I remember my grandmother as well as my mother regularly encouraging us to be gracious receivers. That is, when someone wants to give you something, it's OK to gladly take it and enjoy it. That's good advice not only for children, but also for adults. The problem is that millions of adults have never learned how to graciously receive what God wants to give them. This calls for faith. And faith involves the ability to believe something you don't yet see.
No wonder so many people lack faith. It's not easy to believe in unseen things, unless of course we feed our faith on the Word of God. In so doing, we find ourself believing and receiving gifts from God that boggle the mind. And what could be more mind-boggling than spending eternity in paradise?
Think about some of the funerals you have attended. Now imagine if those family members or friends could return to their life on earth. And if given the opportunity to ask God for anything, what do you think they would request? Would it have anything to do with their existence beyond the grave?
And now what about you? Since your funeral has not yet taken place, you still have a remarkable opportunity in front of you. It involves taking God at His Word as you rely upon His promises. It's not too late to become a gracious receiver. And it's not too late to make your reservation in paradise. Unless of course you refuse to believe in such a place. In that case, you are living in a small mental box of your own making. It's one that formed around you as you grew older. And today you find yourself locked inside. What a shame.
God's promise to those who believe is clear: "And this is what He promised us - eternal life." (1 John 2:25) Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25,26)
Some choose to believe Christ's promise. Others choose to ignore it. Some will spend eternity in paradise. Others won't.
And so the big question is this: What if God granted you one wish? What would you gladly receive from God? And what would you miss out on because you feel too unworthy to even make the request? The good news is that even though none of us are worthy of God's grace, Jesus offers us forgiveness for our sins and everlasting life in heaven. For real. No joke. Jesus died and rose again so that you and I may live and never die.
Will you humble yourself before your Creator like a child, and receive this everlasting gift? Or will you go to the grave with nothing more than your own sin and the eternal consequences of sin?
It should be a no-brainer, right? Well, ever since sin messed up our internal wiring, we have lost the ability to take God at His Word and receive all the love He wants to shower upon us. Only the Holy Spirit can lead us past the confusion to a place of confident trust and anticipation. But only if in your heart, you become like a little child. A trusting child. A believing child.
No wonder Jesus told people, "Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3) Many innocent-minded children accept good news easily and graciously, whereas many cynical-minded adults no longer enjoy life with the wonder of a child.
But it's not too late to dream again.
You see, for the Christian, eternal life isn't a "wish" we make before God. Instead, it is a guarantee we are given through faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So stop wishing, and start believing God, and you will find yourself out of the box and immediately into a joyful relationship with the Lord. It can begin today and it will last forever.
Are you ready to think outside the box? If so, the sky is the limit. Well sort of.