By Joanie Stahl February 2017
“For we brought nothing into this world and you can be sure of this, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” 1 Timothy 6:7. [KJV].
“The meek will eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live forever.” Psalm 22:26. [KJV].
“They shall abundantly utter the memory of they great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.” Psalm 145:7. [KJV].
Through the years of my youthful life I would come across the above verse about coming into this world and leaving with nothing out of it. Yet as I matured and grew in Jesus Christ the portion of the verse, “…..Your heart shall live forever,” tells me otherwise.
That our hearts will carry something out of this world, otherwise, why the need of our hearts living forever? Yes our earthly mortal bodies will age and we will die, and put off the corruptible body and put on immortality. 2 Corinthians 5:1-4. This is a certainty.
Our hearts are where God dwells, and that is why our hearts live forever. As we go through the years of our lives, eventually, His life becomes greater than ours. Our memories will leave off the filth of this world behind, and this “body of death,” will return to this earth. But our soul with our spirit will go upwards into heaven forever. The memories of our hearts will declare the wonders of the Lord and His testimonies without end, and in supreme joy. We cannot begin to fathom what that will be like.
I have read many stories of people of all ages, from all over the world talk about dying and going to heaven, and coming back. They speak of another land. They all have a little something different to say and add. I take it to mean that heaven must be so vast and incomprehensible, that Jesus lets them see different things and parts.
“For heaven is His My throne and the earth is My footstool.” Isaiah 66:1. [Kjv}.
Since this is the truth, I cannot imagine the vastness of heaven and how big it is. I have heard stories of people seeing all their loved ones. They told us in testimonies how there were welcoming parties, and they hugged each other and spoke of the excitement of heaven. People, have stated they hear music that is beyond any sounds they have ever heard, and that it fills the entire atmosphere.
There are fragrances so beautiful that no flower on earth can compare. They speak of mountains, trees that wave their branches, as well as the flowers because they are so full of life. Many have seen animals, birds, and the angelic hosts and that of course, Jesus Christ who speaks to them.
This is not an attempt to contradict the word of God, for the word of God cannot contradict itself or be contradicted. Instead, it will bear witness to itself, and stand forever after everything is said and done with this “present world.” Meaning, that though we die and can carry nothing out of this world, and yet, the Psalmist King David says, our hearts will live forever.
I believe with my whole heart and mind that the only thing we will bring with us out of this world is our hearts as the scripture declares. We will utter the memory of His great goodness and talk of all His wonders, and sing of the righteousness of His love. For we will obtain the resurrection of the just. Acts 24:15. That day for you and for me will come and these next verses will become our reality.
“But ye are come unto Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and the church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.
And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” Hebrew 12:22-24. [KJV].
The only way that can be done is the lives He has ordained for us in His lessons of love in daily life. We cannot grow in the knowledge of love if we did not live this difficult, painful, hard existence on earth without love being in it. The ultimate goal and progression is in the love of God and to exercise ourselves in it.
If we were to only have a life in heaven and never one on earth, what can we know about love? How can love be strengthened? How can it be understood, exercised and matured. By this I believe that love is truly what the angels of God look into
“Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” 1 Peter 1:12 [KJV].
I speak to many people in their older ages and some in their younger ages that suffer terribly from having no one. Having not one person to love them, and no one to love back. They exist in a vacuum of grief and sadness, and all they do is just keep on waking up from morning to morning, from one day to another never happy about being alive. Having no purpose, because love and being loved gives them purpose.
The list is endless. There are the newly divorced, the little children who grow up all their lives in the brutal foster care system, the aged in nursing homes who, are still in their right minds, live in dark, end-of-the-road facilities remembering their spouses who are now gone, and their living children and grandchildren who never call or visit. The great losses of loved one’s in death and many who live in terrible depression.
As well as all the people who are living in ash heaps of the destruction of poverty and devastation and have no future hope in the earth or heaven. Who live in the dark places of the earth, full of the habitations of cruelty.
This world we are living in is the diametrically opposite of heaven. As we all know that heaven is the perfect environment of love and light. While earth is the environment of no love and spiritual darkness, where love is learned.
Love is clearly the only thing that keeps everyone and everything alive without a doubt.
I do not mean the self love that detains it and keeps it for oneself that grows dark and demonic, but those that love God and love others, because they have been born in love.
Those who are born again cannot contain the love that comes down from heaven because it is from outside of this time and this world. It is from everlasting to everlasting. It’s alive, and has a life all it’s own because it is the life of the Father and the Son by way of the Holy Spirit living in them. It is impossible to hold it back.
“He that believeth on Me as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38. [KJV].
I read a story from long ago by Charles Spurgeon. He said that he was friend’s with a man who was one of the wealthiest, prestigious men in England at the time. He amassed great wealth, power and commanded attention everywhere he went. His home was a magnificent castle, for he was a nobleman. Spurgeon said that every now and then the man would invite him over to his home for visits.
On one occasion the man invited Spurgeon over for one of his last visits. He and the man sat by an enormous, grand fireplace. The man spoke of his being very old now, and his soon departing and going to heaven.
He spoke of nothing of his wealth, prestige, national accomplishments, massive land acquisitions, world business and high import. No, on the contrary. Spurgeon said that all he spoke about that has made him the happiest man was his time with his children and grandchildren, whom he loved so much.
He spoke about nothing of his immense wealth or accomplishments except only in this one respect. Spurgeon said as he spoke, he looked into the fire, his eyes musing and remembering nothing else but the joy of his wife, though in heaven, his children and the wonderful times he had with them.
How he looked forward to nothing else but their visits, and all of them sitting around the fire, laughing and loving one another, having the littlest one’s on his knees.
Spurgeon said that he remembered the man had a very hard, strong, commanding voice among many others while in public, but as he grew older, and when in private with his family and close friends, his voice softened, and he softened. The man did mention at some point that his greatest treasure on this earth was his memories of his children and the time he then shared with him at his last.
I can say with certainty, that the heart that that man had on earth, now “lives forever,” and is now “uttering the memory of God’s great goodness.” It also says in the word, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13 [KJV].
This goodness is embodied in the love of God. For love comes from God and returns to Him.
I know this thus far in my walk towards home, there is a greater, ever growing sense of a detaching from this world, and a sense of heaven drawing nearer than ever before, or myself drawing nearer to it. As if the earth is receding and heaven is approaching. I know this within myself even as I write this letter.
A knowledge that is wonderful and too high for me to put it adequately into proper words. I can only know it this way within me and try to speak about it the best way that I can.
Not too recently, I was in a room cleaning and I was tired and feeling my age. I looked into the mirror and said to myself, “I look like I am getting so much older now, and I feel so tired in my body. How is the Lord going to be able to use me? I do not have the strength I once did when I was younger. I do not possess the fortitude of what I was in my best youth.”
Just then I heard the Lord say to me, “Your spirit is outgrowing your body.” I stood in silence as I listened, knowing the Lord had just spoken to me. He continued, “When you were six years old you wore clothing upon your body for a six year old body right? I nodded yes. He finished saying, “Do you wear those same clothes? I nodded, No. He said, “That’s right. You do not. So the body your soul and spirit are wearing is out growing your mortal body.”
“Also when you were young and full of natural, physical strength, and fortitude, you did much in that strength, but that strength fails. It is meant to fail. It must fail. I wait for My people to grow old so that they cannot use their own strength anymore. I wait long for them to age so that the less of them is available and I can now fill them full of my power and use them more than ever before because nothing of them is left. Only what is what is within, what is eternal remains.”
I read once that when we are young, we are powerfully alive in our born again mortal bodies and in that young strength, we are full of the demonstration of that raging fire of faith, and works.
But when we get older, all the flames of fire and smoke go down deeper and deeper into the coals within our spirits and burn there the hottest. That is when the fire burns with the hottest, most intense heat without the visual effects of flames and smoke. Where the All-consuming fire of the Holy Spirit mingles with our spirit.
It is good to indulge the youth in their fiery demonstrations of love. I indulge it and never try to put those fires out. I love to see the great fires of faith. Each have their work. The greatest fires are the fires of love towards our God, and what and whom He loves.
Lately, a very sweet woman I know wrote to me about her father’s difficult life and it spoke volumes to me. Here is a portion of what she wrote.
“My father was never close to his father, something that disturbed the entirety of his life, as it seems that a love withheld becomes compelling, and hurtful that a love poorly expressed, so much for a child to be loved by a parent. In this case, my father’s need for his father’s love.”
I love this because this really reveals the losses un-recouped, that is, except in the love that comes down from heaven to live and give us purpose in this loveless world. It is better to try our best to express love than to withhold it.
The many little but magnificent, powerful lessons in life ALL center around love and the beauty of it, and the healing virtues of it. The hope and faith that are bound up in it. The strength it gives to the human body and creativity of it. The renewing and cleansing power of it. The perseverance of it. The rewards of it.
The powerful lessons of love are never without our reach, but within our reach and within us. Because “ye are of God little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4. [KJV].
Meaning, you cannot love the only way God can love, so He must come and live within you to love others through you. That is why we learn to love others better than ourselves. God takes care of loving us and that brings satisfaction and freedom to love others His way.
In tireless, pure, refreshing love. undefiled, that makes even the hardest of hearts melt like wax in His presence. I have seen it and witnessed it. I will utter this memory of His great goodness along with everything else I am packing away. and sending ahead of me to meet me on that day.
My loving friends and people I know that are alone in this world, and have been for decades, tell me about their agony of living in silence, their never being hugged or kissed. No one calls or visits them. It is very hard on them and they do suffer much alone.
All of these people who live alone, have no one. There are others as well, from infant to the very aged, who as we speak, are encased in cruelty, loveless abandonment and rejection are not forgotten, though it may seem so. In the word it says, “For the eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the good.” Proverbs 15:3.
“Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You: according to the greatness of thy power preserve them those that are appointed to die.” Psalm 79:11. [KJV].
He is “working out salvation in the midst of the earth.” Psalm 74:12 [KJV], and a day is fast approaching where He is going to make things right. As I speak, multitudes of people young and old who have lived devastating lives, in Christ are entering as I write this, into heavenly places.
Who during this present world through death, which is nothing more than a ramp way to heaven enter in with joy, and into the the Everlasting Arms forever.
They, like Enoch who “followed God,” and I am sure still does, will forever follow Him too. Genesis 5:24. [KJV], Hebrews 11:5. [KJV].
Yes, they will follow Him everywhere He goes, and He will comfort them, and be their God, and He loves them in the most potent expression of love as God Himself being the very embodiment of love.
“Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:13. [KJV].
Just like from the time of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. The only relic that came out of it was marriage and family, and the bond of love that holds it together.
In like manner, the only thing that will make it out of this earth into heaven-land is our hearts that will live forever, to praise and worship the Lord Jesus Christ. Because for all eternity we will remember the victory He won for us because of His great love. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are My friends if ye do whatsoever I command you.” John 15:13-14. [KJV].
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:15-16. [KJV].
The ultimate expression of selfless love. Our hearts will live forever because He sits enthroned as King of love in our hearts where we love Him supremely. So this makes sense of why our hearts not only live forever, but go on for all eternity expressing His love from one generation to another.
Your life and mine are not our own. It is now His. Your story, and your life is now His story, and His life and an extension in you, for He lives in you and expresses Himself to you, and through you to a loveless, hell-bent world.
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.” John 14:21. [KJV}.
“This is My commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.” John 15:12. [KJV].
At the end of our lives, we will never care one bit about what we ate or drank, neither for the clothes we put on, or any other thing, but those we loved, and those who loved us. “For love is stronger than death.” Song of Solomon 8:6. [KJV]. The Lord knows about your aching hearts, never-ending pain, losses and every single tear shed. He is not far away from you, He is in you, and around you, and promises to see you through to the other side. That is His promise and He lives to ensure that.
In closing I want to share a little letter my beautiful mother wrote to me when I was feeling very low and defeated.
“Hi Joan, feeling as you do about our crazy world, the best thing for you to do is go directly to God in prayer. He knows what you want before you ask. He has all the right answers. Friends will sympathize, but God will remove that cloud over your head. Remember, you cannot control what goes on outside of us, only our response to it.
That’s where God comes in. Jesus said, “I am with you always to the end of days.” His Spirit surrounds you, and His hand goes out to you. Just let it all go He is in charge not you. So as you go through this day, keep this in mind that He is so easy to access. Isn’t that great? I love you. Easy access!
Many of us get days like this when we see and hear the worlds troubles. What you must do is step out of this world and take His hand. He is our Father and He is in control.
Isn’t that great!”
Today, while it is still called day, remember these three remain, “Faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13. [KJV]. It is the only thing that will outlast this world and enter into the next to adorn the throne of the Living God Jesus Christ where you will utter the memory of His great goodness to every generation,
By His bow I abode in strength and the arms of His hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob: from where the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel came out of!
Even by the God of my Father who helped me and the Almighty, who blessed me with the blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lie under, blessings of the breast and the womb, the blessings of my Father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors (ancestors), unto the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills!” Genesis 49:24-26 [KJV] Paraphrased.
The Lord Jesus Christ give you strength in the power of His indestructible, eternal love, and to walk in it, and know it for yourselves, and to grow up into it heavenward. What a day that will be. To finally see with our own eyes, the One who dwells in the light of a thousand suns, when we come in through the doors beyond the grave into our reward.
We are almost there.