Enter the Promised Land

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  John 14:2 (NKJV)

Growing up in Iowa, I was quite proud of the quote from the famous baseball movie Field of Dreams, “Is this heaven? No, this is Iowa.”  Now I live in Montana, which I find even more beautiful with its majestic mountains and wide open spaces.  Yet I know even this is not heaven. For in the true heaven there awaits me my Savior Jesus and a Promised Land more wonderful than I could ever imagine. It is a good land which the Lord our God is giving us (Deut. 1:25).

So many of us know the Old Testament account of Moses leading God’s people out of Egypt and parting the Red Sea. But instead of heading straight to the Promised Land, they wandered around in the wilderness for 40 years because of their disobedience and unbelief.  God’s pillar of cloud led them by day and fire led them by night until all the older generation died. 

And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:18-19 (NKJV)

So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’  Psalm 95:11

Why couldn’t the older generation enter the Promised Land?  Because they didn’t believe!  In Numbers 13 we read how Moses sent a scouting party to check out the Promised Land.  Two men, Joshua and Caleb, said it was perfect and they should go. Ten men said there were awful giants and the land could not be captured.  The Israelites believed the ten men instead of believing and trusting God.  So they couldn’t enter the Promised Land. Even Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land, because he did not hallow the Lord when he struck a rock to get water at Kadesh (Numbers 20:12, 27:12-14, Deut.1:36-38, 3:25, 4:22, 32:48-52)).  

Only Joshua and Caleb and all the younger generation were allowed to enter the Promised Land.  Joshua was the anointed leader and Caleb was given special lands.  WE must also BELIEVE to enter the Promised Land of heaven.  Don’t side with the ten men who don’t trust God. Go with Jesus and the Holy Spirit who tell us He is preparing a place for us in heaven. Be like Caleb who said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it”  (Number 14:8). Believe!

…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household. Acts 16:31 (NKJV)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (NKJV)

God’s Word is full of promises about our Promised Land. Let’s look at a few of these heavenly promises…

…an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.  1 Peter 1:4 (NKJV)

Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will see the land that is very far off.  Isaiah 33:17 (NKJV)

For so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:11 (NKJV)

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.  Isaiah 11:6 (NKJV)

The streets of the city
Shall be full of boys and girls
Playing in its streets. Zechariah 8:5 (NKJV)

a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Revelation 4:2-3 (NKJV)

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4 (NKJV)

 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  Revelation 21:27 (NKJV)

Dear One, there remains a rest for the people of God, for YOU!  For as yet you have not come to the rest and the inheritance which the Lord your God is giving you. How can we be certain to enter this rest in the Promised Land?  By holding fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end, by exhorting one another daily while it is called Today lest any of us be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, by holding steadfast to the end, by remembering the Sabbath Day of rest now, by being diligent to enter our rest, by hiding God’s Word in our hearts, by coming boldly to the throne of grace, that we may find mercy and grace to help in time of need. but most of all, believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.  (Deuteronomy 12:9, Hebrews 3-4, Acts 16:31). 

Three years ago my Daddy went to heaven. Three miscarried babies and two grandbabies are in heaven.  I can’t wait to see Jesus and all my loved ones and those streets of gold and no more tears or hurt or sin or sadness or pain or cancer or COVID19 or bad politics. Let us wait for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10) where Jesus reigns forever and ever!!!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Read Numbers 13,  Hebrews 4 and Revelation 4 for a picture of the Promised Land and heaven. Dear One, I want you to be in heaven someday with Jesus and all God’s children.  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ TODAY and you will be saved.  Claim all the promises of heaven, looking forward to the day when Jesus calls us home.

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers.  If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read My Dear Loved One and  Remember the Sabbath and The Only Antidote. 

I will abide in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Psalm 61:4

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18 (NKJV)

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)

Blessed is the man You choose,
And cause to approach You,
That he may dwell in Your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,
Of Your holy temple.  Psalm 65:4 (NKJV)

Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:23-26 (NKJV)

I cried out to You, O Lord:
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.” Psalm 142:5 (NKJV)

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. James 5:7-8 (NKJV)

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.Isaiah 35:10 (NKJV)

 

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

 

 

I’ve Got My Passport

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20 (NKJV)

I’ve got my passport, how about you? I remember when I got my first passport. I was so excited because my high school German class was taking a trip to Germany. When we traveled there in June of 1984, the Cold War was still going strong, the Berlin Wall standing sentinel between East and West. One day our tour group had the opportunity to travel into East Berlin for a few hours. We all nervously waited as we went through Check-point Charlie and exchanged money to purchase lunch. The contrast between the free West and Communist East Berlin were so extreme. The West was full of lights and music and life and people in the streets, the East was very somber and stony and empty. After a lunch (which I did not enjoy) in the basement of one of the stony buildings, we were all thankful to head back to West Berlin. I wonder if the eyes of the East Germans (whose flinty faces matched the buildings) would have lit up to head out with us through Check-point Charlie?

Another somber stop on our Germany tour was Dachau Concentration Camp near Munich, Germany. This was the the first of the many horrific camps where Jews and political dissenters were tragically killed by Nazis before and during WW II. Outside the camp was a sign that has stuck with me forever, “Never Again” it proclaimed. Never Again would people be put in camps and given medical injections against their will. Never Again would a government be allowed to exterminate groups of people they didn’t like. Never Again would others stand by and do nothing as euthanasia was carried out in their backyards. Never Again.

These three things…passports, communism, and Never Again… have been swirling through my thoughts of late. There is much talk of requiring a vaccine passport, a document that would allow you to travel and make purchases if you have received the experimental injection. Unlike my first passport to travel to another country, I won’t welcome this one. The more governments push such mandates, the more we are like communist nations, no longer living happy free lives, but living somber stony lives under tyrants. And now there is talk of having “camps” where people will be relocated if they do not comply with the mandates. This time, instead of trying to exterminate God’s chosen nation of Israel, the target will be His Bride, the Church. Camps much like Dachau in Germany, are already being constructed in Australia and even in Washington State, USA. Have people forgotten: Never Again?

Well, I have not forgotten. I remember trembling as I read that sign, “NIE WIEDER,” as a teenager. I remember the horror of seeing the photos and learning what really went on in those rooms full of ovens. I remember being there with my best friend from grade school who had even invited me to her Bat Mitzvah. I remember reading Diary of Anne Frank and Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. I have not forgotten, and I pray that I can be brave like Anne Frank and Corrie Ten Boom.  In my heart of hearts, I cry out to the Lord, “Never Again.”  

I already have my passport to the place where I am going. I have no need of a vaccine passport because my citizenship is in heaven.  The only passport I want or need is salvation in Jesus Christ. The only mark I want or need is the seal of His Holy Spirit. Where I am going will be more beautiful than the castles we visited on the happier days of our German tour.  My Savior is preparing a mansion for me in heaven.  That is my true home and the home of all who call on the name of the Lord Jesus. We are strangers and aliens on earth, for ever since God told Abram to get out of his country (Genesis 12:1), we, His children, have been anticipating the Promised Land. We belong in heaven, that glorious place where we will pass through “Check-point Peter” to see Jesus face to face, bowing before His throne, casting crowns at His feet, and worshipping the Father and the Son in all majesty. Our passports are ready and our trip to our beautiful forever is soon.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. Hebrews 12:28 (NKJV)

 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  Philippians 1:21 (NKJV)

…rejoice because your names are written in heaven.  Luke 10:20 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Prepare your passport, dear ladies… your passport to heaven. How do you get it ready? By making your heart right with Jesus, confessing your sins, repenting, and seeking Him with all your heart. You can even share a cup of tea with Him each day as you read His Word and pour your heart out to Him in prayer. Read Revelation 4 for a beautiful picture of heaven. Then you will be ready for that great “Hallelujah Day” when He calls His children home. Your passport will be signed, sealed and delivered by the blood of the Lamb.

And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
Acts 2:21 (NKJV)

For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Hebrews 13:14 (NKJV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  1 Peter 1:3 (NKJV)

Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! Matthew 13:43 (NKJV)

Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  Luke 12:32 (NKJV)

…We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.  Acts 14:22 (NKJV)

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven. 2 Corinthians 5:1-2 (NKJV)

…Who will deliver me from this body of death?  I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24-25 (NKJV)

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you may also like to read Come to the Wedding and Steadfast and Stouthearted and Get on the Ark and Fear Not, Dear One.

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13-16 (NKJV) 

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” John 14:1-4 (NKJV)

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. Revelation 3:10-12 (NKJV)

Thank you to Trip Advisor for the Never Again photo.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982  

A Dead Heat

 

Today I continue my series of running devotions for My TEA CUPP for Athletes & Runners Book & Journal. I pray these will be a blessing to you and you will be encouraged to PRESS ON! Hope you are inspired as you exercise your faith!

But many who are first will be last, and the last first. Matthew 19:30 (NKJV)

Have you heard of a dead heat?  In the sports world, it’s when two or more athletes cross the finish line at exactly the same time, making determining the winner a challenging task. 

There have been many famous dead heats over the years, from high school sports to the Olympics Games.  Just Google “Dead Heat finishes in track and field”  and you will find a proliferation of examples.   One cool finish I found was of the 100 m final race at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.  If you’d like to watch it, check this out…A Dead Heat.

But why do I bring this up today?  Because recently I was reading Jesus’ Parable of the Laborers in Matthew 20. Jesus told the story of a landowner who goes out early one morning to hire workers for his field.  They agree on a wage for the day and get to work.  At 9 a.m. the landowner goes out to hire more workers for the day for the same wages.  At noon and 3 p.m. he again hires workers for the same wages.  And at 5 p.m. he hires the last group.  When evening comes, all the workers come for their pay and receive exactly the same wage, one denarius. 

Of course, the workers who began early in the day grumble about this. Author John MacArthur in his study Bible explains this amazing story, how the landowner choose to be generous, just as God is compassionate and merciful on His people.  In response to verse 20:16 “So the last will be first, and the first last…” MacArthur explains, “In other words, everyone finishes in a dead heat.”  As Christians, we will all finish in a dead heat when we get to heaven, the thief on the cross, Rev. Billy Graham, the baby born yesterday and you! 

The crowds (angels) in the stadium will cheer and glorify God as crowns are awarded to every finisher.  And if it’s anything like the one time I ran a marathon, we will collapse into the arms of Jesus in thanksgiving. 

 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. 1 Peter 5:4 (NKJV)

The Runner’s TEA CUPP:  Read the Parable of the Laborers in Matthew 20:1-16.  Celebrate that we will all cross the finish line together in a dead heat.  Who can you tell about Jesus today, so they can join you in crossing the finish line?

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8 (NKJV)

Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.  Revelation 3:11 (NKJV)

For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!  Job 19:25-27 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.