Longing for Our Heavenly Home

2 Corinthians 5:1-5 ESV

“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.”

The tent that is our earthly home is our physical bodies. If our bodies are destroyed, they are dead. But if we are followers of Jesus Christ we have a home in heaven. But until that time that we die, and we leave our earthly bodies to join our Lord in heaven, we groan in our earthly bodies. We have aches and pains. We get hurt. We suffer.

I am almost 72 years old, will be at the end of this month, and I am feeling my age every day, even more so now that my right knee is in constant pain and it has weakened. I have lived a long life and a lot of it has been a hard life with much suffering. So, I am definitely longing to put on my heavenly dwelling and to be with my Lord forever.

I think my prayers become more like Paul’s the longer that I live in that I am ready to leave this world and to join my Lord in heaven whenever he is finished with me on this earth and he is ready to take me home. But until then I will continue to serve him in all the ways in which he has called me to serve him as long as he gives me strength.

I hear many people talk about heaven in terms of being with their loved ones who have gone before them. I do think about that sometimes, too, but my main focus is being with Jesus for eternity. And I also do think about not being in pain anymore, and no longer suffering, and no longer crying, and there being no evil or evil people there.

But I need to say here that not everyone goes to heaven, though it sounds that way when you hear people talk, especially if someone they loved died. They speak as though all their loved ones end up in heaven and they are reunited with all their other loved ones who went before them. I know it sounds good, and it is a comforting thought, but it isn’t the truth.

Only those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ, who have died with him to sin, and who are living to him and to his righteousness have the hope of eternal life with God in heaven. So, if you are still living in sin, still addicted to particular sins you don’t want to let go of, the Scriptures do not give you the hope of heaven when you die (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).

2 Corinthians 5:6-10 ESV

“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”

Some days are harder than others. Some days have more pain and suffering while other days are more comfortable and tolerable. So, some days are a little harder to be of good courage, and yet we must. We must not ever let our earthly pains and sorrows overtake us to the point to where we lose our joy and our peace and our courage to keep moving forward.

It is tempting, at times, to just want it to all be over and to be able to be with our Lord in heaven pain free, but Jesus didn’t promise us a life free from suffering, did he? In fact, he promised us the opposite. He said that to follow him we must deny self and daily take up our cross and follow him. He said we would suffer for the sake of righteousness, too.

So, despite our pain and suffering we must rejoice. Despite the things we go through in this life which are hard on us physically and mentally and emotionally we must persevere. We must move forward in the strength of the Lord. Now, we must also get adequate rest and take good care of our bodies, too, and not be foolish.

So, we walk by faith and not by sight, and that is important because there are going to be a whole lot of things we are just not going to understand. We are not always going to understand why God allows us to go through the things he allows in our lives, so we have to trust him that he knows best and that he has a purpose for it all, and so we rest in him.

So, we move forward even when we can’t see what lies ahead. We do what the Lord asks us to do not knowing where that is going to lead and whether or not a hammer will come crashing down on our heads. And what I mean by that is we live in a day and age when the gospel is under fire so we are going to face opposition when we are teaching the truth.

But no matter what may come our way our goal should always be to please our Lord in everything we are and do and say. Every day we must deny self and take up our cross and follow Jesus in obedience. Every day we must put the flesh to death and choose to do what is right and to refuse to do what is wrong. And every day we must choose to please our Lord and not ourselves.

And, no, we aren’t pleasing the Lord just because we made a confession of him as Lord of our lives. We please him by what we do. So, we are to find out what pleases him and we are to do it. We are to live lives worthy of the Lord, pleasing him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work. For, if we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life.

[Rom 8:8; 2 Co 5:9-10; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:10; Col 1:9-11; 1 Thes 2:4; 1 Thes 4:1; 2 Tim 2:4; Heb 11:6; Heb 13:6; 1 Jn 3:22]

Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful

Keith Green

Oh Lord, you’re beautiful,
Your face is all I seek,
For when your eyes are on this child,
Your grace abounds to me.

I want to take your word and shine it all around.
But first help me just to live it Lord.
And when I’m doing well, help me to never seek a crown.
For my reward is giving glory to you.

Oh Lord, please light the fire,
That once burned bright and clear.
Replace the lamp of my first love,
That burns with Holy fear.

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