“Heaven On Earth” (Luke 20: 38, ESV) by Carley Evans


Jesus tells us, “Now He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to Him.”

Paul writes, “Do you not know that all of us who are baptized into Christ Jesus are baptized into His death? We are buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ is raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too may walk in the newness of life. For if we are united with Him in a death like His, we are certainly united with Him in a resurrection like His.” (Romans 6: 3 – 5)

So, we live to God.

Jesus says, “I Am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live.” (John 11: 25)

He also declares many times, “The kingdom of Heaven has come near to you.” (Luke 10: 9, 11)

If Jesus is the resurrection and the life, then He is also the kingdom of Heaven. He walks among us, the full embodiment of Heaven on earth.

“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if your hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put Me to the test and saw My works for forty years. Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known My ways.’ As I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ” (Hebrews 3: 7 – 11)

Jesus is our High Priest, so we are able “to hold fast our confession” of faith. He is able to “sympathize with our weaknesses.” We are as such able to approach God “with confidence,” knowing that He Himself provides us with mercy and “grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4: 14 – 16, selected)

Jesus is our life. He is the kingdom of Heaven. We walk in this kingdom here on the earth with softened hearts, leaning on Him for mercy and grace and help in time of need. Let us lean on the Lord.

“Make A Joyful Noise” (Psalm 95: 1 – 2, ESV) by Carley Evans


“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, when your fathers put Me to the test and put Me to the proof, though they had seen My work.” (Psalm 95: 7 – 9)

 

Rather than test God, we are called to “sing to the Lord,” to “make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!” We may be in the midst of a wilderness, but we have seen His work.

Remember that “the Lord is a great God.” (Psalm 95: 3) Remember that “He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.” (Psalm 95: 7)

We are to “worship and bow down” before God. (Psalm 95: 6) We are “to come into His presence with thanksgiving.”

Even in the desert, we are called to “make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise!” When we hear His voice and allow His power to open our hearts to His love; then, we are able to trust Him and enter His rest.

“So, then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest… Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4: 9 – 11, 16)

Even in the desert, if we keep our hearts soft toward the Lord, “we may receive mercy and find grace.” We are able to “rest from [our] works as God did from His.” We are able to enter the Sabbath rest of the people of God. Therefore, let us worship our God and “make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”