Preparing for Heaven

Building the Eternal Phase of Your Life

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Christians are to meet one another’s needs, meaning their basic needs. Watching out for each other in the way of basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, safety, love and other essentials holds us together with strong bonds of love and affects how much we will enjoy heaven.

God communicates his desire for us taking care of one another’s essential needs in Titus 3:14 which says, “Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.”

Before discussing meeting one another needs in more detail, let’s become motivated by how it will affect our lives in heaven for all eternity.

There will be no urgent needs to be met in heaven, so how is doing so now preparation for heaven? Certainly not to be ready to provide the basic necessities of life there.

What can depriving ourselves of pleasures to make sure others have basic food, clothing, and shelter do to prepare us for a more wonderful life in heaven? Depriving ourselves to provide essentials for those who have urgent needs does the following things that enhance our future in heaven.

First, it pleases God who throughout Scripture shows that He is so much more concerned for the poor than the comfortable and the rich. Seeing that basic needs of others are met will give us a closer relationship with God forever.

Second, we will be storing up additional treasures in heaven to enjoy forever by denying ourselves out of love for others now.

And, third, our enjoyment in heaven will be greater because of greater prior anticipation. Haven’t we all learned that the longer we wait for something good, the more we enjoy it when it comes? Whatever our Lord will ask us to give up so that we can help others have food, clothing and shelter or some other essential need will just make those things so much more attractive and exciting when we get them in heaven. Let’s at least be willing to consider not having some things for the sake of others. Let’s at least be willing to consider not doing some things so we can help others with the basic necessities of life.

Maybe a somewhat inadequate illustration might help. Let’s use Disney World to represent the fun in heaven. One wealthy family goes to amusement parks near where they live often. When they do go to Disney World, it is exciting, but not so much because it has a lot of the same kinds of enjoyment as the many amusement parks they have already visited. Another wealthy family foregoes local amusement parks to use their time and money to help those they know are in need of help and money for essential needs. When they finally go to Disney World, nothing has been watered down by previous amusement park experiences, so they enjoy it so much more than the first family I mentioned. I hope you see that heaven will be more exciting if we do not give ourselves every enjoyable thing we can purchase this side of heaven.

Here is a made-up story that will get this point across in a different way. It is a story from about a man named Jordan who is now in heaven.

Jordan smiles more than most others on the basketball court. Here in heaven he is having the time of his life playing the game he has always loved.

But, it could have been different. He could be enjoying himself like the others, having fun but not so exuberantly. If you ask him why he enjoys basketball in heaven so much more than the others, he will give the credit to his wife Julia. He will tell you how she badgered him to stop playing basketball so much once their children came along because the family needed him to be at home more. As a result, Jordan quit the basketball leagues he was so dedicated to and now he is absolutely thrilled to be back shooting hoops. Absence does, in fact, make the heart grow fonder.

We are used to old people looking forward to heaven because they are dying. We grasp that they will be extremely glad to leave their pain and get to heaven. But, the miserable process of dying is not the only way to get us to look forward to heaven. No matter our age, we can begin looking forward to heaven and its richness by denying ourselves for the good of others, what the Bible calls agape love, the Greek word used for divine love. We can do without things and experiences now to make essential necessities available to others. To do this, we look to heaven for far more wonderful things later than we can have or experience this side of death.

Let’s now address storing up treasures in heaven to enjoy forever later by denying ourselves out of love for others now.

Actually, Jesus tells us straight-out how denying ourselves things to provide for the basic needs of other people will benefit us with regard to heaven. In the Sermon on the Mount, recorded in Matt 6, He tells us “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Here Jesus says it is superior to have our hearts in heaven, and for that to happen we must not spoil ourselves here and now. There is great gain in valuing the things of heaven that last forever over valuing the things of this short life.

Among other things, it can help us lower our expectations for this life to levels that have a chance of not disappointing us. This life can be difficult some times, so to have our hopes on treasure in heaven rather than always hoping for life to be better now makes it easier to live.
If we do not usually buy top-of-the-line unless in the long-run it is truly more economical, and if we share our extra money with those who really need it for basic needs, we will be depositing treasure in heaven. In light of all of Scripture, it does not really make sense that Jesus is telling us just to have whatever we want but just not to value it so much. That would be nice, because then we could buy that luxury automobile – but just not treasure it. But, if the Lord wants us to buy a sturdy, reasonably priced car and use the money we saved for someone in our Christian Inner Circle, our church, or anywhere in the world to meet an urgent need, we want to do that. Doing so will store up treasure in heaven and our hearts will be able to embrace eternity with more enjoyment.

Every time we do without in order that someone can have something basic they need for living, it requires that we dedicate ourselves to God and place our hearts in heaven. In response, God will magnify our treasure in heaven, and that treasure will be a closer relationship with Him as well as more excitement when we are finally spoiled in heaven with all kinds of marvelous things.

In the first-century, churches met the basic need for burials for all Christians. Back then, this was often unmet. Those looking in the from the outside saw the church taking care of this basic need, and it appears that many became curious about Jesus because of this.

In our society where public assistance takes care of most needs for food, clothing and shelter, this witness has been lost. But, there usually are basic needs not taken care of by government, leaving great room for us to still meet needs of struggling people. We can supply school supplies for kids in low income families in our churches, and once they are taken care of, there are kids in unbelieving families to care for. There are likely older Christians and unbelievers who cannot afford needed medical equipment or medications. And, many of the poorer among us could use help in getting higher paying jobs.

Gal 6:10 instructs us this way: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

If we start going the second mile in giving to the less fortunate Christians in our towns, it will be noticed. While non-believers look out for one another’s needs, they usually cover just the most urgently poor. That is very good, but it will pale in comparison to Christians providing beyond the minimum to their own poor and other low-income people.

There are many such opportunities in this society with so many broken people and damaged families. For example, if a Christian woman without children is divorced by her husband and left with crippling debt, that is an excellent opportunity to help pay off that debt. Also think of the powerful witness of a battered woman who escapes with her children and has little financial resources. And then her church or a group of Christian friends pays off all of her debt and supplies money until she gets on her feet. Do you think this will be noticed by her unbelieving friends at work? Such action can be an essential part of taking the gospel to the corners of our own society.

Here is one of the vignettes from to illustrate how we might work together to meet the needs of others, both Christians and unbelievers.

Since they know that life is all about being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ, four Christian men working for the power company are always on the alert for a fellow employee in dire financial need of food for his or her family. They secretly call themselves “First Food Responders” and have recruited their families to be in on the action of setting aside money and boxes of food.

News travels fast and Juan, Hunter, Jayden, and Cooper are well known. Others know that they help out of thankfulness for Jesus’ death on the cross. They are not shy in their Christian witness, but they are not pushy either. In fact, they sometimes receive donations from non- believing workmates who say, surprisingly, that they also want to help Jesus help others.
This is all handled via the grapevine. While occasionally a man or woman will ask for help, usually it is others who ask on behalf of someone else. And the four often let those who speak up deliver the food, always with a note that the food is from God in the Name of Jesus. Those nonbelievers don’t mind being “errand boys” for the Lord. In fact, a few have become Christians over the years by first being such a delivery person for a God they did not yet know.

Jesus denied himself even a house in which to sleep. So, we can be like Jesus in denying ourselves some of the comforts of life for the sake of the basic needs of others. We all know that many of the things we spend money on are not all that necessary. We should be willing to cut back if the Lord leads us to someone who needs funds for basic needs. This will be easy if we all do it together.

Reflection & Group Tools

Make sure one another’s basic needs of food, clothing and shelter are met.

2 Cor 9:12; Gal 2:10; Titus 3:14; James 2:14-17; 1 John 3:17-18

Prayer to Embrace this Together
O God who provides for our needs so generously, I and those in my Christian Inner Circle will need Your help to grow our spirits so that we cherish opportunities to deny ourselves to be able to provide for someone else’s basic needs. Help us to yield to the work of the Holy Spirit for all of us to give You more glory in the way we do with less so that others can have food, clothing, shelter, or some other essential need. Heavenly Father who cares so deeply for the basic needs of His people, help me, my friends and my family to be more concerned for those in urgent need. Help us to see when You want someone fed, clothed, or housed.
Please help us all to become more like Jesus and be concerned for the basic physical needs as well as the spiritual needs of those in our Christian Inner Circles or others who cross our paths. Let us have ears to hear when Jesus wants us to step up and help provide something essential for another. Help us to forego some of the comforts of life for the basic needs of others.
May our lives worship You more because we do not overlook the basic needs of the poor and negate our worship songs and praises. We want You to enjoy our worship of You, so help us to be careful to not turn a blind eye to the essential needs of poorer Christians we are around. Dear Savior, let us love others more deeply and know that in doing so we are loving You more. Holy Spirit, open us to Your help to cut back any excessive desires for things or experiences. Dear God, give us resources to help others generously without judgment of them or their circumstances.
Make us strong in Your power to defeat the devil by not being only concerned for ourselves, our own security and our own pleasures. Help us to be more concerned with what we can do for You than what You can do for us. Allow us to be part of Your answer to the pleas for Your help from needy persons.
Help us all to prepare for heaven by denying ourselves pleasures for the needs of others now so that later we will be able to enjoy the pleasures of heaven at a higher understanding and a deeper joy.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Your Spirit is most easily transformed in community. The tools below can facilitate your growth as you meet together with those you are in close Christian relationship with.

These are some of the possible benefits in heaven we will be seeking today by opening our minds to the Holy Spirit regarding meeting one another’s needs.
We will be closer to God because we will behave like Him who has more concern for the poor than those who have the money they need.

By denying ourselves now for the basic needs of others, especially income-limited Christians, we will be storing up treasure in heaven, riches we cannot even imagine now.

Going without will make us all the more excited and joyful when we receive in heaven what we have sacrificially done without this side of death.

We will develop our hearts to not be tied to this life and free to be united to eternal life with God.

Sanctification Booster #1:

List the wide range of basic things that Christians should be aware might be needed by those Christians with less financial resources.

Sanctification Booster #2:

List many of the things Christians spend money on that are not essential, especially items for recreation which will be seldom used or their maintenance will control their lives and hinder their availability for God to use them.

Sanctification Booster #3:

Ponder how Christians can share the burden of making available things poorer Christians need. What kinds of needs most likely require the financial resources of more than one household unit?