Rick Warren (September-25-2022) Daily Devotional: Three Realities of Heaven.
“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” - Colossians 3:1 (NLT)
People have many misconceptions about what heaven is like. You won’t be an angel. You won’t have wings. You’re not going to be a little chubby cherub, wear a white robe, or float on clouds.
You need a correct view of heaven. The Bible says in Colossians 3:1, “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand” (NLT).
So what does the Bible say about these “realities of heaven”?
Heaven is where God lives and rules. The Bible calls heaven “the dwelling place of God,” “the house of God,” and “the city of God.” As these phrases suggest, heaven is where God lives.
But Jesus also calls heaven “the Kingdom of God” or “the Kingdom of heaven” 31 times in Scripture. So heaven isn’t just where God lives; it’s also where he rules. Psalm 123:1 says, “Lord, I look up to you, up to heaven, where you rule” (GNT).
Heaven is a real place. Heaven isn’t a state of mind. It isn’t a state of being. And it isn’t a place where your essence floats around like a ghost. It’s a real place. In fact, the Bible says there will be streets, trees, water, and homes in heaven. Many Scripture passages allude to the fact that animals are there. You’ll have your physical body, renewed through your resurrection. And there will be a real place for your real body to live: There are many rooms in my Father’s house. I wouldn’t tell you this, unless it was true. I am going there to prepare a place for each of you (John 14:2 CEV).
And Jesus said in Matthew 6:20, “Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal” (NLT). You can’t store up treasures in a place that isn’t real.
Heaven is designed for you and me. God didn’t design heaven for himself. He designed it for his followers. The Bible says, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you” (Matthew 25:34 NIV).
When God started thinking about Earth, he started thinking about heaven. The Bible says God made the entire universe because he wanted a family to spend eternity with. Heaven is the place he’s designed for his family, and heaven is an amazing expression of his love.
People weren’t meant to live on Earth forever. You and I were made for heaven! Hebrews 13:14 says, “For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our everlasting home in heaven” (TLB). Once you’ve become a part of God’s family, there’s a whole lot more to life than just here and now. Really, this world is not your home; you’re just passing through!
When it comes to heaven, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 GW). No matter what you’ve dreamed up about heaven, the reality will far exceed it!
Talk It Over
- How has your understanding of heaven changed after reading this devotional?
- Consider how this statement from today’s Daily Hope devotional influences your thinking about God: “God didn’t design heaven for himself. He designed it for his children. When God started thinking about Earth, he started thinking about heaven.”
- What most surprised you about the three realities of heaven from this devotional?
You can be certain you’re going to heaven!
Many people fear death and judgment—but Jesus’ death and resurrection can free you from that fear.
The Bible says that every one of us sins and that the penalty of sin is death. But God loves you so much that he sent his Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty of your sins, to bring you into the family of God, and to save you from judgment.
If you’re ready to join God’s family, here’s a prayer you can start with: “Dear God, I know that when I die, I’m going to give an account of my life to you directly. I confess I have ignored you. I know I have sinned against you, and I have lived by my plan, not yours. I want that to change, starting right now. I want to turn away from my sins and toward you.
“Thank you for sending Jesus to die for all I’ve done wrong so that I can have eternal life with you instead of judgment. I know I don’t deserve your forgiveness. I know only your grace can save me, Lord.
“Jesus, thank you for loving me so much that you took all my guilt on yourself. You made me acceptable for heaven, and I humbly ask you to save me. I ask you to save me from my sins and from judgment. I believe in you, Jesus. And I believe that you will keep your promise to save me instantly, certainly, completely, and eternally. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”