So, I've been tracking with our summer blog post series about our favourite verses, and I gotta be honest with you. Everyone else's verse is so much more inspiring, uplifting, and encouraging than mine is. My favourite verse is found in the book of James. In Bible college I had a friend named Mark (we called him Marco) and whenever we would see each other we'd raise our fists in the air, and say, in a determinate voice “FAITH AND DEEDS”. Because we both loved the book of James, especially chapter 2:14-26. That's my favourite verse... verses... passage... whatever.
But, since my favourite verse isn't a beautiful Psalm, or something that will perhaps warm your heart, I instead want to talk to you about the verse we taught the kids in Cambodia. We were there for 2 weeks to work with the kids of a group of Missionaries. There were families from Holland, Germany, Brazil, and France. So, we were encouraged to teach these kids about Heaven. Coming from such diverse backgrounds, and being in a country that was not their home, that we should teach them about how we all, as believers in Jesus Christ, have Heaven as a home. We loved this idea, it was something we felt comfortable teaching, and really spoke to us, as we were going to be almost a full day’s travel away from our home. So, we started looking for a memory verse to really round out the week, and this is what we decided on.
But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness. (2 Peter 3:13)
The kids ate it up. By the end of the week they all had it memorized, and we even had actions to go along with it (ask nicely and maybe I'll show ya). And there is something about this verse that resonates deeply with me where I'm at spiritually, and where I'm trying to lead our youth here at Calvary.
Often times you'll hear these arguments from non-believers about the reality of God; “Well, if God were real, there wouldn't be suffering” “If God were real, this thing wouldn't have happened” “If God were real, we'd all be a lot better off”. And at face value, this argument perhaps sounds like it should be a knockout punch to believers. But when we see this verse in 2 Peter, I think we can pretty easily respond.
We aren't looking forward to riches, wealth, or safety on this earth, rather “we're looking forward to the New Heavens, and the New Earth he has promised. A world filled with God's righteousness”. Jesus didn't come to this earth and promise us health, comfort, or good times here. He promised us comfort, joy, and prosperity in Heaven. He didn't promise us a long life here on this earth. He promised us eternity in Heaven with the Father. All too often we forget about what Jesus actually promised us. We suffer here and we ask why, we struggle here and we have a crisis of faith, “is God even real if I suffer?” Of course he is, he in fact told us that we were going to suffer in this life. But that's okay, because what he's offered is much greater than health and well being here, he's offered us an eternity of perfect love, and happiness, and joy, and comfort, with him in Heaven. A world FILLED with God's righteousness.
And that is a promise I can stand on.
Mike Sanders, Director of Youth Ministries
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