Daily posts to help you connect with God
and keep yourself travelling in the right orbit
ORBIT | WEEK THIRTEEN
ORBIT – DAY SIXTY
Hello and welcome to another Orbit – the daily devotional from the youth team at St Mary’s Reigate. Each day we give you a short passage of the Bible to reflect on, a way of putting it into practice in your life, and a chance to pray and reflect.
BIBLE READING – 1 Corinthians 13: 8-13
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Sometimes, it’s important to remind ourselves that life is not just about what we see around us. It might seem strange, but it’s easy to forget that one of the core promises of the Christian faith is actually eternal life. Like, really, life which goes on for ever and ever. Bodies that don’t wear out, days that don’t end; no pain or tears or anything bad at all. In fact, the promise of paradise is so outlandishly great, that our cynical brains have trouble comprehending it.
So here in the middle of this famous passage about love, Paul takes a moment to remind us that this life is far from all there is. Having talked about spiritual gifts in one chapter, and then the awesomeness of God’s love in this one, he goes on now to draw a big distinction. Our supernatural experiences of God in this life are real and good, but they’re really just for the purpose of this life. Spiritual gifts are one of the ways that we see that God is real and active in the world, and they’re brilliant for building and strengthening the church. But they’re part of the journey, not the destination.
The spiritual gifts give us a glimpse of God. A tiny insight into who he is, and the life with him that is to come. But once we see him face to face, we won’t need those glimpses any more. As Paul says: when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
Love, on the other hand, won’t go anywhere. It is the very core of who God is, and that must mean that love – the sense of being completely and unconditionally loved – must be the very atmosphere of heaven. Love never fails – even after we’ve left this life.
I don’t think we spend enough time talking about heaven. But the Bible is crystal clear that we have an eternal hope; a long-term destination to look to when life feels a little bit tough. As the Bible describes it, it is surely the most awesome place in the universe; and our brains probably can’t even comprehend 1% of what it’s really like there. What an incredible promise.
You might want to join me in praying this prayer.
Lord God, I thank you for the hope that I have in you. I praise you that you have made a place for me in eternity; help me to serve you well in this life, but always with an eternal hope in mind. Amen
There’s now a chance for you to pray, or listen to God, or simply be still for a few moments.
Each day we will provide you with a simple challenge; something to do which helps you put this little thought into action. Here’s today’s challenge:
This one might be a little bit out of your comfort zone, but why not go for it? Grab a pencil and a piece of paper (or if you feel like it, any art materials you can lay your hands on) and try a bit of prophetic drawing. Ask God to help you to draw an image which in someway represents his eternal glory. You could draw some aspect of heaven as you imagine it, or find a way to depict or reflect God’s love. You could create a pattern, or even a full-on painting. It’s up to you – just try to notice God at work through your creativity.
If you want to get in touch, you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Instagram – we’re @stmarys_satellites. Let us know what you think of this daily reflection – please – we’d love your feedback.
We’ll be back with another edition of Orbit tomorrow. Thanks for taking part today!