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Leading people into a maturing new life in Jesus Christ

Living from Heaven

heavenIt’s not difficult to understand why people, who are unfamiliar with God’s perspective on reality, find the Bible a strange book. Even when we, who profess to be followers of Jesus, open the Scriptures, we often feel we are looking into another world — one that doesn’t make complete sense.

Take, for example, Paul’s statement in Ephesians 2:6 (NIV): ‘God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus’. Wait a minute. I’m on earth, not in heaven!

Further, consider Jesus’ reference to himself as ‘He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.’ (John 3:13 NKJV)? Jesus says this when he’s on earth, yet presents himself as being ‘in heaven’ at the same time.

Jesus and Paul speak this way because they both possess a renewed mind (see Rom 12:1-2). Rather than viewing reality from a human perspective they see everything in life from the divine point of view. And since God is life, and he created everything that is, it is safe to say that his perspective represents the truth about the way things really are.

Even Jesus, as a true and complete human being, had to have his mind developed to see from his Father’s perspective. He ‘increased in wisdom and years’ (Luke 2:52 NRSV) so that ‘Though he was God’s Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do’ (Heb 5:8 MSG).

To ‘be renewed in the spirit of your minds’ (Eph 4:25 ESV) involves a maturing process that cannot take place without our consent. I’ll be so bold as to say that while it is in God’s power alone to transform the human mind, this renewal cannot and does not take place without our cooperation and participation. God forces no one to know him, to enter into what Jesus refers to as ‘eternal life’ (John 17:3). There is never a healthy relationship either in heaven or on earth unless two people choose to be involved.

That’s why Paul asks God to ‘give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened’ (Eph 1:17-18 ESV). It is only in knowing Jesus through the Word, the Spirit, and the Body of Christ — composed of other people — that our minds are renewed, our hearts able to ‘see’ and ‘enter the kingdom of God’ today (John 3:3, 5).

So Jesus calls everyone to ‘Repent’ — which literally means ‘change your mind’, or interpreted, allow God to renew your mind — ‘for the kingdom of heaven is within your grasp’ (Matt 4:17). And as we become his students he transforms our thinking and acting by giving the repentance of a renewed mind (see Acts 5:31, Rom 12:1-2).
You and I have the astounding privilege of seeing everything in life from ‘heavenly places’ — from God’s perspective — as we experience his presence and action in this often tiring and seemingly mundane life. Indeed, it is through the renewed mind alone that we come to ‘discern what is the will of God’ (Rom 12:2) and live in heaven while on earth.

Sorry. No harps. No clouds. Just the living Creator God present and active now, restoring his goodness and joy to our lives, giving us a positive and uplifting assurance about life today, tomorrow and forever!
Contributed by Pastor Larry Zuchowski

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