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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37225
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 A Small Piece of Heaven by Francis Chan

You are a part of something much bigger than yourself, something sacred. Through Jesus' sacrifice, you have been joined to His church. Because of this, you are not only a part of God's sacred temple but also a part of the heavenly community. This is huge!

Take some time to read Revelation 4–5 as it describes the scene in heaven. This section begins with a majestic picture of God on His throne. The scene is busy and intense: the four living creatures are declaring His holiness, the seven spirits of God are blazing, myriads of angels are praising Jesus with loud voices and the 24 elders are flat on their faces while laying their crowns before Him. Then in 5:8, we finally appear.

"When He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of saints" (Rev. 5:8).

There you are! Did you see it? Those are your prayers in the bowl of incense! Isn't that awesome? We get to be part of this unbelievable scene!

Maybe you feel a bit insulted by this. You're thinking, That's it? My only part is that my prayers are lumped in with the prayers of all other believers to form a bowl of incense? Don't worry—you're also mentioned in verse 13 when your voice joins the chorus of billions.

"Then I heard every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that are in them, saying: 'To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!" (Rev. 5:13).

What is a tremendous, unspeakable honor may feel insufficient for those who are used to being god of their own blogs and Twitter accounts. It feels insignificant to those who have erected their own shrines on Facebook and Instagram, filled with beautiful pictures of themselves.

Herein lies the danger of clamoring for attention: We don't realize that true joy comes from the opposite. Joy comes as we stand among those Jesus has redeemed and get lost in a sea of worship, becoming fully a part of something sacred.

Gathering with the church should lead us to holy ground. You get to come and worship someone else, with someone else. You get to pour out love to Him by serving those around you and considering them more important than yourself. It's not about you. And you are glad it's not about you.

Because this is something far greater than you.

It is sacred

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2018/11/2 7:31Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2002
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: A Small Piece of Heaven by Francis Chan

Amen, Amen! Our place of prayer is so amazing, and I for one feel like I don't understand the full importance of this like I should.

I had the thought. The price of calvary and the resurrection were not designed to bring me into heaven, although that will happen. It was to bring heaven into me, so that I walk as He walked full of the power of the Holy Spirit, fulfilling His plan for my life for His kingdom and His glory.

That, along with the absolutely awesome place we have in prayer, makes the Christian life one of significance in the kingdom of God. It is so amazing and powerful, this life that God has called us into. It is so much more than attending church and getting ministry so our lives can go better and our emotions can be touched. It is about a living and vibrant, powerful walk with God in which we are empowered by Him to be His agents on Earth, doing His will and bearing much fruit for His kingdom.


 2018/11/2 11:59Profile

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7472

 Re: A Small Piece of Heaven by Francis Chan

I just love to read Revelation 4 and 5. The scene John describes is far beyond awesome! I love to let my imagination run to visualize what John saw. I see it as being the most beautiful thing any man has ever seen! And that is not all: consider the reaction when the woes inflicted upon the earth! Justice is coming and it will be absolutely just.


Sandra Miller

 2018/11/2 14:22Profile

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