Thursday, April 9, 2009

Foretastes & Down Payments

I was thinking this week about the concept of down payment on our future Kingdom inheritance: how healing is a down payment on resurrection bodies and the Holy Spirit is our deposit money on eternity.

If this is so, we should be able to see how down payments can be ours from each of the blessings of the new age of God's kingdom as described at the end of the Book of Revelation (Chpters 21 -22). I led a discussion on this topic at our Men's Bible Study Tuesday Night. Here are some of the ideas we discussed.

21:3 God dwelling with us. When the Kingdom is fully come we will experience God direct presence. Yet now, and increasingly as the birth pangs of the Kingdom increase, we experience breakthroughs of His felt and experienced presence into our lives and our worship times. Every sense of His presence is but a down payment on the ultimate tabernacling of God with us.

When we pray for someone to experience a breakthrough of the Kingdom, we are praying for God's presence to become exponentially real and immediate for them, not only for comfort but so that they will be changed to be like Jesus (1 John 3:1-3).

21:4 God wiping away our tears. In this age pain, sorrow and grief continue. We suffer, loved ones die, friends disappoint and betray, some are not healed. Yet in the midst of suffering God's comfort is ours in Christ. When we pray for someone to receive Kingdom comfort, - and every time we share the comfort we have received with someone else - every time we comfort as we have been comforted - we distribute a down payment on the day when all tears will be wiped away by the nailed scared hands of Jesus.

21:5 All things made new. The Bible is full of things being made new- new days, new songs, new springs of water, new hearts and new creations. In the seventies there was a phrase that was worn out to cliche status: Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Yet as trite as those words sound, for Christians they are really true. His mercies are new every morning, and new day is always dawning, and God is always doing a new thing.

When we pray for someone to receive a Kingdom breakthrough, we are therefore praying that they have a fresh start, a new beginning, a breaking of bondage to the past and release into God's future for them.

More on this tomorrow.