August/ September 2018 - Vol. 99

Jesus embraces sinner with divine mercy
                            and blessing 
Uneasy With the World and Longing for Home  
by Tom Caballes

"How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God."
- Psalm 84:1-2 ESV
Some time ago, I went on an overseas trip that lasted a month. I visited beautiful buildings, historical places, and nice hotels, but after a few days, I felt uneasy and restless; there is something amiss and does not feel right – I am not at home. I started longing for home in far-off New Zealand. No matter how beautiful or majestic things I visited are, I know I will only be there for a short time. I then started reflecting – “Where is my true home?” I asked. Is it in Wellington, New Zealand, where I live, or in Manila, Philippines, where I grew up?  I realised that my true home is with God in heaven, where all my hopes, dreams and joy reside. As I walk in this life, I look forward to when I will finally see God face to face and enjoy His everlasting presence. I realised that I will always be uneasy and restless in the world because I am just a short-term visitor here. How about you – where is your true home? Do you long be in heaven? Is being with God in heaven your true hope, focus, joy, and security? Or are you very comfortable, contented, and at ease in the world?

So What Do We Do Now As We Long for Our True Home?  

  1. Do not settle for anything that the world offers. No matter how rich and famous we become, we cannot bring them to where we are going. No matter how gratifying anything in this world is, that pleasure is just temporary. We are meant for things eternal, not just for temporal things. We are just passing guests here.
  2. Focus on being rich in God’s eyes.  "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” [Matthew 6:19-21 ESV] We should focus on serving God and others in this life, not amassing wealth.
  3. Let God be your true source of security and joy and not material things. If your heart is focussed on your material wealth, you would naturally rely on them as your sense of security. But riches can come and go; God is always with you. Your only attachment in this life should only be with God; not money or riches, not achievements, not fame, and not even good relationships. All those things will one day go away.
  4. Because of sin, you encounter various hardships and trials at different points in your life – live out your life well. Never give up. Stand up when you fall. Glorify God in all that you do. Fulfill what God has called you to; seek His will in everything.  Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. [1 Timothy 6:12 ESV]
  5. Share the good news with all people you meet. All our relationships in this life are only temporary; if we care enough for our friends, we want them to go to heaven, too. There, we can be truly BFF – best friends forever.
  6. Anticipate your heavenly reward. It is good to visualise and contemplate what heaven would be like. Imagine having an immortal body. Imagine you will meet all the saints and martyrs of the past, and all family members and friends who have won the victor’s crown. Imagine no more death, disease, pain, and sorrow. Imagine that at the centre of it all will be God, whom you will walk with forever and ever. Isn’t that something worth longing and waiting for? Then we will truly be at home - our lasting, satisfying, fulfilling, and perfect home.   
Other Scripture passages:
  1. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:20 ESV) 
  2. Seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. [Colossians 3:1-4 ESV]
  3. But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him." [1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV]
  4. Other Bible verses: Matthew 7:13-14; John 14:2-4; Galatians 2:20; and Revelations 21:4-8. 
For personal reflection or group sharing
How focussed and invested are you on the things of heaven rather than things on earth?
Tom Caballes is the National Senior Administrator and a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with 7 branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads Kairos New Zealand, an outreach program for high school, university, and post-university aged people. 

Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters live in Wellington, New Zealand.

Top photo credit

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