“…I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also.”
A story is told of a missionary who returned from Africa to the USA in the early nineteen hundreds after a lifetime career in missions. When he arrived in New York City, he discovered he had been on the same boat with President Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt had gone to Africa to hunt and upon his triumphant return from Safari was met by marching bands, the press and crowds of celebrating people.
The missionary had no one to greet him as he got off the boat. He went to the little flat that had been rented for him in New York City and settled into a very modest place in order to spend his retirement years. There were no flowers and no cards; it was a quiet little place. He prayed, “God, it doesn’t seem right. Roosevelt comes home and is greeted by bands and the press, because he spent a few weeks shooting wild game. I’ve spent my life trying to lead people to Christ, and when I come home there is no welcome.”
God spoke to his heart, “Son, you’re not home yet.”
We need to realize that we’re not home. This isn’t it. Some of us find that no matter which local church we go to, we just don’t feel at home. We can change churches and even change denominations and no matter what we do, we still don’t feel at home. For a while things seem better, but then we again feel like a fish out of water.
Guess what? We are fish out of water. This isn’t it. We’re not home yet. Heaven is home. Everything else is just a place where we can learn the things we need to know for heaven. Hopefully, we can round up some other people to go there with us. That’s why we’re here. We’re supposed to be on mission, but this isn’t home. Don’t act as if it is.
What are you building? Wouldn’t it be stupid if the Wood family had decided to spend thousands of dollars remodeling the apartment we rented in Ukraine while waiting for our children’s adoption to go through? We could have bought materials there for a lot less money than they cost here. Labor and materials are cheaper there. We could have spent money to fix up that flat.
There are at least two reasons we didn’t invest in that apartment in Ukraine. Number one, it wasn’t our home. Number two, we were there for a very short time. It was a short-term, temporary situation. So is our time on earth.
Earth is not our home. Why do we invest everything in trying to make our situation perfectly comfortable here? This is temporary. I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t invest in a home. Your home is a good investment in the kingdom if you use it biblically for kingdom purposes. If you visit my home, you will see that I have spent most of my money, other than food and insurance, on my house. I’ve invested a lot in my house, because I entertain continually at my house.
Use what God entrusts to you for God’s purposes. Doing this requires daily vigilance. Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom…” Seeking is a daily activity. It is a prayerful responsibility.