Day 25: I See Heaven Open

He Descended to the Dead. The Third Day He Arose from the Dead. He Ascended into Heaven and Sits at the Right Hand of God the Father Almighty. From There, He Shall Come to Judge the Living and the Dead

READ

Acts 7:54–60

When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Hebrews 12:1–4

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

MEDITATE

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1).

To be “in Christ” is to simultaneously dwell in heaven and live on earth. And isn’t this the point: “On Earth as it is in Heaven.” This is why we are instructed to set our hearts and minds on things above. What would that mean for you? We are exhorted to “fix our eyes on Jesus.” Could this be what it means to have a pure heart, as in, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8)? As we set our hearts and minds on things above and fix our eyes on Jesus, we become earthen vessels for the in-breaking of heaven on earth. Take five uninterrupted minutes and attempt to do this now. Do it every day for a week. Stretch it to ten minutes for the second week. Your capacity to focus and your ability to see will increase dramatically in the days to come.

REFLECT

All power to our great Lord
Is by the Father given;
By angel-hosts adored,
He reigns supreme in heaven:
Join all on earth, rejoice and sing;
Glory ascribe to glory’s King.
High on his holy seat
He bears the righteous sway;
His foes beneath his feet
Shall sink and die away:
Join all on earth, rejoice and sing;
Glory ascribe to glory’s King.

—From “God is Gone up High”
Charles Wesley

ASK

Express your questions, doubts, curiosities, and conundrums.

AFFIRM

Write any fresh affirmation stirring in your heart and mind from today.

Now affirm the Apostles’ Creed aloud:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord . . .