Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | February 5, 2014

February 5, 2014 “This Side Of Heaven”

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3)

Good Morning Family of Faith!

Over the years, I have been the recipient of many astounding gifts from generous friends and relatives. Though my parents were not the wealthiest people in town, I would say we lacked nothing. I do recall a time, however,  when my brother was pouting because he didn’t have some particular unfulfilled desire. My dad challenged him and said, “Jerry, tell me one thing that any kid in this town has that you don’t have.” He thought for a moment, and said “Richie Ashburn’s Autograph!” For you non-Phillies fans, Richie Ashburn was a hall of fame player for the Phillies as we were growing up. That’s the only thing he could think of at the moment. It became a source of great amusement for years in our family, and one birthday, many years later, my mother obtained a baseball card signed by Richie Ashburn and gave it to my brother! I have also been on the receiving end of extraordinary generosity…gifts of trips, love gifts from churches i have served, birthday surprises, etc., None of these, however, can begin to compare with the single-most extraordinary gift I, or anyone, could ever hope to receive…the gift of eternal life and salvation through Jesus Christ. That gift is promised and awaits me. But there is another wonderful gift that I can avail myself of on this side of heaven. It is free access to God through prayer. Billy Graham says,

“Avail yourself of the greatest privilege this side of heaven. Jesus Christ died to make this communion and communication with the Father possible.” 

Eternal life is our inheritance as Christians, and our sure hope in the life to come. Communication with the Lord prior to our entering into His eternal presence in the life to come is available here and now, and what a privilege it is, just as the old song suggests: “What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.” This gift is not “Pie in the sky by and by,” we can avail ourselves of it now because Christ has already paid the admission price to stand confidently before the Throne of Grace by laying down his life for us and rending the veil of sin that separated us from our Holy Heavenly Father. Rejoice. This wonderful gift is ours now. What a savior! Let’s pray!

O Lord; It is such an extraordinary blessing and privilege for us as we live on this side of eternity to commune and communicate with You even now in prayer. Your Son made this possible for us through His sacrifice, and we are eternally grateful. We love being in Your presence. How we praise You for welcoming us even today. In Jesus’ wonderful Name we pray. Amen!

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