Archive for November 14th, 2013

The Place Prepared

November 14th, 2013

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again, and will receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

John 14:3

I confess that I miss the many funerals that I have attended elsewhere in ministry – NOT because I like to see my friends die, but because of the messages of hope and eternal life that are given there. In Christian funerals we review these basic and uplifting truths of our eternal home, and these truths reassure our hearts. Here in Stuttgart we do not have so many because our congregation is for the most part not from here, and is young and healthy. But death is coming, and is just around the corner for us all. It grows nearer everyday, but, my, what a treasure we have in this verse.  Christ has prepared a place for us, a place of warm reception for us and a place where He is.

The beautiful simplicity of these words adds to their effect, for here is a truth that every human soul needs to feast upon, that ministers to each of our hearts. Regardless of the language into which it is translated, these simple words still resonate and fill the cavernous heart of our soul that longs for simple truth that assures.

First, Christ says that He has prepared a place for us, and this contradicts the notion that heaven shall be a state of mind, or an attitude of the heart only. Jesus described it as a place, and this takes form, shape, and surroundings. Just as we were born into a certain place on earth, so when we are reborn we also have a place prepared for us already. It is a perfect place, a painless place, a peaceful place – all of that is true – but what stands out the most here is that it is a prepared place. It is made for us. If any place on earth has become home to us, heavenly will be infinitely more so. It is prepared for us by the One who knows and loves us better than we know and love ourselves. We will not get lost in the crowd, or will it be “one size fits all” when it comes to our eternal home. Christ will have some place especially prepared for us each and us all.

Second, it is a place where we will be received, welcomed, accepted. We will not sit in the corner rejected and alone, rather at death we will come into our inheritance. David was chosen by God but shut out of the kingdom by Saul and until Saul died David was treated as an alien in the very land that God had called him to rule over. But then he became king and united the kingdom – that which had earlier rejected him now accepted him. Heaven is like this for us, only that our former rejection came at the hands of God and was due to our sin. But Christ has forgiven and cleansed us and established us in His kingdom, so we expect a rich and warm welcome into heaven. There we will be received, and every time we pray today we should sense heaven’s acceptance of our prayers.

Third, it is a place where Christ is, and this truth is the greatest of these three. We shall be near our Lord and our Savior. But we can also draw near to Him in devotion, meditation, and in prayer today. This is one of the greatest things that life has to offer us – communing with Christ now by His Spirit. Take time to talk to Him tonight, resting in the wonderful assurance of these words.

Evening Devotionals, John 14-17 , ,