This is the season of gifts. From Thanksgiving to Christmas giving gifts dominates much of our lives. If no gifts were given many businesses would fail, many hearts would be broken, many faces would be sad. God made us to be gift givers. We are made in his image and he is the greatest gift giver of all.
Last night, as I was driving home around 10:30, the sky was clear. I turned south onto a road that cuts across a large open field. Low in the southeastern sky was a magnificent moon rise. The Moon and Venus hung in space in a stunning display shouting the wonders of God’s glory. This is but one example of the gifts God gives to everyone each day.
But there is one gift, the ultimate gift, that God gives only to those he has made to love him. It is the gift of heaven. This gift almost defies description. But, valued for what it is, it is life changing. It is a gift that brings hope to God’s people everywhere, no matter what their circumstance in life. To those who are rich it makes all of their possessions of little value. To those in the persecuted church around the planet it tells them their suffering is leading them to a glorious life ahead. The gift of heaven changes lives.
Heaven is a big deal. It is the reason we discipline our children not to indulge in the tempting pleasures of a world headed for destruction. (Uh, that is the reason you discipline, correct?)
Without the reality of heaven this life is like a cruel joke – promising everything and then delivering bitter fruit in return. Without heaven, this world promises only an emotional roller coaster ride to depression and shattered dreams. Without heaven this Christian stuff will also make no sense to your children.
Do you hide the wonder of heaven from your children, from yourselves? The joy and hope of heaven is what makes this life worth living. The praise of man, the momentary fleeting joy of possessions, and the elusive pride of accomplishments offer nothing that is lasting or, ultimately, comforting.
This Christmas, along with all of the things that you will give your children, give them the gift you can’t wrap and put a bow on. Give them a view of heaven. Tell them what is behind all of what you are doing as a Christian parent. Live before them as if heaven matters. it is the ultimate gift!
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Rev. 22:1&2