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IEA Devo 2021 joyofheaven • Becoming a Disciple-Maker

The Joy of Heaven – The Disciple-Making Lifestyle

“…no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him, but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit…” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)


Part One

Heaven would be utterly empty and meaningless without our Savior’s presence. It is our ability to have fellowship with Him that separates mere location from future eternal joy. It is that relationship which assures us that heaven – will actually feel like heaven! This is the essence of what Paul was led to express. He yearned to deepen his experience with his Lord, and therefore wrote,

“I want to know Him and the power of His resurrection,”
(Philippians 3:10)

Knowing the Savior and experiencing His power can only be accomplished by humbly exercising one’s – will. Like the satisfaction of choosing heaven, ultimately, our spiritual growth depends on our personal volition! To guide us on this life-changing journey, the Lord taught us to pray, “…Thy will be done on earth as it is (already being done) in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) This suggests that a Christian’s wonderful foretaste of heaven is designed to start now on earth. That joy comes through the experience of close daily fellowship with Him.


Part Two

When you explain your relationship with Christ, you are lovingly pointing your friends and family members toward heaven! The gospel is the Good News of forgiveness which they may not have heard, or clearly understood. The simple act of caring enough to pray, interact, and help them meet their spiritual needs – all embody a Christian’s mission of love! The privilege of hearing or reading the gospel is a seeker’s first essential step toward their new eternal home. The Lord explained, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

Over time, the Holy Spirit will repeatedly use both your example and your personal testimony to help seekers find peace and eternal security. The speed of this vital process will normally depend on a person’s awareness of their need. Without spiritual conviction, they may never truly – search, believe, and repent of their sins.


Part Three

As you prepare for being the Lord’s witness, remember that eternal life has everything to do with the object of a one’s faith. It has absolutely nothing to do with the celestial location of our Father’s kingdom. The timeless focus of heaven’s message has always been about His plans coupled with our trust. The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) He will lead us to Himself if we will simply follow!

Universally, Jesus Christ must first be sincerely trusted and then He can be personally received (see John 1:12). Only then can seekers experience the privilege of His fellowship. Remember how He reassuringly said, “In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3)


Part Four

Concerning the pathway to heaven, the Lord explained, “…the gate is narrow and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:14) This eternal reality is an offence to some and a mystery to others, but for us as Jesus’ disciples, we have the privilege and responsibility of helping others find the gate. Bear in mind that God’s chosen entrance never changes!

Most people are still living out their days unsatisfied and longing for God! We can help them find the pathway to heaven by simply giving them a well-prepared gospel booklet or telling them our personal story of faith. Jesus clearly said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) Don’t forget – that the way to heaven always begins with prayer and its joy starts right here on earth. Jesus spoke to His disciples explaining, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)


By Billie Hanks Jr.

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