Heaven

The Small Role We Play

I remember little Elementary School plays.

 

I was never out to be the lead. I was comfortable accepting a supporting role or a walk-on/non-speaking role. 

 

But, I believe a lot of us clamored a bit for that spotlight. Maybe you were one of those that did above and beyond to stand out for the lead roles. 

 

The night of the performance, emotions are high. Parents and grandparents fill the room, cameras in hand, whispering to other parents what parts their children have in the production. Each exchanging several adjectives describing their child and how they’ve spent weeks preparing for this night.  

 

Lights dim.

 

Spotlight ready.  

 

Curtain goes up.  

 

Music begins.  

 

And so begins several scenes. The actors, the stage hands, the background, all collide in a dance that represents weeks of preparation and careful planning.  

 

I was reading Revelation this morning.

 

Talk about a book filled to overflowing with dramatic scenes and characters. This book takes the Oscar for Best Picture, for sure. 

 

There’s this heavenly scene in chapters 4 and 5 that pierced my heart through.  

 

John is transported to Heaven, in the Spirit. 

 

He begins describing the scene. First, he’s instantly taken with the “someone” on the throne.  

 

This being had the appearance of “jasper and carnelian” (vs.3), which is the color of red, for those of you who aren’t aware.  

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The jasper represents Gods holiness and carnelian, His wrath.  

 

A rainbow surrounded the throne and had the appearance of an emerald. We all know that emeralds are green, but I bet you didn’t know that they represent Gods grace and mercy. It’s a promise and it’s never-ending. 

 

He describes these creatures filled with eyes, the sights and sounds that are coming from the throne, and the never-ending song of the creatures:

”Holy, holy, holy

Lord God, the Almighty

who was, and is, and is to come.” 

 

Day and night they sing. And day and night they cast their crowns before His throne. Never bored. Never weary from this loop of adoration.  

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Here’s the part where we come in. 

 

There’s a scroll in God’s hand, sealed with seven seals. An angel loudly shouts for someone to open the scroll. But, no one, both in Heaven and on earth was worthy to do so. 

 

John begins to weep uncontrollably because no one is found worthy to do this task. 

 

Then, the Lamb of God is found standing in the midst of the throne. The climax of the scene. Every moment prior has led up to this.  

He takes the scroll out of God’s hand.  

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The four eye-filled creatures and the twenty-four elders begin bowing down in worship to the Lamb.  

 

“Each one of them had both a harp and golden bowls (plural) filled with incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”  (5:8) 

 

And there we are. 

 

Thats our part in this breathtaking scene.  

 

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Just a little puff of smoke. So insignificant. Held in these spectacular bowls of pure gold, we are the puffs of air rising to the throne of God.  

 

Do you understand how incredible, and yet, extremely humbling this is? 

 

Here the God of Creation is surrounded by glory. Sounded by songs and light and perfection and beauty and indescribable things. And while He’s being praised, night and day, day and night, without ceasing, here we are: little puffs of smoke coming from the bowls of the creatures who sing beautiful songs of holiness to Him without ceasing.  

 

And yet, YET, He includes our prayers, our words, in this scene of glory and worship.  

 

He loves to hear from those who follow Him so much, that He includes our words in the ultimate worship scene of Heaven.  

 

And the fact that He’s never too “overwhelmed” by all this action to not take it all in. The singing, the prayers, the setting...it would all be too much for us human folk.  

 

Yikes. I get to “going to implode” status if two kids are talking at once, music is playing in the background, and I’m trying to send my husband a text message. I nearly scream from the overload.

 

But, not our God. Our God is immeasurably perfect and sustaining and beyond our full understanding, that a scene like this is just a regular day to Him. It’s His Home. It’s why we need to remember how big He is and how nothing we are.  

 

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So. I ask you now; how do you plan to add yourself to that scene today?  

 

How long has it been since you talked to your Creator? Because, He clearly loves to listen to you. It’s part of His continuous worship service. 

 

And how can you humble yourself today? Remember, you’re just this little supporting role. A speck of air. A poof of smoke. Not dazzling. Not glorious by any stretch. Yet, this amazing God we serve sees our speaking to Him as important enough to put our names in His playbill. 

 

Meditate on this today.  

 

And maybe, you can just join the beings in that throne room and sing the words that they never stop singing:  

“Holy, holy, holy

is the Lord God Almighty

who was, and is, and is to come.” 

 

Amen.  

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For "Kindness'" Sake.

It is with great frustration and heartache that I write this post. Many, many, many of you have missed the point entirely, and so, I coauthor this post with the perfect love of Christ. May He write for me.  

 

 “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

 

I notice you, Christ-follower. We all did.  

 

We saw your Facebook post. We saw your pictures of you actively serving. We saw the comments and likes that were the "atta boy" you so craved upon hitting 'send'.  

 

And, so I wonder, truly, what has led you to believe that a virtual thumbs up or a "you are so (this or that)" comment was a great substitute for how Christ would've eventually rewarded you?  

 

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Do we read the same text? Has no one ever lovingly encouraged you, reminded you, or told you that to serve is to do so without audience? 

 

My heart literally breaks for you when I scroll thru and witness a self-seeking, "God-honoring" post of selflessness.  

 

You had the right intentions in serving. Oh, you certainly shared the love of our Creator to the immediate world you share with others; you may have even had the chance to develop a new friendship, invite them to your home or church, or just simply share the Gospel during the process. 

 

You, are doing what we all should be doing. Truly. You have the right idea. Christ smiled upon your obedience to Him. 

 

But when you give to someone in need, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 
 

Matthew 6:3 NLT

 

But the reward you sought, was as cheap as plastic. It was temporary, self-glorifying, and won't be remembered by the One who promised He would remember those things we did without longing for earthly recognition.  

 

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Do you really want the heart, the desire, the energy, the time you put into the giving go to waste?! Did you really, honestly think that God was proud when you traded His eternal reward for an extremely temporary version than He promised you? 

 

Please, with love, I beg you to stop practicing this routine.  

 

If you give money, keep quiet.  

 

If you see a need and meet it for someone, don't mention it. 

 

If you donate, let it end at that. Don't seek something in return. 

 

If you love on your neighbor, don't bring up that you did so to your other neighbor.  

 

Don't be sneaky about it either, God sees our hearts. Nothing is hidden from Him.  

 

I wish, I hope, I pray, fervently, that you will go forth in service to others seeking ONLY His eternal praise and reward. It may feel awesome to hear how selfless you were down here, but it will never compare to being bragged on by The King of Kings someday. Never.  

 

Secretly serve and gloriously be rewarded.  

 

Love, Alicia  

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