Heavenly Gatherings Upon the Earth by David Nelson 3-20-08
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Heavenly Gatherings Upon the Earth by David Nelson 3-20-08

Posted: 2008-03-30 10:32:08

I want to describe two different types of gatherings. One is in heaven and one is on the earth. Both gatherings will have the Lord at its center and be led by the Holy Spirit. First, let me describe the heavenly gathering.

Imagine in heaven the Lord inviting many people to His home for an evening together and that He is the host of this heavenly gathering. The greatest men and women saints of all time will be there and we are invited too. As we enter the place where the gathering is to be held it is the Lord’s home, decorated beautifully, with good food prepared by the Lord and each one dressed with very nice clothes provided ahead of time by the Host. It is hard to imagine this but everyone there is expecting us and is looking forward to meeting us and talking with us. Each one there has been individually trained by the Lord in being courteous, kind, loving humble, they have taken on the Lord’s character and have learned to treat people like the Lord does. We have been invited by the Lord and are kindly welcomed by the Lord and everyone else welcomes us too. Can you imagine being invited to a beautiful home with very important people there and being welcomed so graciously that you feel like an honored guest, equal with everyone else who is there? You feel so at home because of the kindnesses of everyone, you don’t feel out of place, or like an alien (alienated), not ignored, or forgotten. Even the highest and most respected guests come and talk to you and want to know you better sincerely (like you are important too). The Host even made part of the gathering a toast to you and a very fine plaque was awarded to you with very encouraging words said about you in front of everyone. (The award was so prestigious, like a Noble Peace prize, or a Pulitzer prize, or a Distinguished Metal of Honor). This is not a place where you felt excluded, or just an observer, not snubbed in any way, but you felt very at home and loved and appreciated by everyone, especially the Lord. It is the Lord who knows us and loves us and accepts us. He is the one who is supremely courteous and who appreciates who we are and who we will become in Him. It is He who teaches all the others to be like Him and so they all love us. He has always loved us, even before we knew Him, He has always known our potential, He has always believed in us and has seen us as a finished masterpiece of His. He has told everyone in heaven who we are and how much we mean to Him. Now even the greatest, Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, John the Baptist, Paul the Apostle all come up and talk to us, no one thinks they are greater than another.

Now, let’s go to the gathering on the earth. True Christians from many different backgrounds have come together to meet with the Lord and with each other. Does anyone know who you are or does anyone want to know who you are? In our day the Lord is preparing His people how to gather together and He is teaching us to have a new, heavenly attitude that is the same as the heavenly gathering described above. The Lord wants us to taste some of what heaven is like and begin experiencing the love and kindness and graciousness of heaven even now. He wants us to be a people who will get together and honor one another and love and accept one another, with no one better than another. Of course our goal is to have the Lord dwelling in our midst and greatly honor, worship, adore and fellowship wonderfully with Him but He also wants us to love one another too. In this place where His people meet, even the “greatest” talk lovingly with the “least.” (We really are all equal) It is a place where you are welcomed for who you are and people want to know you and glean from the gifts in you. This will be a place where you feel so at home with people who sincerely love you because the Lord who knows you resides and flows through them toward you. You feel loved, accepted, understood, not ignored or excluded, not alienated, but truly one with the Lord and all His guests just as it is in heaven.

In both of these gatherings, you as an individual walk into a corporate setting and have a desire to fit in. How good it is when we are loved by the people we gather with. There are always going to be situations where we do not know anyone at a gathering but in our hearts we long to be welcomed with warm hospitality even though we are a “stranger.” One of the deepest longings of the human heart is to be understood by others, to be accepted, loved and appreciated. When we fall in love and marry that special one we feel that it is the beginning of fulfillment of these longings. The Lord too, is calling us to love Him with all our heart, soul and strength. Marriage, as wonderful as it is, is a shadow or image of even a greater love by the One who knows us better than anyone, who knows our potential and gifts, and what we were created and destined to be in Him. We also want to be accepted by our peers.

And so, we look for love from our spouse, from our peers, and from the Lord and all this will be perfectly found in heaven. As we enter His heavenly gathering, all the Lord’s guests are His finished masterpieces, each one from the least to the greatest have come into the places destined for them. But our gatherings on the earth now, should have a Bride being prepared to love as they do in heaven. The heavenly attributes and atmosphere that is so beautiful in God’s home in heaven is now coming to earth into His Bride, who He is preparing for heaven. We, too, are becoming more courteous and gracious and kind and loving toward all those that we meet. Yes, we are becoming like Him and like His heavenly host. Have we tasted the beginnings of it? How good it is and it will be to love one another with the love that He is teaching us. These are the Lord’s ways. How great is our Lord in beauty and majesty!

If you were to attend a gathering on the earth that was not exclusively Christians but which included worldly famous people, you might go to that gathering and see people famous for their acting abilities, who have received awards or accomplished much in their careers. You might see music celebrities, famous singers and musicians. You might see famous and respected artists of the past and present. All would see them and want to meet them and talk to them. If someone pointed to you and said, “Are they anyone?” Another might say, “Why sure, they are known for accomplishing great things for the Lord, and they are greatly loved by the Lord.” Imagine a place where no one has to ask who you are but everyone knows already and assumes you are important because the Lord has shown them that everyone is precious. The Lord is talking to everyone in heaven about you, you are known and appreciated by them already. If you say, “But I don’t think much of myself and I am sure I have failed the Lord much more than I know, what good could He be speaking about me? Maybe He appreciates me but I’m sure few know me in heaven or even upon the earth.” But the Lord sees us already in our full potential and He sees us fulfilling all the plans He has for us. Could we not see others that same way here on earth? What will you be when the Lord is finished making you all He wants you to be? Will you truly come into His fullest plans for you? I believe each of us will because He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. I want to value each person as the Lord does. If someone doesn’t know Him yet, what will they be like when they do? If they do know Him but haven’t come into their giftings fully yet, what will they be like when they do? Can I encourage every person toward their full potential as I’m sure the Lord is doing for each person too? Maybe He wants us to love them and encourage them and this will be the love needed to bring about His revival in His Bride? But do I have the strength or ability to love others like that? I do if I will open my heart to the Lord and ask Him and be willing to be used in that way.

So, what can the church do today to improve its gatherings and meetings in the areas mentioned above? In the real world many companies, including churches, have great ideas, plans, and lofty goals for making people feel they are part of a community where everyone cares about each other (and works together happily). They say, “Let’s be a family and love each other and respect each other as we ought to.” All these goals sound nice and friendly and seem to have good potential on paper but when it comes to living them out, such as, getting along with people, really liking each other, or could we ever come to the place where we love each other as Christ loved us, that may be easier said than done? People are fragile, they seem to slip up and hurt each other (by mistake or on purpose), we offend each other, hold grudges, carry around chips on our shoulders, and sometimes we would rather be left alone because it really costs too much to be friendly and to be forgiving and loving and we just don’t want to pay the price. But the Lord has His goal and His desire for the Church and He said, “I will build My Church.” He will have a Bride without spot or wrinkle. We must give ourselves to cooperate with what He wants to do in this hour, and that is to have a more warm, inviting and hospitable church (like His gatherings in heaven). He is preparing us now and is preparing our hearts for what He wants to do in the near future. The finished masterpiece of His Church is going to be created by Him in all of us for His glory.

What each one of us needs to do is ask the Lord to give us love for every single person we meet, the good, the bad and the “ugly.” Then when we meet un-exciting, boring, ugly or mean people (and the good ones too) try to touch them with the gifts and love in us that the Lord has given us (He will flow through us to others). Hopefully we will see changes in ourselves in the future (as we are being changed into His likeness) and we will also see changes in others that we touch as they respond to the Lord’s glimmer of love flowing through us. That glimmer will grow to be a stream and then a mighty river one day that will flow and touch everyone we meet. May the Lord’s Name be forever exalted for what He is doing in these days.


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