Did you plan to take a vacation this year? If so you undoubtedly excitedly prepared! Brochures were collected, hours spent on making the big decision. You have seen photographs of the golden sands, the bright blue ocean, the longed-for sights. You picture yourself right there, and as the ticket is booked and the details planned the excitement mounts until the "big day" finally arrives.
Perhaps a vacation is beyond your budget. "I'll have to win the Lottery for that" you say! For millions, such a win is a great hope. They weekly crowd the ticket booths, and excitedly tune in on Wednesday or Saturday night to check their special numbers. The very thought of a win flushes the cheeks. Plans are made on how to spend "the big one" - a dream home, a snazzy car, a Caribbean cruise. Imagine the initial excitement of the winners! Life changes instantly, and a whole new world opens up. They jump for joy and the celebrations begin.
If a fabulous vacation or the Lottery aren't for you - there's something far better and far more certain. For neither a vacation nor a win compares with what God has in store for each of us.
Our "winning ticket" was drawn when we committed our life to Jesus Christ. When God gave us His Spirit a whole new world opened up. Our lives changed. We became His sons and daughters. And He promised to share with us the Universe - for all Eternity! The thought "blows the mind".
Doesn't this excite you? Too often our everyday cares make us apathetic and depressed. Our worries and problems are here and now. The future is "way off". We need to make it even more of a reality so we can shake off lethargy and prepare wholeheartedly for our incredible destiny. How, then, can our future become more real?
The Future Is Real
In the first place, what exactly is our destiny? Just as we read up on our vacation destination so, too, for our spiritual destination. What does God's Word teach us? How does He describe eternity for us? Get out your Bible and wallow in what God says about the purpose of our calling. Isn't this reason enough for "enjoying" rather than enduring our inevitable trials'?
Sit down and visualize God's Kingdom. Close your eyes and "see" Christ's return to set up His Kingdom. Picture - in detail - the world as it will be during the Millennium. No war. no famine. no disease. Everywhere perfect peace, joy and happiness. [Ed. This is one part of what the Festival of Tabernacles pictures!]
Read what God says He has in store. See it in your mind's eye. And now see yourself as a part of it! Don't merely picture Christ's triumphant return - but see, and feel, yourself rising in the air to meet him borne upwards by the holy angels. See yourself ruling as a King and Priest. Feel the crown placed on your head. Plan how you are going to restore the waste places, build cities, teach God's Law. Picture the conversations you will have with your favorite Bible characters - with Abraham, Moses, Paul and indeed with Jesus Christ. What have you wished you could ask them?
Next, go beyond the 1000-year reign of Christ and picture the great final harvest of earth's billions.
Imagine meeting your loved ones and all your family right back to Adam! Then picture God's throne descend from Heaven - and see our Father face-to-face. Now think of ruling the Universe, perfectly, harmoniously for all eternity.
That's one way we can be excited at being a Christian!
Picture yourself teaching God's ways to all those family members who never believed. What a family get-together that will be! See it, and plan it now. And imagine yourself in the New Jerusalem amid its glittering beauty and splendor.
You may find it helpful to buy a cork-board and pin on it pictures or postcards symbolic of your inheritance. Pictures of beautiful natural scenes. And pictures of human excellence - the British crown jewels, for example, or other exquisite workmanship.
Feast your eyes on this display - daily!
Talk about it, too, as you fellowship. Listen often to tapes about this exciting time of human history. And when you get a chance to experience beautiful natural scenery, imagine the Millennium.
Words cannot describe our fantastic future. It is certain. It is real. And it is coming soon. Let's plan it now, making it a part of our daily study, meditation and prayers. It will put a bounce in our step, a gleam in our eyes that no vacation or lottery win can ever do.
God gives the future to us - and it lasts for eternity!
by Sarah McBride
To comment on this article or request more information, please contact James McBride by e-mail at the comment form below.
For PDF or mailed copy, see CGOM. Excerpt from New Horizons Volume 1 Issue 5, September/October 1997. Edited by James McBride of the Churches of God, United Kingdom.
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