Monday, March 30, 2009

The Kingdom Of God is Real...I've seen it!

Two weeks ago where was I? I was distraught, frustrated, and sad, among many other things. The loss of a friend and brother in Christ was hard. Knowing the family and knowing they would have to live life much differently from this point forward. But that was two weeks ago, and I still am hurting, but something has changed.
This past Saturday we had the opportunity to be apart of Bryan’s memorial service, but how can 2 weeks ago we are all crying, but today we are celebrating a life well lived? We are celebrating a new start! We smile, laugh, and are filled with Joy. How can that be? I will tell you how, because we know the story isn’t over. We know death has no power over us. We know it doesn’t end here. You guys know what I am talking about…Heaven, the kingdom of God!! That’s how we can smile and feel joy after the passing of a friend or family member, because we know it doesn’t end here.
I never really thought about heaven. As a Christian I knew I wasn’t going to hell so I really didn’t think about heaven.
We just finished a 3 week series of the kingdom of heaven in main service and the first week I had the mind set like I always had. Oh heaven I glad I’m going there, but when Bryan passed heaven became more real to me then ever before.
Pastor Mark and Lee over the heaven series really said some good things that helped me paint a picture like I had never before see before.
So stay with me and see if heaven becomes real to you…

Matthew 13:44-46 the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

1st point The Kingdom involves a pursuit
a. When a man found it,
b. Is like a merchant looking for fine pearls
Look and you shall find! It really is that simple. It takes sooo much to not feel the presences of God!

2nd point is The Kingdom requires and exchange
A. transaction of significant cost. Sold all he had, and bought the field. Sold everything he had and bought it.
B. what is everything to you?
Sometimes asking the question what is everything to you is hard, but when this 3rd point comes into play what are you really giving up?

3rd point is the kingdom of heaven brings joy! A sense of happiness
Knowing there is something better then this life waiting for us. Knowing God died on the cross for our sins, and with that you should want to give up everything. What God has given us is far more valuable. In his JOY he went and sold all he had and bought it.

Funny way of the Hidden Treasure
I mean couldn’t you just see that man digging in his field…Then he says, “Wow, look what I have found!!!!” He brings all he has to the local bank the very shovel he used to dig up the treasure. “This is everything I have.” The banker says, “Uhhhh sir it doesn’t cost that much.” Can’t you see I am joyful, can’t you see I live differently?

Funny way of the Pearl
I mean couldn’t you just see the merchant coming into his bank and giving the very scuba gear and even the boat he used to find the pearl. “This is everything I have!”

The banker says, “Uhhh sir you just found that pearl you don’t need to sell all you have.”

The merchant says, “Can’t you see I am joyful, can’t you see I live differently?”

It’s a joy many people might not understand. He sells everything and goes back to the sea and lies on the beach enjoying the rays from the all mighty God, enjoying the nice breeze from Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit is pouring warm sand on his belly… In this new life he says, “Ahhh man my life is great, it’s changed but in the best way ahhhh.

A visitor comes, “Uhhh excuse me sir what are you doing? Where’s your boat? I thought you were a merchant?

“I am!” says the merchant, “Wanna see what I found!”

“Wow that’s awesome, that’s really really awesome!!!” says the visitor excitedly. He takes off running!

The merchant says, “Bro where are you going?”

“I am selling all I have, because I have seen the light! As he runs off in the distance you go back to living a life completely immersed in God’s will and then you feel a tap on your shoulder. “Uhh excuse me sir…”

Are you guys starting see it…I think soo. Watch this video, and listen to the words that Jason Upton wrote to this song My Beloved. Let heaven be real to you. Show people why you live a different life. Let them know God's loves is for all of us. I am reminded of this in 1st Timothy 2:4 That God’s desire is for all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.


  1. Here again are some really encouraging things people have said! Thanks sooo much for you words!

    Ralph Sweatte at 3:14pm March 30
    Teej, Wow man this has to be a God thing! Through the thoughts and tears of the junior guys, I've been processing Bryan's death. At his memorial, I caught another glimpse of what heaven is like; hope, joy, rejoicing, laughter and some tears (God wipes them away). How great is the expense for heaven? Jesus paid with His life, and that we still ... Read Morepay in the harsh expense of grieving. So today as I am journaling and reading I came across Paul's explanation on what death looks like to the Christ-follower -- CHANGE (1Cor 15:51,52). When Christ died it seemed hopeless and a great loss, then God raised Him up! And in that very moment, He brought victory over death. In the NASB version of the bible that I am reading, this phrase is all in uppercase letters. Is Paul shouting this out for us? "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?" (1 Cor. 15:54-55). Thanks my brother for your willingness to share your pain, tears, joy and hope.

  2. Mary Kay Hamilton at 6:48pm March 30
    TJ, I read your blog also and was impressed with it as I was with your lesson yesterday at church. Great job. I can tell God has been dealing with and teaching you as you have rested in Him and dealt with Bryan's death. I think my favorite comment you had was that since you knew you weren't going to hell you didn't give heaven a thought. I can ... Read Morerelate to that so much. Until people I actually loved immensely passed on to heaven I didn't give it much thought either. Now I picture them there and know they are sharing intimate times with our heavenly Father and not giving this earthly life we stress out over another thought. What a blessing that will be.