“But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:16 ESV
Do we have a view of an ultimate ‘homeland’ which better than our present circumstances?
If Abraham’s attention had been solely on an earthly residence and inheritance it would have been no trouble for him to return to his roots in Haran at any time – but be persevered in following the way that God led him and focussed upon His promise.
Do we get so caught up and distracted by all that clamours for our attention in the present that we barely have time to think about our heavenly future? Is this present the high point of it all? Does it get any better than this – or is it all downhill from here? Or is this part of the journey that has its ultimate destination in the heavenly city?
How do we use our time on this journey? The Great Commandment reminds us that God wants us to give of our best. The Great Commission reminds us that there is much to do in the present if we are to fulfill our calling and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a world without a hope of a heavenly destination, and to serve those whom God puts in our path.
Yet, we are not stationary. God is constantly on the move as is illustrated in Abraham, the Exodus and the life of Jesus. As God’s people we are called to follow. It may not mean a physical relocation, but could it mean a review, revaluation or renewal of ministry priorities in our fellowship?
Are we always seeking to know more of God and His heart for those around us?
‘But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself’. (Matthew 22:36-37 ESV)
‘And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)
‘And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:15-18 ESV)
‘… but we, ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.’ (Romans 8:23 ESV)
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.’ (Hebrews 10:19-25 ESV)