Packing for heaven

I’ve been thinking and teaching over the last few weeks about the two kingdoms Jesus taught about; darkness and light, heaven and the world, however you’d like to phrase them. Jesus said he had come to bring life in all its fullness, and that means living like him, fully in the kingdom of God.

So what does that actually mean for today?

Here’s an analogy that’s worth considering – and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it too.

When you travel by aeroplane, there are restrictions on things you can pack in your luggage; you can’t pack knives or flammable liquids in your hand luggage because you won’t be allowed on the plane. At the security gate they will scan your luggage and remove anything you can’t take on board (whilst maybe questioning why you wanted to take it anyway!)

Our life here seems, according to Jesus, to be an opportunity for us to pack things that are consistent with God’s kingdom. There are some things you can take along, and some things that will not make it through security. The challenge is to live our lives here as consistently as possible with the values which determine the kingdom of heaven: that’s what it means to live out the prayer ‘Your kingdom come’.

Anyone thinking I’m suggesting that we don’t access God’s kingdom by faith but by what we do and how we live here is missing the point – we get through the gates by faith. But as we turn to New Year resolutions and reflecting on the year we have lived, how about instead of making our resolutions on the past, we make them based on our future – the kingdom of God. This is how we pack our bags for heaven – living in the here-and-now by the vision and values of the kingdom of God.

So, what do we pack? Faith, hope, and love… ‘Clean hands and a pure heart’… What else comes to mind?

What are you taking out of your baggage as the year turns? And what are you replacing it with?

Have a very happy new year!

2 thoughts on “Packing for heaven

  1. Steven Barr

    Hi Gareth. I hear you. What we take into a new year is what we already have in Christ. We may not have unpacked all we have been given, but can pray for the opportunity to open up more of of our gifts, and exercise more often the ones we already have and are aware of. I believe we are all qualified to be partakers in the kingdom, as said in Philippians, and as such have all we need, encouragement and a chance to exercise our calling, equipped with love, grace, peace, mercy, etc is something we should pass on to others and hopefully receive as well. When this is done, growth will happen. Personal growth, faith growth, and church growth.
    As far as resolutions go, I tend to not go there. I can never keep them, in the past this has caused me to feel bad about myself. The word says, there is no condemnation Christ, so, no more resolutions I cannot keep, just a daily prayer, make me more like you, show me your ways.
    God bless, praying a wonderful year for you and your family and increase for your Church.

    Steven Barr

    1. Gareth Robinson Post author

      Liking the idea of unpacking as well as packing up! Have a great resolution-free new year!!

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