Summary: Focus on Heaven motivates you to action, gives understanding, and produces an attitude of thanksgiving.
Homesick for Heaven
Do you remember this old chorus: “This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. Tthe angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door, and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”
That sounds like a song for the Homesick Soul. Have you ever felt homesick? It’s the feeling that often comes in a time of change. Have you recently moved to a new city? Changed jobs? Lost a loved one? Endured a divorce? Gone away to college? Joined a new church?
I remember a time I felt homesick: I was in South India, walking to a village in the middle of the night. We were crossing a stream barefooted (that was the only way to get there.) I remember looking at a full moon in the sky and feeling so far away from everything familiar. I felt like a stranger in a strange land.
It’s times like that when the words from Hebrews chapter 11 come alive to us. By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his interitance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country … for he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Hebrews 11:8-10
Did Abraham and Sarah feel Homesick? Did they get tired of living in tents and traveling in a caravan? Did Sarah miss her balconied home, carpets, potted plants and other luxuries that she left behind? Did Abraham miss his hometown where he had been a man of wealth and status? They probably felt homesick now and then. But the Bible makes it clear that deep down they had no regrets. Hebrews 11:15 & 16 explains: If their hearts had been in the country they had left, they could have found opportunity to return. Bu 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.
I can visualize Abraham whistling the tune to “This World Is Not My Home.” You see, God had set eternity into Abraham’s heart. I believe that somewhere inside us God has placed that same eternal homing instinct. Whether we are in our home town --- or in some foreign country on the other side of the earth --- we always feel a little bit homesick. We feel Homesick for Heaven.
Why should we put our minds on heaven? Because meditating on heaven transforms us here on earth. For one thing, thinking about Heaven will help you live a LIFE OF ACTION.
1. Life of Action
One of the most active weeks of my life came on my second trip to India. The Indian Preachers wanted to take me to sing and preach in every village in the area. That meant getting up before dawn and getting to bed around 2:00 in the morning day after day. After a while, all I thought about was crawling into bed somewhere --- anywhere! In fact, I was so tired I wanted to quit.
But then the crusade time ended. We got together in a large building and heard testimony after testimony about lives that were changed by Jesus Christ. Believe me, after hearing what God had done, I felt embarrassed about my irritation over lack of sleep. After all, I would soon be boarding a 747 and returning to the land of hot showers and Serta Perfect Sleepers. The opportunity to teach, preach, in India was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
That’s the same way we can look at all of life. Someday we’ll share a Heavenly celebration where we’ll hear testimony after testimony around the Throne of God. Will we be embarrassed by the past? Will we remember times we missed the opportunity to share Jesus with a friend? Keeping Heaven in mind can motivate us to be ACTIVE for God now. The bumps and bruises of life are nothing in comparison to what lies ahead!
Listen to how the Apostle Paul said it: I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 And a few verses later, he said, Our citizenship is in heaven. Philippians 3:20
Thinking about Heaven will also help us life a LIFE OF UNDERSTANDING.
2. Life of Understanding
If you’ve ever visited a foreign country, you know how important it is to understand the culture of that country. For example, I found out that in India, the left hand is considered “defiled.” It would be an insult to reach out and take something with your left hand, or to eat a meal with your left hand. Now, for a left-handed person like me, that was an important thing to know ahead of time!