I jerked out of my jet-lagged stupor
“Farang!” the Thai lady repeated as she pointed to the passport queue in Bangkok airport.
Farang is the Thai word for foreigner. I’d heard it twenty years ago in a village off the beaten track near Manorom in Central Thailand. Back then cute Thai children smiled & pointed at my pale skin,freckles & curly hair & called out ‘Farang!’
In South-east Asia I was a long was from home & was definitely a foreigner!
Post-Brexit we are considering our nationality & citizenships -Northern Irish, British , European & the implications of each label.
Just after the apparent upheaval, of the Referendum, I read :
‘But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ’
We as Christians need to shift our axis, for ultimately, our citizenship is in heaven.
So, let’s ‘Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.’
(Colossians 3:2 NIV)
As I followed my reading plan, I read these prophetic words:
‘They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings- and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.’
(Revelation 17:14 NIV)
Our God is still on the throne. He has always been in control. He is Lord of lords, & King of kings. He’s got the whole world in His hand- that includes you & me, our wee country , our malunited kingdom, splintered continent & the entire broken planet.
I was reminded of the Bible study of the book of 1st Peter last year. A central theme in this book is that God’s children are sojourners or temporary residents here. Aliens in a foreign land!
As Billy Graham said:
“My home is in heaven. I’m just passing through this world.”
In the Hall of Faith we read that Abraham lived as a stranger in a foreign country, ‘For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.’ (Hebrews 11:10 NIV)
Wherever we live here, whatever our country or city, we are eternal beings with body & soul:
‘I have found a desire within myself that no experience in this world can satisfy; the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.’
Home is often more than bricks & mortar. It’s the place where we belong.
‘Home is a physical space; it’s also a state of mind’
I believe that home is not a place or space but a Person.
At an OMF Conference in 2013 the speaker concluded:
‘Our lives are a journey & God is our home’
He echoed these ancient words of truth:
‘Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.’
(Psalm 90:1-2 )
The Eternal God is our heart’s true home, our dwelling place, our refuge
The cross is our only way home. The only way to ‘the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time’
(Titus 1:2 NIV)
‘Though I am broken
Grace is my welcome home to You’
‘Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
(John 14:23 NIV)
‘Home is where Jesus is’ was the slogan written on the roof of a makeshift home in a refugee camp photographed by Open Doors
In Him we have ‘Never-ending joy, never-failing love.’
In this journey we call life,
‘Our father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns
but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.’
‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.’
(1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT)
‘We were made to run through fields of forever
Singing songs to our Savior and King
So let us remember this life we’re living
Is just the beginning of the beginning
Of this glorious unfolding
We will watch and see and we will be amazed
If we just keep on believing the story is so far from over
And hold on to every promise God has made to us
We’ll see the glorious unfolding’
(Glorious unfolding-Stephen Curtis Chapman)
Life here is as restrictive as the bud before the blossom, as limited as the cocoon before the metamorphosis into a butterfly!
This world is not our home- we’re just passing through. There will be trouble & tears, illness, disappointments, upheaval, wars & rumours of wars.
But, ‘Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.’ (Thomas Moore)
For, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’
(Revelation 21:4 ESV)
This world that we’re passing through is ultimately passing away:
‘The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
My chains are gone
I’ve been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace’
(Chris Tomlin -Amazing Grace)
As we journey through life:
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.’
(John 14:1-3 NIV)
‘You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.’
Don’t ever forget:
*‘Our citizenship is in heaven.’ (Philippians 3:20-NIV)
*‘Our lives are a journey & God is our home’