When was the last time you stood on a shore?
One of my favorite stops in Israel last March was Galilee. One of the Lifeway Tour Bible teachers, Lysa TerKeurst, taught while we stood on the peaceful shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was not hard for me to “see” Jesus preparing breakfast for His grieving disciples after a rough night of fishing. It was not difficult to imagine the disciples gathered around their Master – blown away that He was in their midst again – sharing His wisdom and truth. I so wanted Jesus to show up for us, too, that afternoon.
Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?” — knowing that it was the Lord. – John 21:12
A few days later, Phil and I flew to Greece. We met up with our friend Christy to tour Athens and Corinth. Our guide took us to Ancient Corinth where we walked on a shore where the apostle Paul set sail for his missionary journeys. Closing my eyes, I envisioned the fiery preacher/tentmaker shoving off – not knowing what was in store for him – yet leaving with the knowledge he had encountered the living God. Paul was a changed man and he was determined to tell everyone about his Savior.
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” – I Corinthians 15:58
Ten days ago, our friend, Greg, crossed over to the shores of heaven. He “lost” his earthly battle with cancer here in northeast Indiana but won his heavenly prize. He has already spent precious time with Jesus and a multitude of saints. Maybe he’s rubbed shoulders with the original disciples or encountered his former Sunday school teachers or Billy Graham or Mother Teresa. Maybe he is just kneeling in awe – with no words to adequately express his gratitude. Maybe he is in heaven’s band – playing the mouth trumpet – or singing four-part harmony with a quartet. Whatever is happening on heaven’s shores has to be awesome and amazing and much more than our human minds can comprehend.
Friends, I don’t know exactly what heaven will be like but I’ve read John’s words and his description in the book of Revelation. Heaven sounds more spectacular than any shore I’ve ever walked upon.
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also – John 14:2-3
“Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” –Revelation 7:15-17
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal” – Revelation 21:9-11
The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass. – Revelation 21:21
“In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” -Revelation 22:2
“They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever” – Revelation 22:4-5
May we know the joy of stepping on heaven’s shore when our time on earth is completed. And may we know the joy of the Savior and love Him well before that time comes.
Cheering you on!