12 Christmas Gifts from Heaven #11 – Heaven:
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3).
It doesn’t matter what time we get the kids in bed on Christmas Eve – they are usually up for long after that time. Why? The excitement and anticipation of Christmas morning, when they would get to open all of their presents. Sure, they sometimes get to open one gift on Christmas Eve, but the rest of them had to wait until morning. Do you remember as a child the excitement and anticipation of waking up Christmas morning to open all of your presents? So far, we have looked at 10 Christmas gifts from Heaven: Jesus, His presence (Emmanuel, God with us), great joy, wonderful counsel, transformation (changed lives), adoption, peace, hope, love & acceptance, and salvation. However, as good and as wonderful as those gifts are, the best is yet to come.
Do you remember the old Bing Crosby song, I’ll be home for Christmas? “I’ll be home for Christmas, you can count on me. Please have snow, and mistletoe, and presents under the tree. Christmas Eve will find me where the love light gleams. I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.”One day, all of God’s children are going to be Home for Christmas. “Really home. All the way home. Home in Heaven with our Lord Jesus. Home with the Christ of Christmas to celebrate His day with Him. How I anticipate that time! I find myself feeling homesick for a heavenly home I’ve never even seen…Being a believer makes life here on earth about as good as it can be. In His love, God has found a way to bring us salvation, help, hope, counsel, joy—and more blessings than we can count. But the best is yet to come. We will live with Him, walk with Him, speak with Him…forever and ever.” (Ron Mehl, Love Found a Way).
Allow me to close today with a story from Ron Mehl’s excellent book of Stories of Christmas. “Recently I read about an incident in the life of Bud Wood, the founder of what has become one of the finest homes for mentally challenged children and adults. It’s called Shepherd’s Home and is in Union Grove, Wisconsin. In that facility, they care and minister to many children with Down’s syndrome.
The staff at Shepherd’s Home makes a concentrated effort to present the gospel to their residents. As a result, many of those at the home have come to faith in Jesus Christ. They have learned how deeply Jesus loves them and that He wants to make them whole and be with them forever. In fact, He has prepared a place for them in His home in heaven and could return from the sky at any moment to take them there.
On a tour of the home with a friend, Bud happened to remark that one of the greatest daily maintenance problems the staff faces is smudged windows. “Smudged windows?” his friend asked, “Why is that?”
Bud smiled and said, “You can walk through Shepherd’s Home any time of day, and you will see some of those children standing with their hands, noses and faces pressed to the glass.” Looking over at his perplexed friend, Bud added, ‘They’re watching for Jesus. They keep checking to see if Christ is coming back yet—to take them to Heaven.” The simple minds and hearts of these brothers and sisters ought to teach you and me to glance up once in a while…to see if Jesus might be on His way to take us home.”
Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas, and a blessed and prosperous New Year!