Embracing Eternity: Living Each Day with a Heart Toward Heaven [Secure eReader]
Click on image to enlarge.
eBook by Tim LaHaye
eBook Category: Spiritual/Religion/General Nonfiction
eBook Description: With the best-selling Left Behind series as background, this 365-day devotional is for fans of the popular series. Perfect for those interested in studying God's promises for the future, with key examples from the fiction books. Writer Frank Martin joins the LaHaye/Jenkins team to make this a practical, inspirational tool for personal spiritual growth.
eBook Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers/Godspeed Computing Inc, Published: 2004
Fictionwise Release Date: September 2005
4 Reader Ratings:
JANUARY 1 TODAY'S READING
HIS PROMISE TO RETURN
When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. John 14:3
AS A CHILD, George Tulloch was fascinated by stories of the Titanic. Some might call it an obsession. As a boy he imagined himself sailing the ocean in search of the doomed vessel, maybe even salvaging pieces of it. Then after years of hard work and good fortune in business, George finally had the resources to chase after his dream. So in 1996 he put together a team of the best scientists and sailors and set out to the exact spot where the Titanic sank in 1912. He and his crew were able to recover numerous artifacts from the ship—eyeglasses, jewelry, dishware, some coins, and the like. But the most exciting thing they found was a large piece of the hull resting several hundred yards away. Tulloch immediately saw the opportunity to actually rescue part of the ship itself.
"Buck had already fallen in love with God. That had to be his passion until Christ returned again."
Tribulation Force, 34
The team did its best to raise the twentyton piece of iron, but to no avail. At one point the team almost had it, lifting it just below the surface, but a storm blew in and broke the ropes. The Atlantic reclaimed its treasure. Then Tulloch did something surprising before they were forced to retreat. He descended into the deep once more in a small submarine, and using a robotic arm, he attached a small handmade placard onto the section. It said, "I will come back. George Tulloch."
It was a symbolic act, not a practical one. It wasn't like anyone was going to steal a piece of iron two miles below the surface of the Atlantic. It was just a useless piece of iron. But somehow George felt the need. Two years later he made good on that promise.
For a lot of the same reasons, Jesus left us with a similar message. "I am going to prepare a place for you. . . . When everything is ready, I will come and get you" (John 14:2-3). Some may wonder why he cared in the first place. Why would he even want to reclaim us? What good are we to him? In many ways we're just as worthless and cumbersome and unyielding as that lazy piece of iron in the Atlantic.
But Jesus doesn't see us that way. He's dreamed of this moment since the beginning of creation, and now that the time is near he can't help but leave his mark on our hearts. "I'm leaving now. But don't worry, I'll be back." We may not understand why he wants to come back to redeem us, but we can be certain that he will. Jesus always makes good on his promises.
In what ways do you still struggle with a "troubled heart"? And how should that change in light of Jesus' promise to return?
JANUARY 2 TODAY'S READING
I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these . . . , you did for me.
Matthew 25:40, NIV
I REMEMBER a poster on a dormroom wall during my days in college. The poster was a picture of a homeless man lying in a dirty gutter holding a bottle in a paper bag by his side. The inscription on the bottom was a quote from Mother Teresa. It read, "You love Jesus only as much as the person you love the least."
For all that we don't understand about the life of Jesus and the true nature of God, there is one truth that he made completely clear. The Christian faith is about service and humility. It's about helping those who can't help themselves. It's about loving others more than we love ourselves—even the most unlovable among us.
When the disciples found a few minutes alone with Jesus outside the Temple, the question they posed is the same one that you and I probably would have asked. "Will there be any sign ahead of time to signal your return and the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3). But his answer had more to do with us than it did his return. Through parables he showed his disciples the basis on which people will be chosen on that day. "I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me" (Matthew 25:35-36).
What is the sign of true followers? Is it the amount of knowledge that we have? Is it the money we give to missions? the degrees we've earned? the number of people we've preached to? the hours we've spent worshiping in church? the books we've read or written?
According to Jesus, the sign of the saved is their love for the least.
It is said that when Francis of Assisi left his wealth behind to seek God, he stripped naked and walked out of the city. The first person he encountered on his journey was a leper on the side of the road. He first passed him, then turned back. He embraced the leper in his arms before continuing his journey. A few steps down the road he turned and saw that the leper was gone. Until his dying day, Francis of Assisi was convinced that the leper was Jesus. Even if he was wrong, he was right.
As you reflect on this parable, try to think of one person in your life who would be considered "one of the least." What is your responsibility toward that person? What would Jesus have you do today to help him or her?
Copyright © 2004 by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.