Preparing for Heaven

Building the Eternal Phase of Your Life

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We have already talked about the Together that we are to be led by Jesus Christ so that He can direct our service for God. And all of the other Togethers tell us to serve God in one way or another. So, we will look at Serve God Together from the viewpoint of improving our spirits to glorify God through service.
After all, the purpose of all service is to glorify God!
There will be many joys in heaven, but our greatest joy will come from giving God glory through serving Him out of love and thankfulness.
Service out of obligation or to get something from God or any other driving force other than to glorify God falls too short of the standard for heaven. Our motivation must increasingly come from love and thankfulness, and felt as joy. To prepare for serving God in heaven, we must get to the point that our hearts most want to give God glory. We should want to enter heaven at a higher rather than lower aptitude to honor and glorify God through serving Him.
A birthday party for a loved one can be an example. We want our efforts in planning and giving the party to honor the person having a birthday. If we do so just because a party should happen, it is an inferior offering. If we do it to receive praise for how well we threw the party, it is even worse. No, the birthday party should be done to honor the birthday person.
In the case of serving God in order to glorify Him, when we enter heaven, do we want to be able to more naturally and more extensively serve God to glorify Him? If so, then now is the time to change our spirits to be driven to serve God with the motivation and thought and recognition that we want to bring Him honor and glory.
We all want to hear the Lord say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant”. But, we should move beyond just wanting appreciation – and advance to desiring that God be exalted by us. If we serve God out of the joy of pleasing Him, we will first be pleased that we honored and glorified Him and then find great contentment in His appreciation.
The aim is to do everything for God’s glory. First Corinthians 10:31 says it pretty clearly, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Just how do we eat and drink to the glory of God? First of all, we recognize that God has provided what we are eating and drinking and offer thanks. Going a step further, we see that we are eating and drinking to have the strength and health to serve God, not primarily to satisfy our tastes even though that is a secondary motivation.

A very good friend of mine is paralyzed except his head and one arm. He lives in a nursing home and does not want to eat because of the constipation it gives him. He does not wish to kill himself because he still has a positive effect on those close to him. He has decided to focus on eating for the glory of God, as 1 Cor 10:31 instructs. He will eat and bear with the discomfort and pain of constipation to glorify God in helping others as well as to cooperate with the Holy Spirit for the changing of his own spirit to be transformed more into the image of Jesus.
To serve God in the way of heaven, we just have to think and feel differently about the good things that we do. We want to grow in our consciousness of doing it for God that He might be glorified.
As I write and record this Preparing for Heaven: Building the Eternal Phase of Your Life
curriculum, I have no evidence that it will succeed in attracting users. But, I am aware of doing it for God’s glory first and foremost. I hope I will be able to help many prepare for heaven, but I know for sure that I am doing it for God’s glory whether or not it successfully reaches many Christians.
I can test myself to see if any correction in motivation is needed. I can ask if I am doing this curriculum to become popular or well-known. No, inside I know that those things are not important. Of course, at age 75 and with cancer likely not to be cured, it is easy for me not to be doing this for my own ego. I can ask myself if I am doing the Preparing for Heaven curriculum to obligate God to reward me. Inside my spirit, I know that I am not doing this out of a sense of expectation. It feels sincere inside of me that I am doing this just for the joy of serving and doing the will of God.
First, we want to get it in our heads that everyday life is serving God because everyday life in heaven will be serving God in ways that glorify Him. And so, raising children is serving God, especially so if it is done consciously to glorify God. Employment is serving God, especially so if it is done consciously to glorify God. Doing chores is serving God, especially so if it is done consciously to glorify God. This list could go on forever.
So, this is the challenge for us in order to change our spirits to glorify God through service for Him as our primary purpose, and only secondarily for our own gain. Let’s decide that whatever good thing we do, we will do it for God’s glory and then test ourselves throughout the day.
Review your actions, thoughts and emotions when you can think of it and ask yourself, “Was I aware of doing what I did for God’s glory?” If you were not, as most of us usually are not, then resolve to do that thing in the future for God’s glory, to exalt Him through serving Him as your reason for serving others.
Perhaps, walking to your car after making a purchase at the store, you remember being pleasant to the person in line behind you at the cashier’s station. You just are naturally pleasant to strangers, but realize that you want to be pleasant for God’s glory and determine to not just see yourself as a kind person, but as a servant of God with purpose behind your smile. You decide to smile at strangers to glorify God by concern for their welfare rather than just as an automatic obedient behavior.
However, the teaching of Scripture is to also glorify God through service together with other believers. Therefore, in the relationships you have with others in your Christian Inner Circle, you can bring to one another’s minds that you are doing some good thing first and foremost to bring God glory and secondarily to accomplish that good thing.
The goal is to get closer to being able to say, “For what other reason than glorifying God would I do anything?” In heaven, there will be no other reason possible, so we Christians prepare for heaven together by helping one another grow closer to that ideal.

Situations we face often beg for implementation of one or more of the Togethers and we do not catch God’s call to action. Walking life together in our Christian friendships, Christian families, and Christian marriages gives us opportunities to glorify God through doing the Togethers, which is just obeying Scripture for Christian relationships.
While most of glorifying God is done as individuals, many of the more complicated tasks God wants done require more than one Christian to serve God together, again, with the primary motivation of bringing glory to God.
For example, perhaps someone in your Christian Inner Circle avoids reaching out to people other than relatives and a few close friends. She or he avoids meeting people in the neighborhood and striking up friendships that might lead to openings to share the good news of Jesus. She or he is intimidated by the thought of inviting people into her or his home to extend God’s loving concern. It may take a few years to help God transform this person into someone more comfortable and confident with people, and it will surely take a number of Christians helping in one way or another. Every attempt to help that person become more like Jesus should be done to glorify God, and when the person opens up her or his life to others, that will glorify God even more.
A person looking for a job is serving God if he or she is seeking to glorify Him. But, that job search should really be done together with help from those in that person’s Christian Inner Circle. Those helping the job seeker should do so primarily to glorify God, as well as help the job seeker to desire to glorify God, both in the search process and in the employment taken.
Christians serve God together when they take the Togethers into their interactions. Relating to one another as God wishes glorifies Him. For just one example from the other 64 Togethers of Scripture, forgiving one another glorifies God. We can work at forgiving first to glorify God because He has asked us to, second to free the other from guilt, and third to escape resentment ourselves.
Furthermore, this world desperately needs help from we humans who are no longer truly of this world. Even if the world does not know they need our help or help from God, God knows it. And, He wants us to serve Him by bringing His love and solutions to people and societies. Doing such glorifies God significantly.
This discussion would be incomplete if we did not address our status as servants. What God has told us in the Bible elevates the role of servant above the cultural meaning of someone inferior and less valuable than other people. Jesus taught that if someone wants to be among the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, he or she must be a servant of all. When Christians take the attitude of being servants to one another, they are serving God in such a way that will greatly glorify Him, and they will develop an essential habit for heaven. We serve God together as His servants. We should cherish the role of being God’s servants.
Jesus trained a group, or team, rather than a collection of individuals to serve Him and carry on His work. We need to let Him train us similarly. There is a joy in working together for God’s glory that surpasses
individual accomplishments. That is the major joy in heaven – knowing that we are serving God with other believers in a way that glorifies Him. If we only know the joy of individual accomplishment for God’s glory, then we have really missed the boat. Serving God with other Christians, magnifies the glory given to God.
Even though God Himself will be our greatest joy in heaven, the joy of serving together for God’s glory will likely be the cherry on top of heaven’s ice cream sundae.

We might as well get good at serving God together because we will be doing so for all eternity in heaven. If it was normal for Jesus to assign tasks to groups of two or three disciples when He was here, it is more than likely that it will also be that way in heaven. Now is the time to go beyond only thinking of individual service and let God tell us the larger things to do in our Christian friendships, to do in our Christian families, and to do in our Christian marriages. When this becomes natural and we are continually serving God together with other believers with no expectation of ever stopping, not even retiring in our later years, than we have prepared ourselves for heaven.
Let’s learn now to serve God with our Christian friends, Christian families, and Christian spouses in such a way that glorifies Him. Let’s be servants with the glory of God on our minds.

Reflection & Group Tools

God’s work in the church and in society is too big for individuals. Seek to serve with your Christian friends, your spouse, and your family.

Deut 6:13; Deut 11:13-15; Luke 4:8; Luke 16:13; 1 Cor 4:1; 1 Peter 2:16

Prayer to Embrace this Together

Holy Father in heaven, the only One worth serving, I and those in my Christian Inner Circle will need Your help to grow our spirits to serve You individually and together through the many Togethers of Scripture in such a way that we honor You and not to get something back from You. Help us to yield to the work of the Holy Spirit for all of us to give You more glory in the way we serve You and be fully satisfied by the joy that brings.
Please help us all to become more like Jesus and contentedly serve You all of the time. As You did, Lord Jesus, bring us to serve the Father in more ways together with other Christians. Assign and equip us to do the harder things for Your glory that require more than one of us.
May our lives worship You more because our service is not done out of duty, but out of love with the full desire that it brings You honor and joy. May the joy of the Lord be our strength in that bringing You joy gives us desire, obedience, energy and determination. Thank You for the opportunity to make even the most mundane things of our lives a service to You for Your glory.
Make us strong in Your power to defeat the devil by remembering that he is too strong to resist independent of other Christians. In Your service, remind us to bring others into Your war with Satan to act with us or, at least, to pray for us as we march against the gates of hell. Lord, my Christian friendships, my family, and my marriage need help from You to listen for Your larger assignments that require more than individual effort. Let us be willing to serve You in the power of “together service”. Make us brave in battle for Your glory.
Serving You to give you honor, glory and worship is the life of heaven that will fill us with so much joy. Therefore, help me and everyone in my Christian Inner Circle to develop spirits that experience pure joy when we serve You.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

These are some of the possible benefits in heaven we will be seeking today by opening our minds to the Holy Spirit regarding serving God together.
We will develop an essential habit of service for heaven.

We will enter heaven at a higher rather than lower aptitude to honor and glorify God through serving Him.

We will increase our privilege in heaven to more naturally and more extensively glorify God through a more responsible place of service.

Sanctification Booster #1:

1 Corinthians 10:31 instructs us:“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” List some of the reasons we Christians do things other than to glorify God. (Example: out of our pride we do things to be recognized as superior without the motivation to give God glory.)

Sanctification Booster #2:

What might Christians do to change their spirits to be driven to serve God with the motivation and recognition that we want to bring Him honor and glory?

Sanctification Booster #3:

How can a Christian marriage, family, or friendship group serve God together and glorify Him in everyday things like washing dishes or going fishing?

Sanctification Booster #4:

List some of the more complicated ways of serving God together as a family, marriage or friendship group.