By: Jenni Walker
“But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again” ~Jeremiah 29:10
“This life helps prepare us for the glory of the heavenly kingdom…here on earth we may have a foretaste of the divine kindness, so that our hope and longing may be kindled for the full revelation of it.” ~John Calvin
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In Part 1, we talked about the significance of home in the holiday season with three proactive attitudes that we should cultivate to give us the clear insight and perspective that God wants us to have about HIS purpose and design for home. After the first, to Make Your Home, we ought to…
- Remember Your Home
This world is not our final destination. Right now, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and He has made a residence in our hearts. But one day, we will be with Him for eternity. He has prepared a place for us, and we will finally and truly be “home” when we see Him face-to-face! (Revelation 22:4)
But while we are here on this earth, we can gain a foretaste of the next world. Oftentimes, the holidays produce in us a beautiful nostalgia. But there is also a longing that gets stirred in us that we may not quite be able to put our finger on. What is this longing that we feel when the family is gathered cozily with pie and coffee in the living room, the Christmas tree is lit, candles on the fireplace mantel are flickering, and Bing Crosby is crooning “White Christmas” in the background? I believe that at the holidays, home for many of us gives us a foretaste of the life to come: our eternal home.
Jesus said to His disciples in John 14:1-3, shortly before His crucifixion, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
The last several chapters in the book of Revelation describe what it will be like when we are finally with the Lord. It will be the “full revelation” of the divine kindness that we have had a taste of in this world. It will also be a time when “God will wipe away every tear” from our eyes, and there will be “no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, and there will be no more pain.” (Revelation 21:4)
This world is not our final destination, so let’s choose to consciously be in remembrance of our eternal home! We are called as Christians to look at what is unseen, but this will work in us a deeper longing for our “habitation which is from heaven.” (2 Corinthians 5:2) We will get to BE with Him! (2 Corinthians 5:8) The more we grow in our spiritual-mindedness, with our eyes fixed upon Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2), the more our awareness of eternity will be stirred in us where will be “always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
- Invite Others Home
When we have cultivated a God-honoring attitude of intentionally making our home and of remembering our eternal home, the third attitude will come naturally: That of inviting others home. This is the most action-oriented of the three “home” attitudes God wants to foster in us, and it is two-fold. First, in Romans 12:13, we are commanded as followers of Jesus Christ to distribute to the needs of the saints (our fellow brothers and sisters in the body of Christ) and to be “given to hospitality.” The word given in this verse means literally pursuing hospitality. Make your home a place of hospitality where all who enter experience the light and love of Jesus! You can do this for your family members, neighbor children, friends and loved ones, a small group, a missionary family, etc. Home is one of the ways God designed for believers to minister to one another!
Secondly, knowing that we have an eternal home with Jesus should compel us to tell others, too! When we live spiritually-minded with the ever-growing understanding that this world is not our home, our longing for the Lord will intensify and our sense of urgency to share the transforming truth of the Gospel will, too!
Habits of Home
With the Christmas season once again behind us and a new year ahead of us, seek the Lord about HIS design for home in your life. As we close, prayerfully consider some of the following questions:
- Make your home: Is there an area that needs God’s truth and wisdom as you “make your home” to His glory? Does a “keeping up with the Joneses” attitude motivate you, or does a desire to bless others? Does your family truly feel “at home” in your residence? Why is this so important, both on a practical and spiritual level?
- Remember your home: Do you frequently consider that “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21)? Do you live with an awareness that for Christians, death is just a gateway to eternal life with Jesus? That He is preparing a place for us? This does not mean that we do not tend to the affairs of this life – God is in the details and wants us to do whatever we do with an attitude of excellence as we “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17). Yet, why is it so important to live with an awareness of eternity? How can you become more spiritually-minded? How will this affect your day-to-day attitudes and actions?
- Invite others home: Who does God want you to invite into your home this year? How can your physical residence become a place for spiritually-minded fellowship with other believers? Or a place of powerful prayer that extends beyond the walls of your home and has repercussions that God uses to reach into eternity? Secondly, how can you live with even greater intention this year as an ambassador for Christ? Our goal is not just to make life better for others while they are here. We MUST tell them about everlasting life through salvation through Jesus Christ! A few quick ideas: Prayer calendar for international missions endeavors; showing the love of Jesus at a local soup kitchen; a short-term mission trip as a family; host a meal for a missionary family who spoke at your church and learn from their experiences; invite an unsaved relative to church; guide your children in being spiritually-minded in their friendships, helping them to pray for the salvation of their friends and to be a verbal witness, too (inviting friends to church, hosting a neighborhood “Good News Club,” etc.); visiting a nursing home with your children and having them distribute hand-made pictures or cards to the residents with notes of encouragement such as “Jesus loves you and so do we!” Use that creative mind that God has given you, and do SOMETHING for the sake of the gospel. Start somewhere, put it into action, and just see what God does. People are searching whether they realize it or not, and you are a tool in God’s hands to invite people HOME!
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