2/1/12

Longing for Home

We've all heard catchy slogans about home, like "Home is where the heart is" and "Love begins at home." My favorite Christmas pillow bears one of them: "All hearts come home for Christmas."

After a marvelous vacation to Israel ~ something we looked forward to for years ~ my husband I nonetheless sighed with contentment as we returned from the airport and drove into our driveway. No matter where we roam, we love home best. Dorothy said it well in the 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz: "Oh, Auntie Em ~ there's no place like home."

I know there are always exceptions, but for most people, there's something comforting about home. Beyond the bed that seems more comfortable than any on the road, we're where we belong. We're free to be ourselves. It's "home base" for everything else we do.

Usually, my husband and I travel together. But when I've traveled alone for conferences or speaking engagements, returning home is especially sweet. I'm returning to the welcome and embrace of the one I love. "I'm so glad you're finally home," he says.

I wonder if I will hear from Jesus someday ~ "I'm so glad you're finally home."

This world is not my true home, in spite of all the trinkets I've collected along the way that stuff my closets ... in spite of all the plans I make in my study and the people I entertain in my dining room. As a young girl, I sang, "This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through." As an older woman, I believe those words more than ever.

Jesus told His disciples not to worry when He went to heaven, because He was going to spend His time preparing for their arrival (John 14:2). Heaven is a real place the Master Carpenter is constructing for us with many dwelling places. Jesus is readying our home right now, and we will reside there forever with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

As I read about our heavenly home, I am struck by its breathtaking beauty. John describes the New Jerusalem as a glorious bride dressed for her husband (Revelation 21:1-4). The ugliness and pain of earthly circumstances will be a thing of the past. The preacher R.G. Lee once described heaven as "the most beautiful place the mind of God could conceive and the hand of God could create."

I used to be upset, as a young girl, to think that God wouldn't let everyone into His heaven. But over time, I saw two things at work. God's love, goodness, and grace says, "Whosoever will, may come," but our Father's holy nature demands that only those who have their sin covered by the sacrifice of His Son may enter the heavenly home.

In my earthly home, I would not welcome someone to come into my house and then "live like the devil." It's my home; I make the rules. Even so, the Father makes the rules for entering and dwelling in His heavenly home. Jesus said it was through Him alone (John 14:1, 6). Because heaven will be populated by a holy God and His Son, and the millions of saints who are made righteous in Him, I will be able to dwell there in safety, joy, and complete satisfaction. I will join with my brothers and sisters in serving and worshiping my God and my King.

On an especially tough trip, recently, I found myself longing for my home in California. In the same way, the more I think about heaven, the more I long to be there. The older I get, the less the "trinkets" of this world pull on my spirit. The more I want to be with Jesus.

How about you?
I've been talking about longing for "home" in heaven. But more important that that, do you know you are going there for sure?

Here are some scriptures to prepare yourself for heaven, if you aren't sure:

(1) Understand that your sinful nature separates you from a holy God, so that He cannot fellowship with you. God cannot allow sin into His holy heaven (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 3:23; Habakkuk 1:13a).

(2) Your good works and religious observances are insufficient to gain acceptance with God or admission to heaven (Romans 3:10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7). Your goodness is simply not good enough, because you are not good enough. God doesn't grade on the curve.

(3) But there is a solution ~ God's love made a way for us to have fellowship with Him and live with Him forever (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18).

(4) God doesn't force us into a new relationship with Him, and He doesn't make us go to heaven. (In fact, we'd be miserable there, if we weren't rightly related to Him!) But God does ask us something of us ~ God says we must confess our sin and receive His Son, Jesus Christ ~ to trust in His death for our sins (1 John 1:9-10; John 1:12; John 3:16-18).

(5) When we come to God His way, through Jesus, we have eternal life and a home in heaven (John 14:1-6; Acts 4:10-12).

(6) God will continue to work in us to make us more like Jesus, and ~ while we don't work to get to heaven ~ our good works after we have received Christ will bring glory to God and accomplish His purposes (Romans 8:29; 1 John 2:6; 1 Corinthians 10:31; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

When we focus on heaven as described in the Word of God, our longing to live there with the One we love increases. If we're not longing, perhaps our focus is elsewhere.

4 comments:

debbie said...

So true LOVE it and I am reading it at a most appropriate time. God is so good!

debbie said...
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debbie said...
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Dawn Wilson said...

Thank you, Debbie. God is indeed good to meet our needs in unexpected ways. Blessings to you.