Thursday, July 9, 2009
Home. We are all striving for it. We look forward to the weekend so we can go home. Maybe we're still saving up to buy that first home. Those of us in the twilight of our lives sometimes find themselves wanting to go back in time to that “other” place called home that we had long ago when times were simpler. For some, home represents somewhere they never want to return. For others, home is recalled with such fondness that they find themselves returning there again and again to a place in the past; drawing comfort from old memories, happier times. One thing we all seem to have in common is that each of us has a definitive answer for what home should be. With a little variation I bet we would all come up with just about the same thing: The place where love is, the place of refuge, safety, peace; where we are loved unconditionally and find the strength to handle all the stresses and pressures of life “on the outside.”
I believe we are all a bit homesick, all at different stages of longing. There is a central truth hidden deep within us placed there by God Himself. Within our souls there is a feeling that something is missing. Things in our present home (earth) are not right. There is a sense of displacement that no amount of money can buy. Trying to recapture what was lost so long ago, we build and buy and plan but there is no escaping that we are homesick for heaven.
BUT there is good news; because of what Jesus did, the gates are once again thrown wide open.....Open to that home we lost so long ago. And all we have to do is accept the invitation! In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. " John 3:3 And further, He confirms that Heaven is a very real place. "There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?" John 14:2 He also said when He was on earth that "the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
The apostle Paul had his focus on eternity. "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14) He kept his eyes on the prize. As an athlete training for a marathon, he knew that every little thing we do here on earth makes a difference for all eternity. Every thought, word, deed and action has an effect that reaches all the way to the throne of heaven. Knowing that radically changes how we live; it colors our very perspective,and it brings the kingdom of heaven down to earth, just as Jesus said! HE came to give us not only life, but abundant life here and now and eternal life in heaven! Now that is good news....
1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And 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. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Rev. 21