Last week we received the sobering news from my mom that their good friends were killed in a traffic accident. The four of them had just spent the week traveling around Colorado having a wonderful time together. The two couples parted ways and a few days later found out that their dear friends lost their lives when another car hit them.
John and Paula were Jesus people. They loved sharing about their Savior and living for Him. Their lives bubbled over with a love and joy for life, which flowed from the throne of Heaven.
As Patty and I received the news of this difficult loss we thought about what their reception must been like that moment in heaven. I’m sure the welcome party was big as they were saturated with hugs of perfected love and hearing their Father say, “well done good and faithful servants, welcome home my beloved children.”
For me when I hear of an unexpected loss like this it makes me think of how quickly our time on this earth can end. It makes me search my own soul and ask am I prepared for my homecoming? Have I lived in such a way that I can be confident and even excited for that coming day?
One of the questions I envision Jesus asking me is this; “Did you love Me?” Now He already knows the answer to the question, but it’s for me to uncover what is in my heart. Just like He asked Peter 3 times before he ascended to heaven:
“Simon, son of Jonah, do you burn with love for Me more than these?” (Jn. 21:15).
Heaven is a place of pure love, God is defined as “love”, and when Jesus was asked what was the greatest of all commandments He stated;
“Love the Lord your God with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, and with every thought that is within you.” (Mt. 22:37).
My greatest preparation for entering in Father’s house is to wrestle with the 1st and greatest commandment. Is being in an intimate love relationship with the Father, Son, Holy Spirit priority in my life? Does my heart “burn with love” for Him more than my family, ministry, the stuff of this world?
I know I’m saved by grace through faith and there is nothing I can do to earn my salvation but to trust in the gift of love giving to me at the cross (Eph. 2:8-9). But it is that unconditional love from the Father through Jesus’ perfect sacrifice forgiving all my sins that should warm my affections red hot.
The greatest preparation for my homecoming is to make the 1st Commandment my greatest passion in life. When I feel my heart growing cold or losing my first love I know something is getting in the way of my love relationship. I can get too busy doing ministry, too distracted by the world, harbor anger or bitterness, or have a sin in my life that strangles my soul.
I’m reminded by the sudden home coming of John and Paula that the #1 thing I need to do to prepare my heart for heaven is to be love sick. To have intimacy with the Loving Father the priority of my life. To daily dwell with Him in worship, Hear from in in His Word, and share my heart with Him in constant prayer. This opens up the door of heaven for the Holy Spirit to come and pour out His love so that I can love Him more and long for eternity with Him.
In these days filled with uncertainty, the questions is set before us, “Do you love Him?”