Grumbling Toward Heaven

Original photo by jeanniet6

Daily Reformation, Exodus 16:1-8

From the Reformer

“Verily verily, I say unto you, He that believeth hath eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that cometh down out of heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: yea and the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.” In these words the soul finds a well prepared table, at which it satisfies all hunger; for it knows for a certainty that he who speaks these words cannot lie. Therefore the soul falls upon the Word, clings to it, trusts in it, and also builds its dwelling-place in the strength of this well-prepared table. This is the feast for which the heavenly Father slayed his oxen and fatlings and invited us all to it.

—Martin Luther, Assorted Sermons, “On Faith and Coming to Christ”

Pulling It Together

“Pastor, I don’t want to go to heaven. I think it will be a sad place since so many of my friends and family won’t be there, I don’t want to be there either.”

Our limited imaginations cannot comprehend the glory of God which is heaven. We suppose it will one way or another but our minds fall short of its glory in the same way that they do not see God as he is in his infinite brilliance. We speak of golden streets and pearly gates but these are mere beginnings at helping us to understand how magnificent it will be there in God’s presence. To think that you will not be satisfied with what God has prepared for you in heaven is tantamount to saying you are not satisfied with God himself. For heaven is nothing more or less than being in the eternal, face-to-face presence of the Lord. How could one not be fully satisfied with his eternal friendship?

Heaven is that place where God consumes the all of your attention. It will be nothing like we know here. In the meanwhile, trust God and be satisfied with the promises of his Word, drawing near to him each day in that Written Manna, gathering what you may. Just as he satisfies the hungry heart, day-to-day with his Word, so he will come for you and carry you away to the place of his presence where he will be your eternal satisfaction. If this were not so, he would not have promised it.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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