Monday, March 31st, 2014
Twelve Steps To Heaven (Part 12, Conclusion)
Step #12: Faith In Jesus Christ
Lord, who may abide in Your Tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your Holy Hill?
He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;
He who does not backbite with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;
In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
But he honors those who fear the Lord;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
He who does not put out his money at usury...
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.
Psalm 15:1-5 (NKJV)
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
John 6:47 (NKJV)
Psalm 15 lists eleven steps to Heaven. Consider the biblical meaning of the number eleven:
'If ten marks the perfection of Divine order, then eleven is an addition to it, subversive of and undoing that order. If twelve is the number which marks the perfection of Divine government, then 11 falls short of it. So... it is that which marks disorder, disorganization, imperfection, and disintegration' (The Bible Study Site).*
When God inspired David to write Psalm 15, the eleven steps he listed were all he knew. Now, we know more. 'Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven' (Matthew 13:11).
The greatest mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven was Jesus Himself. During His Physical Presence on earth, He embodied It: 'Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand' (Matthew 4:17). At the conclusion of His mission, He released It.
When 'He was pierced for our transgression' (Isaiah 53:5) and 'Lifted up from the earth' (John 12:32), 'The earth quaked, and the rocks were split' (Matthew 27:51). Heaven burst forth. An angel of the Lord announced, 'He is risen' (Matthew 28:6). The missing Part of earth's puzzle rose into His rightful place--inviting us to rise with Him.
Upon His ascension to the Right Hand of His Father, the skies opened. A new reign began: Satan was deposed and given notice. Then another new rain began: It was Living Water to and from each believer. 'The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life' (John 4:14).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: 'The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.' (John 4:23). It's not about inviting people to church. It's about inviting them to Jesus:
He is the twelth and final Step. He is the only One than can catch them at the end--even if they miss all the others. In the meantime, If you walk on every step up the narrow path to dwell in the Holy Hill, you will tempt your fans to take notice--and follow you. So...
1) Walk Uprightly, 2) Work Righteousness, 3) Speak Truth, 4) Don't Gossip, 5) Don't Harm Your Neighbor, 6) Don't Fault-Find, 7) Despise Evil, 8) Honor Your Brethren, 9) Keep Your Word, 10) Don't Be Greedy, 11) Don't Be Bought, 12) Believe Jesus and Follow Him.
* The Bible Study Site on the meaning of numbers: http://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/meaning-of-numbers-in-bible/11.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Twelve Steps To Heaven series.