August 19, 2013


Devotion for the Week...

We absolutely loved our vacation. It was so much fun to see new places, do new things and make so many wonderful memories.

But when we drove up and saw this...

That was a great feeling. It's nice to get away, to have a change from the familiar, but then it's good to come home again too. I like being back in my own kitchen. I like having all my clothes available, not just the ones that fit into my suitcase. I like having my sewing machine and my fabric stash waiting. As Dorothy said, "There's no place like home."

To the Philipians, Paul wrote this about those who live only for themselves, for this life, "Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven." (Philippians 3: 19, 20) In other words, for those who believe in Jesus, this earth isn't truly our home. Our home is heaven, where we will live for eternity with God. Because of that, our lives should look different. Out minds shouldn't be focused solely on earthly things.

The struggle is with our minds. Because we live here on this earth -loving,working, suffering and rejoicing - we often forget that our minds are to be focused on more than just here. Obviously we have to think about earthly things some of the time. We have to care for ourselves and our families and we are to be actively engaged  in supporting ourselves. Paul wrote emphatically about the need for believers to work, rather than spending all day waiting for Jesus to return (read 2 Thessalonians). He even stated "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."(2 Thessalonians 3:10) So we don't ignore earthly concerns, but neither should they be our sole concern.

Sometimes, though, it's hard to find the right balance because this place feels like home. We've never experienced heaven to know what we're missing. While many people imagine wonderful scenarios, we don't have memories of heaven to show us how earth is lacking the things we need. In Florida I sometimes wanted to bake, but I didn't have muffin pans or all the ingredients I needed. At home I have all those things. I missed something I knew home had that our rented house didn't have. We can't feel that way about heaven because we haven't been there.

Fortunately, the Bible does tell us a little of what to expect in heaven. Revelation 21:3,4 says, "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

God Himself will live with us, and He will wipe away the last tears we will ever cry. In heaven there will be no more heart attacks shortly after retirement, no more Alzheimer's to steal a loved one's memory, no more living with chronic pain. All of it will be gone.

As good as it feels to be in my own house, sleeping in my own bed, I can only imagine how it will feel one day to be truly home.

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