20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
Every time I read God’s Word- I truly feel fed. It is like a cleanser for my mind- it helps to purify my thoughts- to remind me of what is true and holy.
That is what drives my hunger to be in God’s Word. The reality that the person that I am when I’m consistently being made new by God through His Word is someone I like a whole lot better than the person who I am when I do not spend time with God and seek Him.
And it stirs in me questions that keep my mind focused on the Lord instead of the things of this world- like today.
When we were driving along today on our way to AL, I was thinking about heaven and how it is our real home. The earth is just a place that we are passing through, our life here is like a blip on the radar in the face of eternity.
So many times that is so hard for me to grasp. Heaven seems like such a distant idea, it is hard to imagine what it might be like- and even to truly hope for the existence of something unseen, unknown.
But today, I felt like I had a tiny glimpse. You know that sense of excitement that you initially get when going on a trip? I always have it, that surge of adrenaline at the adventure. Going into the unknown, or just getting a break from the every day routine.
But by the end of our time somewhere, I am always ready to come home. Because no matter how much fun we have, or how good it is- there is something about coming home.
There is a peace and settling in that happens, a sense of release that passes over me as I think about how restful it will be- to once again reside in the familiar.
While I was pondering coming home, I began to think how much greater our homecoming will be when we get to heaven. For as much as this place can feel like our home, a place of comfort and peace- there is always suffering, sorrow, heartbreak.
Imagine with me- being with God.
In the presence of God and our Savior Jesus Christ. To live eternally praising God and enjoying the perfection of His Holiness.
To have bodies that do not get sick or age, to live in perfect peace and unity with everyone.
It sounds so wonderful-too wonderful to even imagine.
In fact, I was wishing that I would think about heaven a little bit more in the every day. When I spend time in prayer, or reading God’s Word, or even when I am doing dishes- to just think- this world is not my home.
I don’t belong here; I belong in heaven. This is temporary- all that I endure here, suffer here, enjoy here- will come to an end.
Am I ready to meet Jesus? Do I daily anticipate that meeting? Will there be things in my life that I wish I had taken the time to change before seeing God face to face?
Awaiting the New Body
2 Corinthians 5:1-10
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
I pray that today we would take some time to remember that this world is not our home.
And that we would gravely ponder those things that are in our lives that do not glorify God, or are stumbling blocks- bad habits, things we are holding onto- and we would finally surrender them to God through Jesus Christ.
Let’s be ready to go home today.