lays His hand on John’s shoulder and tells him to not be afraid. Why should he not fear? Because He is the beginning and the end, the conqueror of death, the King of everything.
And, we get to be on His side.
Relishing in the hope of eternity encourages me to hold a loose grip on all that is in my life. It teaches me to love others without caution, be vulnerable to my insecurities and rejoice in my sufferings. It also gives me a great purpose for my life now, that I can tell of this future reality to those around me.
Whether it be a relationship, job or reputation, a tremendous victory or horrific hardship, my hope can always be placed in the fact that I get to look Jesus in the eyes one day. It will be a time where I’ll be fully immersed in the glory, joy and power of God — and can stay forever and ever.
— Chris Pennington
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