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to see it. Even as I'm rushing to the market or driving children
to their destinations, let me be aware of it: The glory of hills
and woods and shining water. The colors of traffic lights and
yellow buses, of fruit stands and lumberyards, of girls wearing
bright scarves that dance in the breeze.
She goes on to describe the beauty in her own back yard, the beauty of
her children, the beauty they see in nature, and the beauty everywhere that
we tend to ignore. She closes with this prayer-Dear God, to live at all is such a miracle--whether as bug
or bird or creature of any kind. To come into existence upon
this planet and be able to witness it's beauty is such a
privilege, especially for human beings.
Help us to cherish and be a part of that beauty.
Let me take time for beauty, God.
What you focus upon, is what you become, and this is preparation for
being a part of the beautiful bride of heaven. All the beauty of nature,
family, marriage, and all of life that we can experience in time is a taste
of heaven. We are not to wait until heaven, but we are to start living a
life of beauty in all areas now.
The next thing we want to notice is that the environment of heaven is
beautiful. The beautiful people will have a beautiful place in which to
dwell. In verse 11 John says the holy city has the very glory of God. It
radiates with the brightness of beautiful jewels--like Jasper, as clear as
crystal. In verse 18 we see that the whole city was pure gold, and verse 19
says the walls were adorned with every jewel, and verse 21 says the gates
were of solid pearl. Whatever else this description may mean, all agree that
it means the dwelling place of the Bride of Christ--the Church--will be a
place of unmatchable beauty. All the splendor of the royal courts of
Babylon, Egypt, and Rome cannot match the magnificent marvels that will
surround the saints in heaven.
Again, can you imagine what this meant to the poor and persecuted
Christians of the first centuries? They lived in poverty and were often
oppressed by the wealthy. The only time they ever saw the glory of gold and
precious stones in when they were brought before royalty to be condemned.
The message to them, from Jesus, was to be faithful even unto death, and
they would receive the crown of life. This crown of life involved a quality
of life the was far superior to that of Caesar himself.
Their is no way to escape the physical appeal of heaven. Christians
long to have nice things, and to live on the level of the highest quality.
They do all they can to beautify their environment. They carpet their
floors, put art on their walls, and decorate with things of beauty. They
enjoy the plush motel as much as anyone. The desire for beauty is natural
and is a part of the image of God in us. It can easily be perverted and
become idolatry, but in itself, it is a good thing to love beauty. God
dwells in glory and splendor. Jesus said he was going to prepare a place in
the Father's house for the redeemed. Can you imagine the work of this
divine architect being less plush than that of the best on earth? Can you
imagine some of the saints in heaven saying, "This is nice, but I stayed in
a luxury motel in Florida that was even nicer." What Jesus has gone to
prepare will be beyond comparison with the best of time.
Billy Graham, in a sermon on heaven said, "Very few people have their