Let me share just one more memory from my week at the Smoky Mountain Jubilee.
Yesterday was the awards ceremony and I happened to have a front-row seat.
I was a little taken aback by the way one of the participates reacted to winning. There is “over the top” and then there is “OVER THE TOP”! She was in the latter camp. She could have taught some of those big-shot NLF players a thing or two about celebrating after scoring a touchdown.
At least that was what I thought at first.
She kept expressing amazement that the group she was in had won. As each one came down she would hug them and make some remark about how amazed she was.
After a few moments of this I realized that this woman was genuinely amazed and grateful for having won. She and those who sang with her had not even considered the possibility of winning. They just (their words) “wanted to honor the Lord and worship.”
The woman was so grateful, so excited for her fellow participates, so full of joy.
It was then that I sensed the Holy Spirit prompting my heart. I realized that I was looking at a picture of grace—someone who was under no expectations of being great or deserving to win. To her, their “win” was like a huge, unexpected, and undeserved gift.
And that is how it will be when you and I get to heaven. We are going to be so amazed, so overcome with humility, so grateful, so full of joy that we made it. We will know that it was not due to our goodness, hard work, or because God “owed” us a pass. We will know that our entrance into heaven was due only to the loving-kindness, mercy, and great sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
When I get there—thanks to Jesus, I am going to find that lady who just wanted to honor the Lord and worship him and she and I are going to dance and shout for a thousand years just in sheer gratitude and amazement that God would allow us to enter his heaven.
I hope you will join us.
- The ONE THING for today: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8, NKJV)