Jump Start # 2358
Revelation 22:4 “And they shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.”
“Do you have a favorite verse?” That’s asked a lot. I’m asked that a lot. My choice changes, often. It’s easier to say what verses I do not like. I don’t like Eve talking to the serpent. I want to tell her, “run.” I don’t like David looking at Bathsheba. I want to scream, “run.” I don’t like Paul being left alone at his first defense. Where is everyone? I don’t like Peter denying the Lord. Those verses are important. It reminds us that we are not perfect. It shows that even among heroes, they had clay feet. They, as we do, are always in need of the Lord.
But favorites, our verse today is always among the top for me. “And they shall see His face.” Let’s think about that.
First, there is something about seeing a face you love. The child on the field or on the stage, looks through the audience and catches the eyes of his smiling parents. Nothing like that. Walking through the airport, finally home, and there you catch the eyes of your family, there to pick you up. Nothing like that. On the shelves of my office I have pictures of family and dear friends. I just counted. There are 31 framed pictures. I have surrounded myself with those who are dear to me. These bring memories. These put a smile on my face. And, the pictures are of their faces. I don’t have any pictures of toes, or just elbows, or backs of heads. Nope. Faces. Smiling faces. It’s more than just faces, it’s faces that I know and faces that I love. I’ve been to big crowds. Disney. Ballgames. Concerts. Airports. Lots and lots of faces, but most I don’t know. I don’t recognize them. There is something special about seeing the face of one you love. Church services are like that. The church is a family. We get to be with one another. One can enter the church building droopy and discouraged, but the moment he sees those he loves, the smiles, the hugs, his face changes. Life seems to come back into his eyes.
Second, there is a wonderful Biblical lesson here from our verse. No one could see the face of God and live. Moses wanted to see God’s glory and all the Lord would allow was Moses to see His backside. When Isaiah saw the Lord in the lofty vision, he felt doomed. He was unclean. He said that I am ruined. But here in our verse today, all of that changes. This is a promise. This is something to look forward to. We shall see His face. This is not a thought that would frighten us, but rather a thought to comfort us. Sometimes in a large gathering, all you have to do is connect with someone’s eyes and there’s a message, a warmth there. We preachers do that all the time. We connect our eyes with someone and that brings an assurance, a friendship and opens the doors for better communication.
Third, to see the face of God would be the greatest thing our eyes could ever see. We’ve seen many fascinating things. We’ve looked up in the night sky and beheld a full moon. We’ve seen beautiful mountains, and sunsets on the oceans. We’ve seen castles and rockets and children and kittens. We’ve seen kindness and gifts. We’ve seen apologizes and forgiveness. We’ve seen things that have changed through the years. We’ve seen our names on diplomas, plaques, in books, and on programs. Some have seen their names literally in the lights. We’ve seen hole-in-ones and grand slams and records broken. We’ve seen enemies sign peace treaties. We’ve looked into the eyes of our newborn. We’ve seen loved ones take their last breath. We’ve seen heartache, disappointments and the ugly side of life. But, nothing our eyes have ever beheld matches, “we shall see His face.” The God that we have followed and trusted. The God who has forgiven us so many times. The God that we have prayed to every day. The God that we have fallen in love with His word and have treasured that throughout our lives. The God that has blessed us. The God that has been there for us, even when we journeyed through those long, dark valleys. The God that changed us. The God that gave us a purpose. We have sung to Him. We have talked about Him. We have studied Him. We have thought about Him. And, now, our eyes will see Him.
Two thoughts come from this:
First, what will we do? Mercy Me has a multi-platinum song that asks that very question. “I can only imagine,” makes us ask that same question. Will I fall to my knees? Will I cry? Will I run and embrace? Will I stand at a distance? Will I be scared? Will I tremble? And, I believe the answer is yes, yes, yes, to all of those questions. In the presence of God. We will see His face. I tend to believe there will be a smile on His face. A smile that warms the heart. A smile that welcomes. A smile that makes all things right. And, I expect His arms will be opened wide. He is welcoming us.
Second, connected to this, once we are standing there, looking into the face of God, everything will be right. It won’t matter how tough our journey was. It won’t matter how long it took. It won’t matter what we went through. We will be where we are supposed to be. There won’t be any other place that we need to be. Home, home with God. Safely home. We shall see His face. The untaught try to transform Heaven into a selfish paradise of go-carts, fishing, sleeping in, chocolate fountains, and doing whatever we feel like. And, what the untaught leave out, is seeing the face of God. Close enough to see Him. Close enough to be around Him.
What is Heaven? Seeing the face of God. This is why we journey on. This is why we keep doing what we are doing. This is why we will never stop worshipping Him. This is why we continually choose to follow Him. More than anything else, someday, we want to see His face.
And, there is something special about looking into the eyes of someone. As you see them, they are seeing you. We shall see His face, and just who do you think He is seeing? Us. He is seeing us. Us, who have often stumbled and disappointed Him. Us, who at our best, are still not very good. Us, who He gave His holy word to. Us, who He trusted His kingdom with. Us, who He expected to be His hands and feet. Us. He will see Us.
Indeed, I can only Imagine. But, it’s more than a dream. It’s more than a wish. It’s more than a song. It’s a promise.
We will see His Face…