The more we gaze upon Jesus, the more we become like Him. Our preacher at yesterday's Easter Day service, Dragan, encouraged us to seek quality time alone with God, promising that it would always be of benefit: and this is what John urges upon his readers too. We don't need to have trust issues with God; we don't need to worry about how much He might love us, because we know this: He has adopted us into His family and calls us His children! What greater level of reaching out and of acceptance can there be? The youth group which I helped run in Callington, Cornwall was attended by some interesting characters. Tony was one of them. He had also been sent along to church occasionally. He had been fostered long-term by a couple who lived a few yards from the church and it was drawing close to the time when they would no longer be paid to foster him. Tony was beginning to think what he might have to do next, when his foster parents told him that he could continue to live with them. He was so happy! It made him feel loved and personally accepted. The joyful hope which lies before us are multiple: yes, we will see our loved ones who have died before us; yes, we will be made whole; yes, there will be no more crying or death or violent assault; yes, the created order will become again what it was always intended to be. BUT, so much more wonderful than all these things is the hope that we will see God face to face! We are told in Revelation 21: 'I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, 'Look, God's home is now among His people. He will live with them and they will be His people. God Himself will be with them.' We have such an amazing hope, which cannot be taken away from us, whatever happens!
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