Blog – July 10, 2010
Heaven Can Wait, A Servant’s HeartDiscussion
At Southview recently, we lost a dear friend and a terrific Christian. His name was Don Collins and he truly was a living testimony of his faith in Christ. It showed in every aspect of his life; and in every aspect of the kingdom work that he threw himself into, he did it with all that God had given him. At his passing I remembered thinking about him as I did the day that my mom was called to be with the Lord. That is to say, I wonder what heaven is like on your first day there. I wonder what it is like when the angels carry you to heaven. I wonder what it is like when you see the face of Jesus for the first time. Just how wonderful is heaven? I believe that heaven becomes an even more real place for us each time we lose a loved one and we know that they are now also apart of it.
None of us, of course, have any real idea what it is like in heaven, as we have never actually been there. However, there was one man who did get to visit heaven and return to the earth, and that man was the Apostle Paul (see 2 Corinthians 12:2-4). Having seen heaven and heard things that he was not allowed to repeat; and having experienced heaven and been in Christ’s presence, what was it that Paul said about heaven? He declared that while he desired to be in heaven, he realized that it was better for the kingdom, and for the work that God had given him, for him to remain on the earth. He recognized that reaching the lost, spreading the gospel message, and saving more and more souls for heaven, was by far a greater goal than desiring that the Lord take him back to heaven (see Philippians 1:21-24). Now that’s a servant’s heart.
At the end of Paul’s life, when he knew that the moment was drawing close when he would again be in heaven with his Savior, he proclaimed, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7 [NIV]. Our beloved brother and friend Don Collins would say that very thing as well.
Today I have one question for you: Would you be able to make that same claim? At Southview, God is working in mighty ways and preparing us for a new work, a new approach to reaching the lost beyond our walls, beyond our borders and beyond ourselves. We have all seen the early stages of the transformation that God is bringing to pass at Southview. A new music ministry is beginning to emerge, a new youth ministry, our registration for VBS this year is breaking all kinds of records, including the fact that a large percentage of the children are from families not a part of the Southview congregation. In the fall, we will be reaching out to the community with needed training in life skills, like managing finances, for which already members of the community have pre-registered. Furthermore, other upcoming events during the rest of the year will be used by God to draw more people to Him than we have ever seen at Southview.
Inside the physical space at Southview, we see it being transformed as well: a new website, new media equipment, new worship lighting and sound gear; and it’s only the beginning, as God is in the process of literally transforming us from the inside out. It’s an exciting time to be working in the kingdom!
Am I excited and looking forward to being in heaven? You bet! But just like the Apostle Paul, our friend Don Collins, and thousands of others, right now I’d rather be here doing the work, helping with the saving of so many lost souls. Some day, there is going to be a great banquet in heaven, what a day that will be! But it will only be the beginning of an eternity in Christ’s presence; I will have an eternity to get to know and love my Savior. Today, I only have now to further His kingdom.
How about you? Are you excited about the work that Christ is giving you to do? If you are not involved, have you asked Him to get you involved? "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few." Matthew 9:37 [NIV] Let’s put the cares and sins of this world behind us, just as Paul did (Philippians 3:13-14), and press on toward the prize — so that when our day comes to join our loved ones and Christ in heaven, we can also truly say "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
July 10, 2010