In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12
A missionary was returning home after several seasons overseas. As he rode the train, he met a man who asked, “Was anybody there to welcome you when you got off the ship?” The missionary said there hadn’t been. The man laughed and said, “Sir, your life has been wasted.” The missionary could only reply, “I’m not home yet.” Hearing the remark, the unbeliever thought the missionary was implying he would be met at his last stop by bands, speeches, and great crowds of Sunday school children. It was not to be so.
When they arrived at the home station, there was not a soul on the platform to greet the preacher. The unbeliever smirked as he strode away. Standing alone, even the missionary felt a little down. He had done, to the best of his ability, what God had asked him to do. Would it have hurt somebody, anybody, to remember him and come out in welcome? Then as he stood, the Lord talked to his heart and said, “You’re not home yet.”
Those words provided a great deal of comfort to the missionary. He was able to remember what he had been preaching all these years: This world is a temporary home for Christians. It is a place of transition. No one who lives in this world can say that they have truly reached “home.”
Nevertheless, as we live our lives, each passing day takes us closer to that final moment when we will breathe our last. Will that moment be filled with terror and fear? Will we struggle against a “great unknown”? We will not, if Jesus is our Savior. Christ entered this world to bridge the gap created by sin—the gulf that separated us from His heavenly Father. Jesus lived, suffered, died, and rose so that we might approach God with freedom, not fear; with confidence, not cowardice. Now Jesus sends His Holy Spirit so that, with faith, death is no longer a fearful prospect.
By the blood of Jesus Christ, those who in repentance trust Him as their Savior and Lord, are freed. Yes, they will still encounter problems as they travel home. Like the unapplauded missionary, there will still be crosses, pains, and sufferings. But we can find contentment. We know Jesus is with us, watching over us, keeping us safe until the time comes when we eventually reach our heavenly home.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on August 3, 2003
The Prayer: Dear Lord, teach me how to appreciate my temporary earthly home as I encounter daily situations. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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