A Glimpse of Heaven

urlWhat does eternal life look like? Before you answer that question, stop and think about what I just asked, and what I didn’t ask.

I asked what does eternal life look like. I didn’t ask what does heaven look like.

Now, Andy, aren’t they the same thing? Sort of.

What do you mean by that?

Let me share one of my favorite passages of scripture with you today, John 17:1-3:

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Jesus is praying to His Father and he says – this is eternal life – they know the only true God, and Jesus Christ who you have sent.

That’s eternal life. Knowing God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son. That’s eternal life. And that starts now. That starts today. That starts the moment we know God through Jesus Christ.

Now, heaven in a place, an eternal place where will know God and be with Him forever. Heaven is a place of resurrection and spiritual bodies. Heaven is a place, if you reading this, we haven’t gotten to yet.

Eternal life is. Being found in God. Knowing God living in God. Breathing in God. Living with God every day of our lives.

That’s eternal life.

And we know that NOW. Today. In this moment.

Every time in our lives that experience God and His grace, every time we experience the moving of the Holy Spirit, every time we know God; through worship, prayer, scripture, service, through the ways that we experience Him, that’s a foretaste of heaven.

That’s a glimpse of heaven. That’s eternal life. And we can know that now.

Today, look for those glimpses of heaven. Look for eternal life in your life today. Look for those moments when you can experience God. That’s eternal life. Knowing the Father through the Son.

No matter where we are today, may we know eternal life.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Fasting. No really. Fasting.

We’ve been reflecting this week on different scriptures that point the way to things that deepen our faith. These things that help us grow closer to God, these things are what Wesley called a “Means of Grace.”  In these things – God gives us grace to grow.

Thus far they’ve been things that we all like and agree are important. Prayer. Scripture.  Things such as that.  Listen today, though, to this important thing talked about in Acts 14:23:

Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church. With prayer and fasting, they turned the elders over to the care of the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.

With prayer and fasting. Fasting.  Oh my. Yes. Fasting.

Fasting is something that we don’t talk about in church as much as should because, well, it’s not fun.  None of us want to fast.  None of us want to give up something.  None of us, in the end, want to do it.

You don’t, I don’t, no one does. It’s not what we’d think about as “fun.”

Yet, in scripture, we see it over and over again as a command. We see it over and over again as something that God’s people are instructed to do. We see it as something that the church is challenged do to. It’s important.


I can just tell you, from my experience, that fasting gives us two major benefits.  First, it drives us to prayer.  When you fast (by the way, fasting, for those that aren’t familiar, is giving up something, normally food, for a time period, to seek God) we are driven to prayer. When you miss that chocolate, pray.  When you miss that coke, pray.   When you miss whatever you give up, pray.  Every time we see fasting mentioned in scripture, it’s in relation to prayer. Fasting is useful in that drives us to pray.

Second, in my experience, when you give up something, you see what really controls your actions. We see that our actions are not controlled by our needs, or many times, by God, we see that our actions are controlled by our desires.  Our wants.  Us.  We aer driven so many times in our lives not by what God wants. But by what we want.

That’s not the way that God wants us to live. That’s not what God has for us. That’s not His desire for us.

So, while it won’t be something that we look forward to doing, I do believe it’s something that can change our lives and our walk with God.  Fasting is still important.

And today, in some way in your life, I pray that you can find a way to experience that gift in your life!


The Table

One of my favorite parts of being a preacher is serving communion.  It really is.  It’s something I look forward to doing, something I look forward sharing in, something that really adds to my faith and my love of God.

Communion is a very powerful thing. It is something that when the Body of Christ does it, we know that God is in our midst and is drawing us closer to Himself.

This week, each day’s readings have been taken from scriptures that were listed in the bulletin at Asbury this past Sunday.  You can click here to see that bulletin.  Each of the passages talk about practices of faith that grow our love of God. So far this week we’ve reflected on scripture and on prayer.

Today, it’s communion.  Listen to Acts 2:42 and what happened in the early church:

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.

In the earliest of days in the church they gathered for the teaching, the preaching, the fellowship, and the table.  At this table, Christians came together to remember what happened when our Lord was betrayed and crucified, but they also looked forward to a time when they would gather together with Jesus around the table at the wedding feast that is eternal life in heaven.

At this table, we are all equal.  We are all equal in our need for God, and equal in our hope of resurrection and eternal life.  At the table, we remember what He did for our sake and for our forgiveness and we look forward to a time of everlasting peace.

At the table, we are reminded we are forgiven, we are loved, and we are welcomed.

None of us deserve to come to the table. But, ALL are welcomed to come to the table. That’s what grace is all about.

Grace is about knowing that you aren’t worthy, but are invited anyway. That’s the grace God gives to us in the table of Communion, and the grace He gives us each day.

You aren’t worthy.  Neither am I.  None of us are. But, we are each loved. And welcomed. And treasured. Through God’s grace.

Remember what He did for our sake. And look forward to what will be. And live in the power of God’s amazing grace.