I Believe we can Create a Heaven on Earth.
Have you ever had those moments that seemed so right? Moments that seemed like reality was finally in line with what God would have it be? It’s almost as if God was smiling down, saying, “Yes. This is what I have been wanting for you.”
I had a moment like that this weekend. I think I was in Heaven.
My dad has been a preacher my entire life. I’ve grown up sitting in the 3rd or 4th pew with my brother as we watched him lead the congregation each Sunday. We were his biggest fans.
I’m grown now, so I don’t hear all of his messages. But this past Sunday, I got to sit with my brother (and the rest of my family) one last time to hear my dad preach.
I’m not the only one that made a special trip to come hear his last message. As a sign of honor and appreciation, MANY people that he’s touched over the years traveled to the small town of La Monte to hear his last sermon. A church that typically enlisted only half the pews, filled to overflowing. It wasn’t just filled with people though, it was filled with lives that had been touched and affected by one man’s journey. People that would never be the same. They were different because he loved them and taught them something about how they should love one another.
Love surrounded my Dad for his last sermon and as a result, he preached a message unlike any I’ve heard before. He was raised up by the love of the people around him and I really think he transfigured. His words were no longer his, but it was as if they descended on him from higher above. Sweat came down from his brow like he had been lit up from the inside out. Energy poured out, eliciting unplanned responses from everyone in the audience. It was powerful. It was real.
God had a message for us last Sunday.
I will not be able to communicate all I experienced in that message. But I thought I might share a small part of it with you today – in case it was something you might need to hear as well.
Are You Open to Love?
There are a couple of foundational beliefs in the Christian faith:
- God is Love
- God Loves You
- God Wants You to Love Others – the same way He loves you
Do you want to be loved?
The unfortunate thing is that sometimes we can be closed off to God’s love and the love coming from each other. We have the opportunity to turn away or let something twist the love meant for us to receive into something evil. Love requires that we’re vulnerable, and that doesn’t feel safe. What if we get hurt?
It might make sense to hold back and resist love IF you thought your strength was coming from inside yourself. If you thought you needed to be strong enough to handle every situation ALONE… then, yeah. Don’t risk something that could back-fire.
You’re not alone though.
God is with you – and it’s His strength that you can rely on over and over again. You’re strong enough to love like God because He dwells inside each one of us.
There’s one thing that resists love most… Fear.
That’s basically it. We’re scared. We react differently when we let fear guide our thoughts. We start blocking love, twisting it, resisting it’s power. We don’t want it – it’s too scary. Fear feeds into insecurities. Insecurities feed into feelings of worthlessness. Worthlessness feeds into a lack of motivation to affect others around us in a positive and meaningful way. If we’re not living meaningful lives, we’re giving up the task.
You see, LIFE IS MEANINGFUL. And, it’s not just about YOU. It’s about US.
We can’t let fear control us. We need to change. We need know we matter. We need to love and be loved.
Trust Love – It’s Good. In fact, it’s better than you could have ever imagined.
Consider this: If you’re too scared to leap, you might never feel the joy of being caught when you fall. You might never be broken down in order to be mended back together again – and it’s the mending that makes us stronger, shinier, and better than ever. We’re meant to go into the fire. We’re meant to be brave – to be remade in the likeness of God.
We can be a living extension of God. We can be the vessel that pours out love. We can be a reminder to the people around us that life is good and meaningful. We can practice going into the fire because we don’t have to be afraid.
We’re not alone.
I think God’s Kingdom is here. I think Heaven is capable of happening right now. Right this instant.
Today, know this: You can be a part of creating Heaven on Earth.
Don’t let fear guide you through life. If you’ve been paralyzed, make a choice. Take a step. Move towards love.
God Loves You.
Somebody around you needs to know that God loves them too.