We ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Rom. 8:23)

Regardless of the occasion—a family reunion, a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, or other celebration—the kitchen is a busy place. Even so, hungry kids (and adults) often sneak through, attempting to grab some olives or a cube of cheese from the appetizer tray. The main dish—often roast beef, turkey, or ham—is on the way, but in the meantime, those who wait can enjoy a sample of the meal to come.

Christians look forward to the spiritual “feast” of eternal life, without poverty, pain, or suffering. However, even now, God gives samples of this life to come. The “firstfruits of the Spirit” mentioned in Romans 8:23 are the present-day works and blessings of the Holy Spirit that strengthen us to live for God in this broken world, and illustrate for us the wonderful future life we have as believers. For instance, every time God gives one of His people a healing beyond natural laws and medical science, it’s a taste of the heavenly life in which our bodies will be made perfect. Another taste of heaven is when the Spirit draws close to us, helping us in our prayer life (Rom. 8:26–27).

God wants you to have a sample of heavenly life right now. Look for ways to share that life with those who haven’t yet tasted it.

Make a list of ways God has helped you this last year to serve Him.

Paul Zinter serves as a substitute teacher. He enjoys writing, bread making, and teaching at his local church.