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The Joy of Heaven

Sitting on the plush area rug, my daughter opens her gift - her great-grandparents watch with a curious eye. She pulls out a new jiu-jitsu gi and smiles with excitement, giving them both a hug and kiss of thanks.

She didn't know she was getting it, but had seen one like it, and loved it. As far as martial arts go, this one is really pretty, with purple and turquoise stitching on black material with a beautiful design covering the inside.

Anyway, while I was thrilled because I knew she loved it, but my grandma raised an eyebrow at me as if to say, "really??" (She doesn't quite appreciate the martial arts training like we do), so I reassured her it was something my daughter wanted and enjoyed.

Giving gifts this holiday season, our hearts leap as our kids open gifts and smiles light their faces. We often feel more excitement giving them than they do in opening them.

Celebrating advent and the birth of Christ, we give gifts to remind us of the greatest gift, drawing us to the message of the Gospel. We reflect on the first coming of Christ, not losing sight of the fulfilment of the Gospel, pointing us toward his coming again and the hope we have of His return.

While God has given us much to enjoy on earth, I find a humble nudge to consider the joy I feel toward heaven. My heart is so easily delighted in giving and sharing the happiness and I want to have that same feeling in anticipation of His return.

When I consider why it's lacking, I think it's something I just don't take a lot of time reflecting on, perhaps also because there are things I may not totally understand. This new book, Always Longing: Discovering the Joy of Heaven by Stephen Morefield was really helpful to shape my perspective on how to live in this time of "already-not yet" and growing my joy and gladness for heaven.

Seven questions frame the structure of the book, and he answers in each chapter, summarizing biblical teaching on who, what, when, where, why and how of heaven. Sometimes, simply taking the time to contemplate on these biblical truths just brings our heart and our head in line to worship God for all He has done, and all He will do.

Setting our eyes above also equips us to live faithfully today, while we're in this season of anticipating His return.

"Knowing we were made for a person and a place, we can focus on growing in our love for that person and on living as good stewards in practice for how we will live in the place known as the New Heavens and New Earth. We can love our neighbors in word and deed so that they might join us there. Jesus is doing the heavy lifting at his return. It’s simply our job to trust him, love him, and live faithfully as we await him."

This short book is for those who are looking to train their gaze on the promises of the Gospel and to have their hearts stirred with joy because of Scripture's rich truths.

Quick Stats

# of pages: 142

Level of Difficulty: Easy

My Rating: 5 Stars

*Thanks to Gospel Centred Discipleship for the complimentary copy and for the opportunity to post an honest review.

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