Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I don't want to go to heaven today
The Word for today:
mark this: Philppians 1:21-25
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith.
Maybe I shouldn't say this, but I don't want to go to heaven today.
I figure--in fact I know--that I'm already in heaven: I have access to God through Jesus' death (1). My prayers are heard through Jesus' name (2). I am a partaker of his divine nature (3). He is ever with me and will never forsake me (4). These things I know, for the Bible tells me so. And the Spirit Himself testifies to the same (5).
And there's unfinished business down here. I want to tell the next generation about Jesus (6). I want to be fruitful (in the Spirit!) and multiply (7), bringing others into the kingdom. They've got to have faith in Jesus to get there, and faith in Jesus is what I teach and push all day (8).
Our son Eddy is getting baptized this Sunday. If his brother, Frankie, weren't in a cast from toe to knee, he'd probably be baptized as well. If I go to heaven today, then somebody else baptizes them. I want to baptize my sons and my daughters, if you please. I can't if I'm in heaven.
I want to write the 151st Psalm. I want to fill these ears with Shelley's voice; and these eyes with her form and features. I want to drink her in until I'm drunk.
I want to finish this gigantic Stand in the Rain blogging project, because Jesus deserves it, and because I've been told by more than a few that it can't be done. If I'm in heaven they'd be right, wouldn't they. We can't have that, now, can we.
I've got promises to keep. I promised to write a five-year Bible course. In a month, four of those years are in the books. Paul said he finished his course (9). I mean to do the same. I mean, if you don't mind.
There's cross country and track races that my boys haven't run and I haven't seen. I hope to see them all, and not as one of the great cloud of witnesses (10), if you please.
And those summer mornings, laden with every possibility. And some of those trees that Shelley and I planted in the yard aren't near to full-grown. And there's the Super Bowl the Bills haven't won yet. I said 'yet.'
My friend Howard and I are starting a new Bible class tonight. We're calling it "Beta." It's going to be all about the Alpha and the Omega (11). I told Howard I'm there every Wednesday until the 12th of Forever. But I can't be if I'm on the other side of the great gulf fixed (12).
The days of the years of my life, like Jacob's, have been few and evil (13). What's a few more days and years gonna matter, God? I've never been closer to you than I am right now. So let's keep a good thing going, OK?
Please. I know there's a few people in my classes who, with just a little push from this side, will be comin' through the Door (14).
You pull from that side, Jesus, while I push from here. I mean, if that's alright with you.
(1) Hebrews 10:20; (2) John 16:23; (3) 2 Peter 1:4; (4) Matthew 28:20; Joshua 1:5; (5) Romans 8:16; (6) Psalm 71:18; (7) Genesis 9:7 and Galatians 5:22; (8) Romans 10:17; (9) 2 Timothy 4:7; (10) Hebrews 12:1; (11) Revelation 22:13; (12) Luke 16:26/KJV; (13) Genesis 47:9; (14) John 10:9