Tag Archives: this world is not my home

Leviticus 14, Psalm 17, Proverbs 28, 2 Thessalonians 2

 

I don’t know why exactly but since I was a child, I have always felt wrestling in my heart: a sort of homesickness though I have never been far from home. I have always had a stirring in my heart for as long as I can remember that wants to be home with the Lord. As an adult believer, this is not so surprising but when I was eight, people thought it was quite strange! I was keenly aware of the happenings in the world around me and would look for signs that pointed to Jesus’ return for his believers. Though I believed in Jesus at a young age, I can still remember feeling fearful of the unknown that may occur at any moment.

 

Today, things have not changed much but as the crazy events of the world seem to be increasing like the speed of an out of control freight train I can hear some of my same childhood fears in my own children’s words. The nightly news, school system, smart phones and social media is very different than when I was young and my children hear so much more than I do and so much quicker but their fears are the same as mine. So, we talk about God’s word and his promises and pray for our brothers and sisters who are persecuted. Reading this passage reminds me of a few more nuggets of truth to share with them straight from Paul’s mouth:

 

        Don’t worry- we haven’t missed the boat! Jesus came for our sins and we are currently waiting for his return to conquer sin and death and take us home. Don’t be confused by false prophecy or words from fools! (2 Thess 2:13)

 

        Things are going to get worse before they get better but that’s not a surprise! It doesn’t surprise God and it shouldn’t surprise us. (2 Thess 2:3-4)

 

        Nothing will happen without God’s say so. He has already planned Christ’s return and knows the day and the hour and nothing will happen until then! (2 Thess 2:5-7)

 

        We know Christ has already won the battle! If we are in Christ, the victory is already ours no matter how bad things get! (2 Thess 2:8)

 

        It seems like evil is winning and fools are prospering but it’s only an illusion! (2 Thess 2:10-12)

 

        Believers in Christ were chosen before the foundation of the world and called through the gospel and will glory with Christ! (2 Thess 2:13-14)

 

        Though the world seems to be falling apart, stand firm and hold to the teachings found in God’s word! (2 Thess 2:15)

 

The only way to combat fear is through the powerful Word of God. I am always encouraged when I read that the first believers struggled with the same fears and worries as I did. It’s why Paul was writing.  We will soon be going home but until then, let us continue to walk daily in the truth! 

 

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” Amen.

kateredding

 

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Daniel 1-3, Psalm 88, John 17

Finally! We are out of the first stage of child rearing, praise the Lord! Finished with diapers, super late nights and early mornings. All of the kids can feed themselves and use the bathroom. They can even shower independently and help clear the dishes meals. Ending this stage of life brings a huge sigh of relief for my husband and me. Most days we felt like we were in survival mode just trying to make it through. Now that the children have all entered elementary school, our challenges are no less but very, very different. As they leave our home each morning, I am often praying that they will be able to live in the world without being of the world. That’s certainly difficult concept to explain to a young child and something that makes much more sense as their relationship with Jesus grows over time. As parents we are now in the teaching and guiding stage. They rarely understand why we make certain decisions or why we set up restrictions for their protection. We are not always the most well liked parents and we have already heard of how uncool we are because “everyone else is allowed to do or have _______” (and we don’t even have teenagers, yet).

I love reading the books of the Old Testament to my kiddos. They speak of real life people, their experiences and the lessons they learned. Daniel is a great example of one who lived in the world but was not of the world. He was taken from the comfort of his home, surroundings, and family and plopped down in the middle of a foreign country to serve a pagan king. Everything he grew up knowing was put to the test. But despite the change in his environment and surroundings, Daniel maintained his faith in the one true God. He remained faithful and lived with integrity even when the king commanded him to do something against his spiritual beliefs. Daniel did not give in and the Lord rewarded him for his faith.

“But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or with the wine that he drank. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs.”  Daniel 1:8a, 9

Daniel faced many challenges particularly in relation to his faith while in the king’s court. The world he was thrown into was not one whose goal was to glorify God and serve him but to serve a pagan human king. Daniel maintained his integrity and faith and knew that answering to the Lord was far greater than answering to the king.

After reading this story with my kids and talking about living in the world, we tried to come up some modern day examples of things they are asked to do that would compromise our integrity and beliefs. In Daniel’s case, he was asked to eat foods that were offered to idols and to bow down and worship the king’s golden image. Today, it may be listening to music that’s not encouraging and uplifting, watching a movie, TV show or video game that has inappropriate content or pressure to use foul language.

Like Daniel, Christ lived away from his home when he came to earth to save us from our sin. He experienced the trials and tribulations that we suffer and was even tempted to sin. He knew as long as we live in the world, we will be tempted to become part of it. He even prayed for us.

15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.[a] 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them[b] in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself,[c] that they also may be sanctified[d] in truth. John 17: 15-19

Instead of becoming part of the world, the Lord wants us to be separate and share His love with others. We are here to glorify and worship Him alone no matter the cost. It is becoming more and more difficult to carry out this mission in our culture. As Christians, we are looking more and more foolish to the unbelieving world where the lines between right and wrong and good and evil are beyond blurred. We must pray for our children daily as they learn to live out their faith.

Dear Jesus. Help us as we live in this world to remain faithful to your call and be separate from this world. Help us to lead our children with truth and wisdom. Amen.

Kate

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Psalms 61, 62 and 65; John 13: 21-38

Last week my husband and I were heading down South on vacation.  Along the way,  we took a detour and visited the home I moved away from some 40 years ago.  The old neighborhood is in the midst of an old Victorian summer village and there wasn’t much room for change. Most of the woods, creeks and homes I traipsed about are still there,  but being there felt like an odd dream.  Familiar trees remain, but they’re huge.  The old landmarks are still present,  but gone are familiar faces.  I remember when we moved from that little town to a very busy, paved suburb,  and how I grieved the loss of hills and woods, but time healed.  You can go back, but you can’t always go back home.  This truth hurts a bit as my daughter just moved out of our home and our tearful goodbyes are fresh memories.  Our home isn’t the same without her.  These earthly homes change.

David’s words soothe that ache in my heart:

My soul finds rest in God alone;  my salvation comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation;  he is my fortress,  I will never be shaken.  Psalm 62:1-2

I long for my true unshakable home:

I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.  Psalm 61:4

It gets better yet:

Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts!  We are filled with the good things of your house,  of your holy temple.  Psalm 65:4

Jesus reassures me:

Where I am going,  you cannot follow now,  but you will follow later.  John 13:36

I have been blessed with a beautiful physical home,  not just my mailing address,  but this earthly human frame that God breathed life into.  Time marches on.  Houses eventually crumble,  bodies fail,  people we love come and go.  Nothing stands still,  but there is this unmovable certainty of my home.  The place where my heart is always welcome:  a place of joy,  peace,  protection and rest,  the place my Father dwells.  Today I enjoy but a glimpse of the heavenly home my Father has prepared for me and one day,  I’ll know this home fully and forever.

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, John, Psalms

Leviticus 14, Psalm 17, Proverbs 28, 2 Thessalonians 2

And I – in [Your] righteousness I will see Your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing Your likeness.

Psalm 17:15 NIV

___________________

“This world is not my home, I’m just passing through.
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore?”

© 1965 – Albert E. Brumley & Sons

Recently, I had a conversation with two good friends about dealing with sin in this world and in our own lives and longing for heaven so we can be rid of it all. It is so frustrating to me to have to deal with the same issues over and over again and wondering if I’ll ever be cured of it.

Bad news…it’s part of the condition that our race is infected with.

For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the One who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the splendor of His coming.

2 Thessalonians 2:7 & 8 NIV

Good news…I know Who wins in the end. I have a Savior who lifts me up time and again freely offering forgiveness and mercy. He gives me the strength to go on, to resist sin and to fight the good fight for Him.

He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

Proverbs 28:13 NIV

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

2 Thessalonians 2:16 & 17 NIV

_________________

Lord Jesus,

Thank you for Your salvation and for rescuing me from the eternal grip of sin. This world is not a pretty place to live in sometimes and I get easily discouraged dealing with the sickness of sin in my life.  You never promised a smooth and carefree life here on planet Earth, but instead You promised that You will come back, and make all things new and we will dwell with You face to face forever more! Hallelujah!

Amen.

– Beckie (look2thehills)

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Filed under 2 Thessalonians, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Proverbs, Psalms