Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power"1 (Lyrics)
In 1991, when my husband, Terry, our three boys, and I went to Slovakia on a short-term educational mission, we were foreigners in the land. Needing groceries, we explored the little hole-in-the-wall shops in our new neighbourhood. There didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to them, as they each carried only a few food items, as well as other random things. We could get an idea of what was inside by the limited display in the small shop windows. One day, I sent Terry out to one of these small shops near our apartment. He hardly knew a word of the language, and felt like a fish out of water in his new surroundings. On the dusty shelves of the shop, he discovered that the labels on the cans had words, but no pictures! Other dry goods were packaged in small paper bags labelled in Slovak. Needless to say, he arrived home with groceries totally different from what I had requested. Shopping in Slovakia was only one of the challenges that proclaimed we were foreigners in the land.
Abraham, too, was a foreigner in a strange land.
Hebrews 11:8-9a – It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith — for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. (NLT)
Tents were easily moved from place to place in search of water and pasture for Abraham's livestock. Living in a tent as a foreigner is a temporary lifestyle. Abraham knew, however, that he was headed for "a better place, a heavenly homeland." (Hebrews 11:16a NLT)
For us, going to Slovakia meant leaving our secure lifestyle in Canada. We didn't really know what helping to start a Christian school would involve, but we followed God's direction. The city of Bratislava was not our permanent home, and we were ready to move again when God indicated that it was time to come back to Canada. Even Canada, however, is not our true home, because "we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives." (Philippians 3:20a NLT)
Colossians 3:2 – Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. (NLT)
Romans 12:2a – Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world. (NLT)
1 Peter 2:11a – Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it. (MSG)
One challenge as we live in this world is our attachment to our personal wants and goals and to our material possessions. I love my shelf of favourite books, and my closet full of craft and sewing supplies, but I can't make them more important than living to please God and keeping in mind His goals for me. Realizing that we're just passing through this world, let's build for eternity and not get too cozy here in this life.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that this world is not our permanent home, and that our real destination is heaven. Help us to live out eternal values and not to get too cozy in this life. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.