8 Minute Read
To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.
Today’s Bible Reading:
2 Corinthians 4:13–5:10
Listen to the Lord
Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.
2 Corinthians 5:4 (NLT): “While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life.”
Reflections from Scripture:
Second Corinthians 5:4 touches on the subject matter that is also addressed in 1 Corinthians 15. It focuses on the fact that we aren’t simply spirits – we are also bodies.
Some folks erroneously think that our bodies are simply a temporary part of us. They suspect that when they die, their spirit will ascend to the Lord’s presence, and they will never need their body again.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Our bodies are essential for at least two reasons:
First, they enable us to experience the world around us. A spirit has no tongue and taste buds to enjoy delicious foods that are part of our heavenly experience. A spirit doesn’t have a nose with which to smell the heavenly aromas. A spirit can’t touch and be touched to enjoy connectedness with others. Neither does it have eyes or ears to enjoy the sights and sounds of Heaven. So, our bodies are not incidental – they are absolutely essential to experience Heaven.
Second, our bodies are not made for some “spiritual” Heaven. Our bodies remind us of Genesis 1-2, where Adam was made from the earth. Clearly, we are made to exist on a physical planet with actual dirt. So, it’s no surprise when we read the last two chapters of Revelation and realize that our final heavenly home is “a new heaven and a new earth “(Revelation 21:1).
In 2 Corinthians 5:4, Paul said that he didn’t want to be finally rid of his body. While his physical body was decimated by the beatings, stoning, and many other horrible things he had endured, he desperately wanted a body to enjoy for eternity.
2 Corinthians 5:4 (NLT) “While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life.”
If you read through 1 Corinthians 15, you will hear the Lord (through the Apostle Paul’s pen) state that our present bodies will one day be supernaturally resurrected and turned into our eternal bodies. They will be remarkably similar to what we have now but incredibly better. And with those new bodies, we will be able to experience the sensations of Heaven as we walk on the New Earth.
How incredible is it going to be? Well, when you get to the final chapter of the Bible, as the Apostle John had been writing about the New Earth, he couldn’t help himself. He got so excited that his heart cried out, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 20:20). He was ready for Jesus to take him home right then and there.
If we properly understand Heaven and what it will be like, we will live our life to the fullest but also crave for the day that our Lord calls us home!
Spend Time in Prayer
Lord Jesus, thank You so much that “Heaven” will be a real, physical earth, and I will get to enjoy it with a real, physical body. Thank You that some of what I had been taught about Heaven isn’t necessarily true and what I read in the Bible is so much better. While I want to live my life to the fullest, to glorify You, I look forward to being with You, my friends, and loved ones on a New Earth one day. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.
Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.