I've been thinking about heaven a lot lately. No particular reason really, except maybe because I'm getting closer and closer to it with each passing day, but that's true of anyone who has professed Jesus as their Lord, whether we are twenty and enjoying wrinkle-free faces, or a bit more weathered and discovering that at least wrinkles aren't painful.
Ever wonder what's happening in heaven? As in, what's going on there right now? I believe Matthew 10:32 gives us a small peek of what happens in heaven on a regular basis. Jesus said, "Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven."
I have always read and was taught this verse in the context of an initial confession of faith. When someone first publicly declares their decision to become a Christian, Jesus acknowledges that person to His Father in heaven. While I still very much believe this to be true, when I took the entire context into account, I no longer think it's referring to only a first-time confession.
Jesus prepared His disciples for difficult times ahead. He told them plainly that they would be hated by everyone because of Him (Matthew 10:22). What could possibly make being hated by so many worth it?
When we find ourselves in a difficult conversation that presents an opportunity to either speak His name or keep silent, imagine Jesus leaning in and listening carefully. When we choose to acknowledge His Name, I can't help but think that a huge smile covers His face as He elbows the Father and says, "Did you see that? That's my girl!"
I want Jesus' approval far more than anyone else's, don't you?
I think any time you or I choose to speak the name of Jesus publicly, it makes Him proud enough to mention it to the Father. To me, that makes any ridicule, hatred or even persecution worth it. Well worth it.
Happy Tuesday, friends. Be bold. Be courageous. Speak the name of Jesus today. He is worth it.