1 Peter 1:23-25(NLT) “For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. As the scriptures say, “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever.” And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.”

How do you like being compared to grass? I grew up just outside of Detroit, Michigan. I remember what it felt like when all of the grass started to turn green and the flowers started to bloom. I still love the smell of freshly cut grass; it just reminds you that longer days have arrived. The weather becomes warmer, and summer is here. When summer turned to fall, new colors filled the trees, and then winter brought the beauty of snow. But there was always a time for me in mid-February when I felt so much despair. It had been cold, dark, and gray for three months, and spring wouldn’t arrive for another three months.

All of our joy on earth is temporary. You hold a baby in delight for a moment and then get to stay up half the night as the baby learns to sleep. You stare into your lover’s eyes thinking nothing could be better than this, and then you get into a horrible fight the very next day. You have a great time with your friends from school and then find out they are gossiping about you. Right before COVID-19, Stacie and I went on a trip to Hawaii; and the day after we landed, things began to unravel. Temporary joy.

Peter reminds us that our earthly bodies are temporary. Eventually you will let go of this tent and slip into the physical presence of Jesus for all eternity. Not sure if you like that thought, but it excites me.

Heaven is a physical place where Jesus dwells. God is at the center, and everything is about Him. A myriad of angels sings loudly all day about how great He is. People constantly talk about Him and praise His holiness. There is no sorrow. No grief. No fear. No worry or anxiety. No sick babies. No divorces. No cancer. No more loss.

In these verses, Peter challenges us to fix our eyes on eternity. Eternity is in session right now. You are learning to do life with Jesus at the center. You are discovering the joy of doing life the way He intends—filled with peace and love and goodness. This goodness will go on for eternity.

I love how Peter connects the voice of God to eternal living. Do you have anyone in your life that you just love to hear their voice? I love Stacie’s voice. Sometimes when I am away from her, the thing I miss most is hearing her voice. Both the quality and tone of my wife’s words connect with me at a heart level. Our relationship started in college. I learned to love her voice before I came to know her more fully after 17 years of marriage. I learned to love her voice before I fully knew her.

You are learning to love the voice of God and His word before you know Him fully. You are leaning into that kind, faithful, truthful, steady voice of God. His word found in the Bible will remain forever. His faithfulness will continue throughout all generations and into eternity.

Our church has adopted some basic tenets for our premarital counseling—namely that it’s helpful to learn about your future spouse before marriage. Talk about how many kids you want to have, whether you’re a morning person, whether or not you want to travel, and what you want life to look like after you say, “I do.”

Now is the premarital session for all eternity. The Church is the bride of Christ. The wedding day will come, and we will know Him fully. If we learn to love life with Jesus at the center, we will love Heaven. If we kick, scream, shout, rebel, and fight against the voice of God, why would you want to spend eternity with Him? This life can be very hard, but it is always better with Jesus, and it is always better when we say yes to His ways.

Will you invite Him to speak to you today? Tell the Holy Spirit you want to hear the voice of God. Try to imagine Heaven right now with Jesus at the center. See if you can enter into the joy of that worship. Crown Him King! Tell Him you love Him. Invite Him to lead you today. Let the joy of His presence get you excited about being with Him for all eternity.

Come Holy Spirit. Open my eyes. Help see where you are at work in my life. Help me learn to love life with you.

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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