Home safe, forever!

homeA couple of months ago I took a road trip through the Midwest to visit family. I appreciated the break from the daily responsibilities of life!  We all need those times when we ‘get away and find rest and renewal in mind and body.  But, after several days I was thinking “there’s no place like home!”  Some will say I’m just getting old (I am) but I love ‘home,’ not just my house, but my place in this world, where I enjoy friendships, familiarity, and routines of my daily work.  One of these days, I’ll go home forever.

My phone rang twice in recent days with news of someone going home. My nephew stepped over the threshold of eternity on Thursday morning. Mary went home early on Sunday morning.  In those conversations I reflected on the practical counsel from the Word that reminds us that because of Christ’s assurance of eternal life, we “do not grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.”   I sang an old Gospel song as tears flowed down my cheeks, “Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast, There by His love o’ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest.”

My hope of being home safe, forever, grows almost daily it seems. The Bible teaches us to keep a loose grip on this present life knowing that we are traveling through this world- not home, yet! Peter reminds us that we are, ‘aliens and strangers in the world.‘ 1 Peter 2:11;  yes, we are ‘sojourners’  those who are temporarily living away from home.  In Hebrews we read the roster of faith in chapter 11 and learn that a key to standing strong is to live with heaven in our hearts.  “Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews 11:16, NIV)

You may ask, “How can Heaven be my ‘home’ when I have never been there?”  Good question!  If we want love Heaven then we must enter God’s Presence often, now.  In worship, in prayer, in service – we grow spiritually. More and more, with time, we come to be ‘at home’ where the Spirit is. Though we may enjoy many things in life, we find our greater rest in, our true sense of wholeness, in God’s Presence. I feel most alive, most at home, when I am with God’s people, in the Spirit, enjoying the fellowship of Jesus.  That is just a tiny sample of Heaven but it is enough to make me desire to be home safe, forever.

“Jerry, you must be depressed. Life is beautiful!”  I am not! And, yes, it is!!  Who does not love the hug of a child, being held by someone we love, taking in the grandeur of the world that God has created for us?  These are grace gifts to us while we make the pilgrimage to His home. I found many wonderful moments in my time ‘on the road’ a few weeks ago,  but I still longed for home.

Take this word from the Word to heart. It tells us about ‘life on the road’ and our anticipation of Heaven. Let it inspire you today. “We know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade —and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.” (2 Corinthians 5:1-5, The Message)

Believer, don’t try to make this world your permanent home.
Live to the full, give each day your best for the glory of God.
Announce the Kingdom of God to those with whom you live.
Keep Heaven in your heart.

Those who love Heaven most, live life best, guided on towards their Home.
________________________
Safe In The Arms Of Jesus

Safe in the Arms of Jesus
Safe on His gentle Breast
There by love o’er shaded
Sweetly my soul shall rest
Hark ’tis the voice of angels
Borne in a song to me
Over the fields of glory
Over the jasper sea

Safe in the Arms of Jesus
Safe from corroding care
Safe from the world’s temptations
Sin cannot harm me there
Free from the blight of sorrow
Free from my doubts and fears
Only a few more trials
Only a few more tears

Jesus my heart’s dear Refuge
Jesus has died for me
Firm on the Rock of Ages
Ever my trust shall be
Here let me wait with patience
Wait till the night is o’er
Wait till I see the morning
Break on the golden shore

Fanny Jane Crosby © Words: Public Domain

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