Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Looking up

Meditation for the week of December 7, 2008

Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament (or expanse) shows His handiwork.
Luke 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

The beauty and glory of God is seen by looking upward and not by looking downward. I am sure that as a shepherd David had times when he laid on his back and studied the beauty and order of God as seen in the stars. Today most of us live where we have city lights keeping us from seeing the heavenly beauty of God’s creation. We miss out on seeing the first star come out on a clear night. We miss the beauty of a lunar eclipse. Many of our children have never gotten a clear view of the northern lights when they are on display in all of their shimmering colors. We tend to be watching TV in the fall when farmers used to harvest their crops by the light of a harvest moon. Many of us today do not experience the beauty and order of the sky that declares the glory of God.

Stars are always where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there. You can set your clock by them. They are a reminder of the order that ought to be seen in the life a Christian. They are also a reminder of the fact that God is a God of order and that the universe did not just happen. It was designed, and the earth with its ability to sustain life as we know it is a part of that design.

The shepherds that were tending their flocks near Bethlehem nearly 2000 years ago, also found the heavens to be amazing since an angel and ultimately a whole host of angelic beings appeared to them and announced the birth of the long awaited Messiah. The Lord came from heaven and ultimately went back to heaven and He brought peace and goodwill with Him from heaven. What a night that must have been for the shepherds!

We are told that this very One who became a man of sorrows, who was rejected and who was crucified, will come again and receive those of us who believe in Him unto Himself. Our blessings as Christians are not down here on earth but up there in heaven. In the world we will have tribulation, in the world we will be persecuted, in the world there will be sorrow; but up there it will be—well, heavenly. So why are we so occupied with fixing a world that is unfixable and with amassing wealth in a world that is going to be burned up when our real blessing is found by looking up and not by looking down? Down here, the Lord was executed and rejected. But up there He is appreciated and worshiped, and He is preparing a special place for the bride in His Father”s house. He is anticipating our arrival just as we should be anticipating His.

Paul reminds us that our citizenship is in heaven and we are waiting for the Lord to come from heaven. He will not be born into this world again. For the believer, He will come as a blessed hope, and as a comfort. He will deliver the Saints from the wrath to come which probably refers to the troubles that will be ushered in after the catching away of the church. To the unbeliever He will come as a victorious general and judge on a white horse, and those who have not believed that there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun, will find out that God is real and that His promises are going to be fulfilled whether we believe in Him or not. It is just that the promises are so much better for the believer than for the unbeliever.

When He was taken up into heaven, angels spoke to the disciples who witnessed his ascension and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven. (Acts 1:11). We need to keep looking up and not down.

Bruce Collins

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