Preparing for Heaven

Building the Eternal Phase of Your Life

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Your reward in heaven will be a place of service to God and the citizens of heaven.
In the last book of the Bible, in the last things said to us, Jesus declares, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.” (That’s Revelation 22:12.)

How you serve others now will determine what kind of a servant you become. This will open up or limit the kinds of service you will be doing for all eternity. Changing your spirit so that you naturally have a servant attitude and a servant heart to a greater degree will be your choice every day, week and year of the rest of your life.

Every citizen of heaven will have a place of service that matches her or his spirit so perfectly that she or he will be completely happy. They won’t be assigned a job below their spiritual development as that might trigger sinful dissatisfaction. And they won’t be able to be assigned places of service where their spirit would not have the qualifications. So, all in heaven will be happy in their places of service.

Nowadays, in an office, an administrative assistant can be content and happy with that job while the manager is also content and happy. This would have to do with their level of training. In heaven, the depth of a Christian’s spirit in serving others will determine where Jesus can place them for service. So, if you do not grow your spirit to want to serve other Christians, you still will be content with the job you have in heaven. However, if you want to better your options, then allow the Holy Spirit to make you a more willing and joyful servant.

I want to make sure you understand how important it is to grow your inner self, your spirit, in serving. Serving is critical in being able to serve God in heaven. There are many examples in life where people are qualified to participate, but only to the level of their development. Electricians begin as helpers and then apprentices. If they keep at it, they can become Master Electricians. This is a good example to drive home the point that knowing is not enough – skill with electrical situations is mandatory.

Growth of our spirits for heaven goes way beyond knowing the Bible. We know we are to be servants, but that does not qualify us for much of any kind of service in heaven. For our purposes, imagine that there are 100 possible levels for a servant spirit. A Christian who goes to church and avoids finding out the struggles of others for fear of having to get involved and help will have a spirit strong enough to serve others possibly at only the level of 5. If that does not improve before death comes and heaven arrives, for what kind of service tasks will he or she be qualified? However, the Christian who goes out of her way to know what is happening in the lives of those in her Christian Inner Circle and then tries to be of help will have a spirit equipped to serve at level 65. If she doesn’t try to do all the required helping alone and gets others in her Christian Inner Circle involved in helping, that would develop her spirit to level 70.

The thing that I don’t want to happen to you, even though in heaven you will be content and completely happy – is for you to not have all the strengths in your spirit for a job in heaven you always dreamed of before death – but not get that joy because you do not have the strength in your spirit for serving that is required for that responsibility.

I want you to look inside of yourself to see how ready to serve you are. Do you see yourself as not very useful to others? Do you not help when you see a service you could provide because you are too uncomfortable to step out in obedience with faith in God’s provision? Do you get caught up in too many less important activities than helping because of dedication to pleasure, comfort, or safety?

Imagine that you can think of a few areas of service to God and his people in heaven that you would really like to do for eternity. Let’s say that is running a small store of some kind in some quiet town or neighborhood in heaven. You have the skills for such a job assignment for God’s glory. But you have a very low rating on a spirit ready to serve others. This is what I want to get across to you – you will not qualify to run that little shop. You will have many qualities in your spirit that might be needed, but your spirit would be too weak in serving. Even though you will go to heaven and be completely happy, it will not be being completely happy doing what you first wanted.

This is what I want you to avoid. Please spend time listening to this audio clip over and over again this week. Then, all the rest of your life, take notice of when you could have served – and felt the Lord wanting you to – but you did not. Changing that would be an important step in becoming like Jesus and having His heart and attitude about serving.

Phil 2:5-7 instructs us, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”
Jesus called Himself a servant. Therefore, a servant attitude should be worn as a medal of honor. It is a common mistake in people that serving is not as desirable as being served. You want to get over that kind of thinking.

Since getting our spirits ready for heaven means becoming like Jesus at the deep level of our spirits, listen to our Lord’s words recorded in Luke 22:27 from the Voice translation of the Bible. “Who is greater right here as we eat this meal—those of us who sit at the table, or those who serve us? Doesn’t everyone normally assume those who are served are greater than those who serve? But consider My role among you. I have been with you as a servant.”

Jesus is saying that He is our model. Loving Jesus enough to want to be like Him is the path to a servant attitude and heart.

Think of how Jesus spent His days. He was constantly out among the people – healing and teaching. He set such a great example for us. He went looking for people who had a need. And, so can we.

We must avoid serving only when the tasks are comfortable or easy. Such serving one another
will lead to little growth of our spirits to serve. But, if we jump into God’s war with Satan by serving one another, our spirits can blossom with regard to a servant heart. The devil does not want God to receive glory from any of us. He knows that honoring God by self-denying service to one another will lead to his being defeated over and over again.

Nowadays, the devil does not have to work very hard to keep us from lives of more than occasional service to one another. We have come to think of the things that take up our time as more important than serving one another. The devil has managed to have us believe that superficial love and service is enough. Therefore, we give ourselves great pats on the back for simple service to one another that barely honors God and His request.

Listen to Jesus’ words as recorded in Mt 20:26-28. “This is the Kingdom’s logic: whoever wants to become great must first make himself a servant; whoever wants to be first must bind himself as a slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as the ransom for many.”

We must face the truth that simple and easy service to one another will not change our spirits to be servants like Jesus was a servant. And even complicated, difficult service, done just out of a sense of duty is not very good. A spirit transformed into the likeness of Jesus’ spirit will joyfully serve others in sacrificial ways for two fantastic reasons: to love God back with costly love – as He has loved us – and to defeat God’s enemy Satan who does all he can to keep Christians weak in serving one another.

Heaven will be a place of service for all of its citizens. But, it is simplistic to think that most service will be religious in nature. Serving the needs of the citizens of heaven will be serving God. So when we are told in Scripture that our rewards in heaven will be places of service, we should look beyond just doing “religious things” in heaven.

It might be normal to think that our service for God in heaven will be lighting candles at an altar. Perhaps this is because we have unintentionally been led to think of serving in the organizational church as more valuable and God-directed than serving the needs of those around us, especially those in our Christian friendships, Christian families, and Christian marriages.

When Jesus was responding to people’s physical and spiritual needs all day, He was serving God! So, in heaven will we be serving God by serving the other citizens of heaven.
In heaven there will be innumerable needs for service to one another, even with the absence of sin. Even now there are many services needed that do not relate to pain and suffering. Helping one another build fences and enjoy nature are just a couple ways of service unrelated to sin. Likewise, there will be vast opportunities to serve in heaven where there is no sin.

Many of the Togethers, like encouraging one another, have application on the streets and in the homes of the New Jerusalem. There will be no need to clean someone else’s living quarters because they are lazy, injured or handicapped. But, we may still help with taking care of things while someone is away for a month on an adventure. (Somebody will have to maintain the aquarium and feed the dog and cat.) God will have us serving one another as we live in communities, as we worship, as we go on adventures, and as we face many other opportunities far beyond our present imaginations.

And so we prepare to be able to serve in heaven by serving one another here and now. This is the time to discover the satisfaction of putting aside our own activities because someone needs us for something. This is the time to spur many others on to serving so that fewer of us are so overworked. Let’s help one another grow in serving others willingly with joy. Let’s help those Christians among us who do not look for ways to serve others to overcome their reluctance and turn to assertive love for others so they can experience the joy now and the many benefits later in heaven.

If we have had a job sometime in our life that was so enjoyable and fit us so perfectly that we could not wait to wake up and start a new day, then we have felt what every day in heaven will be like. Imagine how good that will be for all eternity.

If we only enjoyed serving family and close friends, we will be given a job serving only a few, perhaps a shoemaker in a small town of heaven with only 40 residents. It will feel just right. But, if we enjoyed helping Christians we knew outside of our closest friends, we might be a shoemaker outfitting many people. And, that will fit just right.

There will be those whose servant attitudes before coming to heaven led them to fairly consistently ask if Jesus wanted them involved in service as situations presented themselves. So, in this sense, Jesus was with them even then more than with others because of their openness to serving Him through serving others. In opening their thoughts to those of Jesus and asking if the Lord wanted them to serve in some way or other, they often invited Jesus closer.
An employer of servants in past times, or in wealthy homes now, appreciates the servants who are always looking for some way to be useful. To those servants with an attitude of assertive service will be given the best raises, the most important assignments, and retained when layoffs must be made. A servant attitude, you see, even in this sinful, secular world builds trust and closer relationships.
Why would it not be the same in heaven? In the various ways that God will be able to visit us, does it not make sense that those who had a servant attitude will be visited either more often or more intensely by the Lord? They will have overcome sinful temptations to just watch out for themselves and family and close friends. They will have served the Lord by serving others before themselves. And that will build trust and a closer relationship with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Every act of service now for one another is an opportunity presented to us by God to change and improve our spirits. Each situation where we rise up to serve has God’s timing for the most marvelous changes in our spirits. It is the servant attitude that opens the door to these fantastic opportunities, usually to do one or more of the Togethers, each with the change it makes in our spirits, change that will enhance our quality of life in heaven for all eternity.
Therefore, from now on you want to be assertive in wanting to serve others, especially those in your Christian Inner Circle, but even those you are less fond of. While enlarging your spirit in the way of a servant attitude and heart will bring a better life in heaven, more important is the fact that you will be increasing the amount of honor you give to God, glorifying Him more than you otherwise would have – for all eternity.

Reflection & Group Tools

Have the attitude of a servant toward one another. Be motivated to serve others and let them serve you.

Luke 22:26-27; 2 Cor 4:5; Gal 5:13; Phil 2:5-7

Prayer to Embrace this Together
O Servant Lord, help me to adopt a servant attitude and develop a growing servant heart. May I constantly be aware that you may have someone for me to serve.
I and those in my Christian Inner Circle will need Your help to grow our spirits to serve other Christians, especially those in our Christian Inner Circles. Help us to yield to the work of the Holy Spirit for all of us to give You more glory by serving Your people as You have asked.
Please help us all to become more like Jesus and serve others. As Jesus said that He did not come to be served but to serve, so may such serving become our lifestyle. Take away our ambivalence to deny ourselves to serve others. Jesus is our model, and we want to become like Him. Let us take the identity of being Your slaves, servants for life serving others to serve You.
May our lives worship You more because we serve other Christians that we do not need to serve, in order to mirror to You as worship how You do not need to serve, but You do anyway. And, like You ask us to serve You, help all those in my Christian Inner Circle to ask for and let others serve us.
Make us strong in Your power to defeat the devil by refusing to live autonomously without serving one another. We want to interrupt Satan’s plan for us to think and act like we can be independent of one another and not serve one another. Put in the backs of our minds for spontaneous use all of the Togethers as ways to serve one another.
Help us all to more faithfully be Your servants and prepare ourselves to serve You in heaven for all eternity. Help us to find that deep joy in serving You that will make our experience in heaven pure bliss.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Your Spirit is most easily transformed in community. The tools below can facilitate your growth as you gather 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 serving one another.
Sacrificial serving will develop our spirits and produce a servant heart. Thus, we will be qualified for a more responsible ministry in serving others in heaven.

Our relationship with Jesus will be more loyal to His sovereignty because before going to heaven we actually asked Him how He wanted us to serve others.

We will be more practiced to ask Jesus what He wants us to do, how He wants us to serve others in heaven.

Sanctification Booster #1:

List at least 25 ways that Christians can serve one another.

Sanctification Booster #2:

What less-than-necessary things can tie up a Christian’s time and restrict serving others?

Sanctification Booster #3:

What can a Christian think to maximize joy in serving others?

Sanctification Booster #4:

What keeps Christians from firmly asking others to join them in serving others?