Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place

by Liz Griffin

Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.
James 1:17, NLT

There was a song on the album ‘City of Gold’,  by Phil Baggaley, called, ‘How lovely is Your dwelling place’. The words say, ‘Surely you and I should know. It’s written on the earth below. Every good and perfect gift is sent from heaven above’. Examples given in this song are a new-born’s smile, friends calling and staying a while, leaves of green, a sky of blue, and fields of gold in Autumn. The refrain is ‘Sometimes my soul will yearn to reach another land, where all these moments meet, are free in time and space’.

I know that many times in my life God has allowed me a foretaste of heavenly things. They are moments of glory coming into a broken world, times when I have felt His presence with me so strongly. They are permanently imprinted on my memory, deep in my spirit. James describes it well. ‘Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow’ (James 1:17, NLT). The Message Bible says, ‘Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light’.

I love the idea in the song that joyful moments on earth are not just going to disappear into nothingness, to be forgotten. A friend was saying that she struggles to imagine the concept of timelessness in eternity, and she wanted to hear some teaching on heaven at our fellowship group. As a group, we are now taking time to look at the passages in the Bible about heaven.

It is mind-stretching to study this topic, but it is abundantly clear to me that heaven is God the Father’s dwelling place. Most of all, I am encouraged that our Lord Jesus assures us that He will take us there. “When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (John 14:3). If I understand nothing else, I can rest upon this promise.

The apostle Paul writes that ‘we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Saviour. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control’ (Philippians 3:20-21).

He set his eyes on heaven, saying, ‘I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us’ (Philippians 3:13-14).

Liz Griffin lived for 20 years as an expatriate in South Africa, Bahrain and Japan, as her husband Paul worked for an international oil company. Paul and Liz became involved with Ellel Ministries in 1991 as part of the ministry team and joined the full-time team at Ellel Grange in 1995. Paul and Liz teach and minister to those seeking healing in their lives and together have written two books, 'Anger - How Do You Handle It' and 'Hope and Healing For The Abused'.

 

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