PMT 2014-68b by Don Strickland
Things change. Things decline.
2Co 5:1-2 and 6-9
For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2) For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven; . . . (6) Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord– (7) for we walk by faith, not by sight– (8) we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. (9) Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
Many things have changed in the small town where I grew up. Check cashing outlets and tattoo parlors have moved into town. Gone is the local Burger House and my alma mater, McBrien Elementary School, just across the road. Kingwood Pharmacy still remains a bulwark against the modern chain stores, but gone is my favorite childhood toy store. It had always announced the daily countdown till Christmas on a large sign above the front door. Gone are many businesses that created a small town look and atmosphere. Gone too is much of the innocence of the once safe harbor from the outside world where my friends and I used to walk or ride our bikes on a weekly basis up and down the main road.
But as sad as many of these changes to my hometown are, they do not represent “home” in my heart. Those are places I frequented in the [distant] past, but my childhood home is located in a house on McHann Drive. It was there where my siblings and I argued and fought. It was there where my mom prayed daily for her family – especially for her children. It was there where my family lived and loved.
I know that someday that house on McHann Drive will be gone. The ravages of time will take its toll or progress will overtake the neighborhood with new construction. And the Apostle Paul reminds us in the passage above that this physical home we call a body will wear out as well. But when the time comes for this earthy shell to pass away, we are told that a spiritual home will be ready for our habitation. And this new home, whose builder is God, is permanent!
But do we “groan” like Paul in our desire to reach our heavenly home? Does the idea even cross our
minds? That question was not intended as a rebuke to anyone but myself. I fear I am far too grounded in the here and now to be looking toward my heavenly home. This material reality with its promises of pleasure and its certainty of pain greedily clamors for my attention. But Paul gives us (me!) encouragement to make it our goal to live our life in God’s realm – the reality of faith (verse 6). Paul is not saying the world is not real. It is God’s creation. And He has placed us here to live for a short time. But Paul is telling us, while we are here, to focus our lives on being pleasing to Him no matter what the circumstances are in the world (verse 9). That is walking by faith – living in obedience to Him, in spite of the circumstances around us.
Perilous Times: A Study in Eschatological Evil (by Ken Gentry)
Technical studies on Daniel’s Seventy Weeks, the great tribulation,
Paul’s Man of Sin, and John’s Revelation
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
When our time is done and faith becomes sight, we will go to our eternal destination. And in that moment, we will have truly arrived home. Never to leave.
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