Summary: We can have hope for heaven when we know what our future home is like. But even before that we need to know for sure that we are going.

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Yesterday we talked about the Apostle Paul’s thorn in the flesh. Thank you for praying for my headaches. This morning I am headache free so the thorn is not there right now. This past weekend I set up a tent in the backyard. Then Bryce and Chase wanted to sleep in the tent. What was I thinking? Two nights ago I tried with my headache to sleep in the tent but after an hour I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it. So I called the troops inside the house for the night. Last night we made it the entire night. Now I feel like the car that has become a lemon. Once one thing starts to go look out!

Every since my shoulder surgery I have been going to Physical Therapy. I think they should call Physical Therapy Boot Camp. Once my feet hit the floor in the morning (you are thinking I am off running) they are stopped in their tracks. First I stand there for a moment wondering what hurts the worst, my shoulder or my feet. Then I can feel that familiar pain in my neck and shoulder and………… No wonder Paul says

2 Corinthians 5:4-9 “For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.”

No wonder God had me stay in a tent last night? In this life if we live long enough we will start to groan with the pains of life whether inward or outward. A lot of us have a checking account but very few people have a savings account. Wouldn’t it be nice each week to put money in a deposit account? Paul says that when we are saved, the exact second we are saved, God sends His Holy Spirit to live inside of us as a “deposit guaranteeing what is to come.” If you have called out to Jesus to be saved then you are and never have to worry about your future dwelling. If you worry that is from Satan so cast those worries away in the name of Jesus. You have a home already, ALREADY prepared and waiting for you. You will not see that dwelling until it is time.

So here is the problem with heaven and earth. “Until it is time”. We spend billions of dollars trying to become well when we will all eventually get rid of our earthly tent. Now I believe that we need to do whatever we can to keep the life the Lord has given us as life is very precious. But this life on earth is just a “Rental” to the real home that awaits us. We get into trouble in this life, lose hope, get depressed and worry when we value this life more than heaven. The next few days we will go over how you can start to live a joyful life here when you really can grasp where you are going. Remember a deposit has already been made for you. That deposit is sealed and the payment in full has been made.

I will leave you with a couple verses to think about today.

2 Corinthians 12:7 “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.”

Well you may be saying that doesn’t sound so great. We talked about that “Thorn” thing yesterday. It is because of WHY Paul got that thorn that we can have hope. Paul says “These surpassingly great revelations”. So what great revelation?

2 Corinthians 12:2-4 “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.”

Paul was there!!! God allowed Paul to see heaven so that he may encourage us.

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