George H. Morrison - Devotional Sermons
The Beatific Vision
And they shall see his face--Rev 22:4
It should be noted that this beatitude of glory immediately follows on another. It immediately follows on the promise that His servants shall serve Him. We might draw the two into a unity by the suggestion that the glorified continually serve, and serving, continually see. There is a deep sense in which we see through serving. Service is one of heaven's eye-salves. A mother sees more in her child than anybody else does, in the loving patient service of her motherhood. It is when a man serves nature with an entire devotion, such as the naturalist or geologist or astronomer, that he begins to see in her things more wonderful than men had dreamed. The best way to see Christ here is to serve Him. If any man will do, then shall he know. To take one's cross up and to help is the open secret of fellowship with Jesus. And the apostle hints that in the life of glory our service, which shall be perfected at last, is going to issue in unclouded vision. The glorified shall serve and they shall see. They shall see just because they serve. Their vision shall be purified because in heaven their service shall be perfect. Is it not often the frailty of our bodies or the presence of other motives in our service that dims for us here the vision of the Lord?
Where Service and Seeing Shall Be One
Or, again, if we find in seeing all that is implied in contemplation, is it not a beautiful thought that in the life of heaven service and seeing shall be one? Amid the shadows of this lower world, activity stands apart from contemplation. The world is like that blessed home in Bethany where were active Martha and contemplative Mary. It is hard, in multifarious duties, to keep that child-like purity of heart without which no man shall see God. There are those who have so many meetings that they almost forget to meet with Him. How few, immersed in an untiring labor, keep the secret of an unruffled calm. And then John tells us that in the brighter world His servants shall serve Him, and yet in the very thickest of the service they shall see His face. Action will not be divorced from contemplation. The one will never make the other harder. Toiling Martha will never be grudging Mary, whose eyes are homes of silent prayer. The glorified, in utter self-abandonment, will give themselves to the services of God, yet never for one instant will they lose the beatific vision of His face.
Perfect Satisfaction in Heaven
And another implication is that in heaven there is perfect satisfaction. What a thrilling satisfaction to the heart just to see the face of somebody we love! We cherish their photograph when they are absent, and in quiet moments we gaze upon the photograph. They write us letters, and how we long for them. At other times they communicate by phone. But when the door opens and we see the loved one's face, what an exquisite and thrilling satisfaction--and so, says Scripture, shall it be in heaven. Here we have His photograph. Here we have His love-letters. Here, often, do we catch His messages in the silence and secrecy of conscience. But there we shall see Him as He is, face to face, without a cloud between, and we shall be satisfied when we awake.
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