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Sermon of the Week 
Monday, March 27 2017

Wouldn’t it be nice to have, a taste of heaven here on earth, just once in a while to be able to experience in the here and now just a bit of what we will be enjoying for all eternity?  In this fallen world of ours which is known by so many, by its problems and sorrows, what could be better than some heaven on earth?  Well, it must be something which is desired by many because that "heavenly" term is used quite often in our world.                                                                                                                                               There are certain foods that claim to provide a taste of heaven. For instance there are a variety of dishes called Ambrosia; which, in Greek mythology was the food of the gods.  Ive tasted a few of them, and, as good as they were, quite frankly, they  failed to deliver at that level.                                                                                    Then we have angel hair pasta and angel food cake, which are okay, I guess; but hardly heavenly.  And now theres a fast food outfit that makes a sandwich they bill as heaven on a bun (which is odd because theres no bun in this particular sandwich.  Instead they substitute two boneless fried chicken breasts for the bread, and in between they stuff slabs of bacon, cheese, and a creamy, calorie-laden sauce).                                                                                                                                         Im pretty sure they call it what they do because if you eat one itll clog the arteries in your heart and its to heaven youll soon be goingunless, of course, youre headed the other way, in which case they might just as well call their sandwich hell on a bun; but that probably wouldnt sell as well, would it?.                                                                                                                                                                       When it comes to food, Miss Piggy says "Never eat more than you can lift"   Trixie Koontz says, "Love and food are a lot alike, you can't get enough"  Calvin Trillin says, "My mother was remarkable. For 30 years she served the family nothing but left overs. The original meal has never been found"!                                                                                                             

Probably the meal that would be closest to being called "heavenly" would be when Jesus fed a multitude with 5 loaves and two fish!                                                                  What it comes down to, is that people who describe any food however delicious, as a taste of heaven, have a very incorrect view of what heaven will really be like.                                  

Since food can’t deliver a piece of heaven,  there are some places that have been described by travel agents as heaven on earth  of course they would be more than happy to take your money and book you a trip there.  “It’s a little piece of heaven”, or as one add declared, "It's where heaven touches earth".....And when they say that, the chances are high that it’s also a tourist trap; and there’s nothing heavenly about that.  We live in a place that is described by many, as a little piece of heaven on earth...coconut trees, white sandy beaches, prestine, clear, tropical water, exotic tropical fruits, … and there are mosquitoes, mall withdrawel symptoms, roaches, rats, and ants. Nothing heavenly about that.  So whatever place we might call a piece of heaven  on earth, will always fall far short of the mark.  As they say: in this world, even the prettiest rose has thorns.

But we’re not done trying yet.  It has been the lofty goal of various groups through- out history to create a piece of heaven on earth, by putting together a perfect society.  It’s an experiment that has been tried over and over again especially when this country was younger and utopian dreamers from Europe would come here with their followers and try to set up the ideal community. There were the Shakers, the Quakers, the Moravians, the Millerites, and many others. Brook Farms, Massachusetts; New Harmony, Indiana; Oneida, New York were all started as communal colonies in which the members really believed they could bring heaven to earth. Why, even Hitler, tried to create an Aarion race, which would be superior to any other humans. But there’s nothing left of those efforts now except a marker beside the road, or an item in a history book. What they failed to recognize is that to have the perfect society, you need to have perfect people. Such people don’t exist, on earth, and before long, life in these perfect communities, always become more like a prison than a paradise.

The bottom line in all this is that as much as we might like to have a taste of heaven here on earth, there is no food or experience devised by man, no perfect place in the world, and no ideal society that can possibly provide it. Sin cannot create righteousness, and flawed people are not capable of perfection. Cracked pots will always leak! 

Since Adam and Eve were banned from the Garden of God, mankind has searched for a way back to Eden's garden. We have all lived outside that perfect place, but there is in each one of us a longing, a deep, almost inexpressible desire to return to the home that we never knew through personal experience, but that we still have a sense of having lost.  I mean, we look around this world and see its problems, struggles, suffering, and injustice  we know them first hand and we recognize that things ought not to be this way.  The reason we have this sense is that we still feel the loss of what could have been.  And this is why we long for a taste of heaven on earth, wherever we can find it  even though there is no earthly way, in our own selves,  for us to have it.

But it's not about us reaching up to bring heaven down, it's about God reaching down to bring heaven within us. Christ's birth, life, death and resurrection were all about making this possible. Something heavenly happens in our praise and  our worship, even though our singing doesn’t sound like heavenly choirs.  There’s noise and distractions all around.  Our hearts and minds have a tendancy to wander. Our robes may be stained with sin even though we’ve washed them over and over again. 

But in spite of it all, Christ is here with us.  And where he is, heaven has come to earth.  And when he speaks his promises to us, when he washes us by his Word and Spirit, and when we pray together, and receive forgiveness of our sins, we do indeed have a very real taste of heaven on earth.  And this ought to make us appreciate the moments we have, and to hunger even more for the glory to be revealed when we stand in Christ.

From the moment of His miraculous birth, to His miraculous life and death, Jesus was constantly teaching and demonstrating the Father's desire, that the people whom God had created in His own image, would be the agents of heaven in the earth. His life could be summed up with the words "Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven".....

Ephesians 1:18 "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, v19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power v20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, v21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. v22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, v23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” .

He came to produce the spark of Divine hunger and begin a heavenly revolution in His disciples then and now. He told them and us, "The glory which the Father has given unto me, I give unto you". He taught them through a daily system of "show and tell", that their lives could be more than the daily grind of earning a living and toiling for daily bread. 

So He chose fishermen from their boats, and a tax collector from his desk, and a soldier of fortune and a few others and He showed them how to work in harmony with the Holy Spirit to bring heaven into the earth in the every day events and experiences of life. 

When it comes to seeing heaven on earth....We can certainly apply the 

statement found in Hebrews 11:1 "For faith is the substance of things 

hoped for and the evidence of things not seen"...and notice verse 16 

"But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one: wherefore 

God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He has prepared for them 

a city". This is about having heaven to go to heaven in!!!! Where Jesus is, 

heaven can be found!

                                                                                                                                                                   Heaven is not up there or out there, heaven is where God rules and has the oversight. Because we need someone who has rule and oversight over the universe. Someone to sets up the rules for the universe to function. Someone who has authority. Who governs, or oversees everything we depend upon, to live our lives on this earth. I mean, would we really want humans to even rule something like the weather?  From the most microscopic animal to a star millions of light years away, God created everything so that it all works together according to a plan. 

While this is true, we also understand that the God of this world is Satan and we know this because it is stated in God's word. He was cast out of heaven, into the earth until his time is up. But there is a kingdom within a kingdom. The God of this world has many agents to do his bidding. And each of us is making a choice every day, to be shaped by the world or by the Word of God. Satan is still subject to God's truth, His power and His authority, which He assigned to the believers who make up His church.

Our mandate comes from Act 1:8 "But you shall receive power, after 

the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and you shall be my witnesses (my 

representatives or ambassadors) both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and 

in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth". 

Jesus stated that His mission in coming to the earth can be found in...                                 1 John 3:8  "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, (caused to appear everywhere) that He might destroy the works of the devil".

Colossians 2:14  "For He has blotted out the handwriting of ordinances 

that was against us, which was opposed to us, and took it out of the way, 

nailing it to His cross.v15  And having overcome principalities and powers, 

He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it". 

How humiliating it surely is to Satan and all his demons, that carry out his 

diabolical  purposes, for God to call on frail, finite men and women and 

choose them as His agents, and give them authority and power, to bring 

heaven into the earth. In Christ, Satan has been defeated and Jesus  hands

His victory to us who are His agents. Through His victory, He has appointed 

us, to overrule and reign in the midst of the powers of darkness and set 

boundries which declare...."This far shall you come and no further"!!~

                                                                                                                                                           

The Greek word for the world wide community of believers and 

followers of Christ is "Ecclesia" or the called out ones. The body of Christ    

i n the earth who are His hands, His feet, His voice, His heart. Those who 

are brought out from the kingdom of darkness, into His kingdom of light. 

Those who are called to do His will and accomplish His purposes. They are 

anointed, authorized , and empowered to represent Him. Why would He call 

us to do something which He has not given us the power or authority to do!

 

The whole creation waits with breathless anticipation for those whom 

God has impowered as His true sons and daughters, to set boundaries on 

the devil and remove boundaries and limitations which Satan has placed 

on the people that God has created and made alive on earth.....

 

Look with me at...Romans 8:19 "For the earnest expectation of the 

creation waits (eagerly) for the manifestation of the sons of God. v20 For 

the creature was made subject by reason of Him who has subjected the 

same in hope, v21 Because the creation itself  (iktah'-om-ahee...the very 

fabric of creation) also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption 

into the glorious liberty of the children of God. v22 For we know that the 

whole creation (iktah'-om-ahee...the very fabric of creation) groans and 

travails in pain together until now". 

Jesus spoke to bread and fish, fig trees, storms at sea, sickness, and even 

death! He spoke into (iktah-om-ahee.. the very fabric of creation)

We could substitute the word delivered in Romans 8:21 for the words "set     

free"....To destroy the works of the evil one, is to set free and release, all that has 

come under his power in the earth.

 

How well the words of the prophet summed up our mission as God's agents 

in the earth....as we see what Jesus said of His own ministry, it is an 

accurate view of His call upon our lives....

Isaiah 61:1"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord has 

anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He has sent me to bind 

up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening 

of the prison to them that are bound; [2] To proclaim the acceptable year of 

the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;      

[3] To bring hope unto those that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty 

for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of 

heaviness; that they might be called strong in righteousness, the planting 

of the Lord, that He might be glorified".

 

The church, God’s redeemed society on earth, serves as the divine 

agency for transforming human society, it is the mustard seed which grows 

into a great tree. As of 2010, Christianity was by far the world's largest 

religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion who profess Jesus Christ as Savior. 

Theologians call this the “already is” and the “not yet fully come."             

 

This kingdom, is called to look like Jesus, act like Jesus and speak like 

Jesus. To call ourselves the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, means 

that God is among us and that Jesus can be seen everywhere!

The Church walking and serving in God's glory is the church triumphant!

Our primary citizenship is in heaven, but the deminsion of earth is where 

we live day-by-day. We may be going to a place called heaven one day, but 

we're coming back to the earth....to finish what we started. 

 

One pastor was turned down by a bank for a needed loan, in order to 

build a needed expansion to their church. He told the bank president, that 

he wanted to meet with the board of directors. When the meeting was 

called, his turn came and he shared the gospel with them then he said, 

when the rapture takes place you are not going unless you receive Christ 

as your savior. If you go, you're coming back to this earth for 1000 years  

for the mellenium. Now having said that, you have turned my church down 

for a loan, even though our credit is perfect, and our payments have been 

on time. When I return during the mellenial reign of Christ I'm asking to be 

in charge of this city and then I'm going to fire every one of you!

This guy had a sense of being part of a kingdom which has no end!

 

We are in the earth but not of the earth. The Bible teaches us to be 

heavenly-minded and that we are to be seated in the heavenly places to 

rule in Christ and with Christ. Heaven is God's pattern for earth and we are 

to live in eager expectation of Christ's second coming in glory, when 

heaven shall come down to earth in all of its fullness. 

 

Jesus said it this way in His message to the church ....Matthew 10:8 

"Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely 

you have received, freely give".

The kingdom of heaven is all-encompassing. It is all-sufficient, and it is 

more than enough!!! Jesus, the king of heaven and earth is waiting to 

reveal Himself through us in all His fullness and all His power!

 

Satan will tell you anything to keep you from believing the truth. Scripture calls 

him the father of lies. I'm reminded of the woman who was pulled over for 

speeding and when the officer asked to see her license, she said "I don't have 

one, I lost it for drunk driving." "Well, let me see your regristration", he asked 

her. "I don't have it, the car is stolen, and I killed the owner and I have him in 

the trunk." 

The officer called for back up and quickly the police are everywhere... The 

ranking officer asks the woman..."Did you tell this officer, you didn't have a

license?" The woman reached in her purse and pulled out her license and gave it 

to him. "This officer said you didn't have registration, because you stole the 

car." The woman reached into the glove compartment and pulled out the 

regristration... "This officer said you had killed the owner and put him in the 

trunk, please open the trunk." The woman opened the trunk and it was empty. 

Then she said, "I'll bet this lying policeman also told you that I was speeding!" 

Satan wants us to believe the lie so we'll miss the truth when it's right in front of 

us!!!

If you go to Budda's tomb, in a shrine at MUMBAI, India, you'll find some bones and ashes which Buddists revere as sacred.... if you go to Mohammed's tomb, which is in a mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia, you'll find His bones which Muslims revere as sacred.... But if you go to Jerusalem, to a garden tomb where they laid Jesus body, you'll find nothing, because He's alive and His kingdom is alive now and forever!!!!

As we get this revelation, we begin looking everywhere for ways to offer 

God’s love and hope. No matter what our age or our ability, God is inviting 

us to be his agents in this new creation mandate. We are to be looking for 

ways to bring God’s peace and justice on earth as it is in heaven. 

Every day we are to be open to where God is trying to connect heaven 

with earth and be open to how we can be a part of this. Every day we are to 

ask God to help us find ways to assist Him in building a new world of hope, 

peace, justice, and love. 

 

Every day we are to ask, “How can I be an agent 

of God’s new creation?” It begins by praying each day...."Lord Jesus, may 

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”

Many folks can say they have seen people healed or heard of people who 

were healed, but I can say that I am the man who was and is healed!

As you have received, freely give... Whatever you have received, you are 

qualified to give in Jesus name! 

 

Ephesians 3:14 "For this reason we bow our knees to the Father of our 

Lord Jesus Christ, v15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is 

named, v16 that He would grant usaccording to the riches of His glory, to 

be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. v17 That Christ 

may dwell in our heart by faith; that we, being rooted and grounded in 

love, v18  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, 

and length, and depth, and height. v19 and to know the love of Christ 

which passes knowledge; that wemay be filled with all the fullness of 

God.” 

The breadth, and length, and depth, and height, pretty much covers it 

all...everything and everyone is covered in those unlimited deminsions of 

the kingdom of heaven!  

Prayer...Lord, Send me where I can be used, Lord, choose the path that I am to walk, and guide my footsteps. Show me where I am needed not just where I want to be. Though I may make mistakes, help me to accept criticism and correction. May I be Your willing servant. Give me insight to discern those that are trying to help from those that would hinder me in my service to You.  Let me be content wherever You plant me so that I may bloom and flourish there, for Your glory, not mine.                                                                                                                                                                         I pray for a sound mind, so I can hear Your Voice of wisdom and truth and know what to do. 

May the witness of Your Spirit saturate my heart and mind. In all that I do, I acknowledge your holy presence and give thanks for the wisdom, strength, and peace, which you give to me. *....Father, thank you that your constant Presence in my life, is a faithful witness to me, giving insight, and inspiration, and gently guiding me in making wise and compassionate decisions. I know that nothing can touch my life without Your permission. I choose to resist the enemy of my soul and submit myself toYou. 

I know that You only desire and have already provided what is best for me in everything, at all times, and it is planned by the Father, purchased by the Son, and sealed by the Holy Spirit. In You Lord, we have A love that can never be fathomed, A life that can never die, A righteousness that can never be tarnished, A peace that can never be understood, A rest that can never be disturbed, A joy that can never be diminished, A hope that can never be disappointed, A glory that can never be clouded, A light that can never be darkened, A purity that can never be defiled, A beauty that can never be marred, A wisdom that can never be baffled, and resources that can never be exhausted.  Thank You, In Jesus' name…. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: AT 12:28 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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