Have you ever spent time with friends or family you just didn’t want to end? Ultra romantic dates when neither wanted to say goodbye? What about books or movies so good you could hardly pause to eat or sleep? With Thanksgiving this week, many of us will be enjoying special dishes we don’t get every day - delights that make your mouth water just thinking about them. And how about worship times so amazing you wish it would go on forever and ever? We feel clean and free, like we’ve touched a piece of heaven.
Today’s scripture reveals that Jesus understands these longings, because He promises five more rewards that never end. He wants to make sure we know the riches of heaven are worth standing firm for here on earth. At first, they will sound strange. So give this time to percolate through your brain.
“Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown. All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it. And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God—the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name.”
Rev. 3:10-12, NLT, italics mine
Pillars“Yea! I get to be a pillar,” you say. “Just what I’ve always wanted.” Think about it, though. What do we call someone who is respected by everyone; whose reputation is flawless? We call them a pillar of society. So reward #1 is respect, honor, stability and permanence to grace the place where God is.
We Get to StayThe second thing He says is that we never have to leave the Temple. Remember those great times of worship that we wish would never end? In heaven they don’t. That glorious emotional high and feeling of safety with God and His people is eternal.
EngravedWhat do people do when they get a really special gift for a loved one? They get it engraved. A card is too temporary to show the depth of their love. That’s what Jesus does with His faithful ones; He writes His Father’s name - tattoos the family crest on us - for all to see.
CitizensIf you’ve ever immigrated to another country, you treasure the title of citizen more than those who were born there. Earth is not our home; we’re looking forward to our citizenship in heaven. When we immigrate, God assures our citizenship there.
Jesus’ New NameApparently we’re going to have a lot of writing on us. If you’re not a tattoo fan, don’t worry, I’m sure it will be tastefully done. Jesus doesn’t tell us what His new name will be, but we get to share it. We’ll be forever identified as His Beloved, belonging to and cherished by Him.
These five blessings give us much to think about. What love! Jesus wants us to know the tremendous sense of belonging and security we’ll have with Him. It will never end.