Continued from last week, it's time to look at the future reward. If you didn't read last weeks article (below), be sure to catch up so you know the context here!
There are three pictures given in the Bible of "the reward" that, like Paul, will practically make you and I feel as if we're "dying to get there" (to the Millennial Kingdom or "MK"): "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:13). What are these three pictures of the prize that Paul was pressing on toward as if his life depended on it?
But Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven (MK) belongs to such as these" (Matthew 19:14). We get to be like children again in the future Kingdom! Do you remember what it was like when we were kids? Daydream for a moment into the past. We were…
Uninhibited. Do you remember pretending? Singing out loud? Dancing around the living room? Talking to yourself? Skipping around the playground? Kicking rocks? Staying two hours in the bathtub to play with toys? Digging in the mud or splashing in mud puddles? And did you care if anyone saw? Did you even notice if someone knitted an eyebrow at you? How great will that be to not feel embarrassed or self-conscious as we fully live out our individuality and carefree natures! From somewhere in grade school, we begin to hear the message that we can't be individuals anymore but have to comply with some unwritten code of cool and "normal" behavior. I can't wait to be free of that again and just cut loose.
Spontaneous. Remember how you didn't have to think things through? You just lived in the moment and did what came naturally without having to self-preserve, psychoanalyze, wear masks, manipulate, or self-protect!
Full of wonder. Remember all that curiosity? And how everything you saw or experienced for the first time was like magic? The whole world was like a playground waiting to be discovered and explored! How about a new playground with new activities, technologies, aesthetics, and phenomenon endlessly being created to be discovered?
Innocent. Not only were all your thoughts pure and undefiled, but also hopefully early on you were innocent of problems, meanness, and sadness in the world. How great will that be never being subjected to anything that spoils your innocence or purity!
Trusting. Who trusts more than kids? Can you imagine a world where it's okay to trust everyone, and where nothing hurts or destroys that trust? "Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain. And as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the LORD" (Isaiah 11:9).
Energetic. Some days this is my favorite thought—it's what keeps me going. Kids have boundless energy and creativity! Multiply that by thousands and what a reward. Check out 1 Corinthians 15:42-43: "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body…it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power…" Ahhh…feel the relief!
Stay tuned for next week when we will look at the second picture of our reward with Jesus in the next Kingdom! Seriously, the pictures just get better and we have two more to go.