By His Grace: Our hope is in the Lord

Edith Nevis

“But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”

As I began planning my recent trip back to New Jersey, each passing day leading up to my flight brought a smile upon my heart. I was going home to celebrate with family and friends the engagement of my younger brother. And in doing so I got to love on everyone as Christ loves me. What a humbling thought to ponder.

Edit Nevis

When preparing for a vacation of any kind, it often is accompanied by much excitement in the air. No matter the reason for the trip, it is the preparation and confirmation of final plans that leaves me joyful. Why? I know in my heart I will experience a journey like no other, and I cannot wait to see what awaits me on the other side. This can also be said regarding my hope in the Lord and the peace it brings in going home one day soon to be with him.

Have you ever wondered what heaven would be like? Allow me to share.

“And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass. And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.”

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”

You may ask what preparation is required to begin the journey heaven bound. This will solely depend upon your decision to receive or reject Christ as Lord. He is a gentleman and will never force Himself or His love upon you. God gave mankind free will, so the choice is yours.

“But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven.”

Mankind was also created with a love that is unconditional and has no end. “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him.”

And to experience this love will require only you to receive it. Once the decision has been made of your own free will to accept Christ as Lord, seek Him for forgiveness through repentance of all wrongdoing (sin). Cease committing the act of disobedience, which is a form of rebellion against God, and commit to do what is right. Do not believe that you could never be forgiven of any sin. This promise is true for it is written, “If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness.”

To confirm your place in heaven you must be saved. You may ask saved from what? The penalty of sin. A judgment to a place called hell due to the separation of man from God caused by sin.

You may ask how does a person become saved? The final plans to be heaven bound depends on an open declaration "Jesus is Lord" and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, and it is written you will be saved. Christ came to be the bridge and mediator for all humanity and to reconcile you and me back to God. And through His death and resurrection once again we were made back in right standing before God.

For it is written, "For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

But what happens if you never held a relationship with Jesus or perhaps you once believed and turned away (for whatever reason) can you still be saved? Yes!

Humbly approach him in sincere respect, repent, and invite him into your life. He will receive you as His own. He came to give his life for us so we can have eternal life with him and not be left behind.

How to begin this amazing journey is by repeating this prayer: "Lord, Jesus, forgive me of my sins I committed against you. I believe Jesus died for my sins and has risen again. Please come into my life and heart and lead the way. I confess you as my Lord and Savior from this day forward. In Jesus' name, amen."

Welcome into the family of Christ.

Until next week, be blessed and go in peace. Shalom.

Bible references: 1 Corinthians 2:9 (7:15); Revelation 21:21-25 NIV (Is. 24:23, Is.60:3,5, Is.60:11); Revelation 22:1-2 NIV (Is.65:17, Is 52:1); Matthew 10:33 ASV (Mark 8:38); Psalm 103:11; 1 John 1:9 AMP (Ps. 32:5); Romans 10:10 NIV. To obtain the full benefits of each verse, please read the five verses before and after each verse. Cross references in parentheses ().

-- Edith Nevis can be reached at 857-2200 or at enevis@gannett.com.