Earthly Love Is Heaven’s Currency
A few months after my father died, I had a dream about him. I met him in a farmer’s field scattered with carnival rides, craft tables, and food booths where he told me a secret about heaven. While I was surprised to see him, I wasn’t surprised to see him there, because it was when he was happiest—barbecuing a side of beef, wearing an apron, toting a carving knife, and inviting small-town carnival goers to sample his secret sauce.
At first, I couldn’t believe it was him. When I saw him from the back many yards away, I thought, That can’t be Dad because he died! Then as he walked closer, excitement engulfed me. Oh, my gosh! It’s him! His smile beamed as the sun glistened on his glasses. True to form, he wore socks that didn’t match his shorts with legs that needed to see more of summer. When he reached me, he smiled broadly and said, “Well, hi Shana!” I was surprised that he acted as if he hadn’t died and that no time had passed at all. He placed his foot on the curb next to me and bent down to tie his shoe. I gazed at him in awe. I intuitively knew I would only have a short time to say what was most important to me, so I spoke quickly.
Because I wanted to thank him for his care I said, “Dad, I want you to know that I took the money that you left, paid off all my bills and I invested the rest of it.” He stood up, looked me straight in the eye and grinned, “Well Shana, I’m proud of you!” My heart melted. He said what I wanted to hear my entire life—he was proud. My chest ached with tears that wanted to come out but didn’t.
Then he shared something I needed to know about eternity, “You know what I’ve learned?” he quipped. “I’ve learned that it really does matter in heaven what you do on the earth.”
And then he was gone—quicker than he had come.
Before my dream, I had heard some sermons on how we will receive heavenly rewards for what we have done on the earth (Matt. 16:27). But as I recently read a familiar passage of Scripture, I was struck by the truth of how it really does matter in heaven what you do on the earth, and that earthly love is heaven’s currency which cashes into heavenly rewards.
In Luke 6:20-22, Jesus shares the ways we will be blessed in heaven: We’ll get the kingdom for poverty, satisfaction for hunger, and laughter for tears. Then, in Luke 6:35, he specifically says that we’ll be rewarded in heaven, and in the prior verses, he tells exactly how we earn those rewards.
If you’re wondering how to store up treasure on the other side (Matt. 6:19), here’s how to do it:
- Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (vs. 27).
- Bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you (vs. 28).
- Give freely to those who take from you (vs. 29-30).
- Do to others as you would have them to do you (vs. 31).
- Love people who don’t love you (vs. 32).
- Do good to those who don’t do good to you (vs. 33).
- Lend to your enemies without expecting anything in return (vs. 35).
- Don’t judge (vs. 37).
- Forgive (vs. 37).
- Don’t condemn (vs. 38) and
- Give (vs. 38).
Isn’t it fascinating that every directive in this passage on how to receive rewards in heaven, which Jesus said will be pressed down, shaken together, and running over (vs. 35; 38) has to do with relationships? Certainly, we shouldn’t be surprised as Jesus said the two greatest commandments have to do with love (Mark 12:30-31).
Earthly love is indeed the currency of heaven.
Like I have been challenged to do, I invite you today to examine your life in light of eternity. Determine to love intentionally as Jesus has commanded. Then, when you come into His kingdom, you will hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!”