- The joy of conversation.
- A well-crafted argument.
- Music (Boston College professor, Peter Kreeft has famously argued for God’s existence by pointing to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach).
- A well-told story.
- Marital intimacy.
- Wildflowers. (Beautiful flowers on the side of the road? That nobody plants?)
- A good, strong cup of black coffee.
- Don’t forget your deliverance.
- Don’t forget My promise.
- Don’t forget I fed you in the wilderness.
- Don’t forget that all you have you were given.
- Don’t forget a perfect Sacrifice will come.
When Caleb was a year old, our family moved to Thomasville, Georgia. I had taken a job on staff at a church there and became immediately enamored by this charming Southern town — her sweet people, rich history and stately Old South architecture.
I loved Thomasville.
In the weeks leading up to our move, I began poring over maps and articles about Thomasville. I picked up every piece of free promotional literature the Chamber of Commerce offered and read them all, front to back. An insufferable know-it-all, I felt obligated to share what I learned with Bridget and my, was she grateful!
I bet you didn’t know that Joanne Woodward, Bailey White and Heisman Trophy Winner Charlie Ward were all born in Thomasville.
Bridget would cock her head with interest, no doubt grateful to be married to such an informed man (and one so willing to share!)
After we moved there, I continued to fascinate her with all that I knew about our new home. In the evenings, if we were walking Downtown, I might casually gesture at one of the buildings,
Mamie Eisenhower used to get her prescriptions filled at Thomas Drug Store. You know, the Eisenhowers visited here often. That Ike was quite a quail hunter! Yes Sirree.
You know what else? You’ll be interested to learn that Jackie Kennedy’s first public appearance after JFK’s assassination was right there at All Saints Episcopal Church. She used to take mass there whenever she visited the plantation.
As you might expect, Bridget was just riveted. I became an obnoxious fan of Thomasville; the mayor could not have been prouder!
I laugh about it now, but it somehow seemed important to me to know all that I could about the place that would be my home! Which leads me to ask, how well do you know your future home?
Paul challenged his Colossian friends:
If you have been raised with Christ, seek [keep on seeking] the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds [direct your fixed attention] on things above, not on things that are on the earth.
I wonder: Does your mind ever drift to the place that will be your home in 75-100 years? Do you ever think about it? Does heaven occupy your thoughts at all? Do you love it? How long would it take to exhaust all you know about your heart’s true home? A young woman in our church, a 19-year-old, will often remind her struggling friends of our hope. “Ah”, she’ll say with a bright countenance, “but heaven’s coming!”
It is interesting to me how little attention is given to that place that Paul describes as “far better” (Philippians 1:23). If you’re typical, you will expend more mental energy this week considering how to make life comfortable or how you might delay your departure through diet and exercise than to considering the glories of eternity. How much better that we grow in our affections for a place and condition that is (according to Paul in Romans 8) incomparable?
Consider heaven. Can you imagine what it will be like open your eyes in place unaffected by sin? Can you even fathom the experience of seeing our Beloved Lord Jesus, face to face?
Imagine your future home. John describes its capital city as a place of incredible natural beauty with rivers and streams and fruit-bearing trees and mountains! As I write this, East Tennessee is showing off her Fall color and it is spectacular! Heaven is better. John said that in this restored earth there is a “river . . . bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, through the middle of the street of the city.” The dimensions are massive (Revelation 21:15-16). Were the New Jerusalem positioned over the lower 48, it would extend from the Appalachian Mountains where we live to the Sierra Nevada mountains out West and from the southern border of Texas up into Canada! What a wonderful place our Bridegroom has gone to prepare!
It might do your soul good to think a little bit today about your future home! Randy Alcorn can help you get started here.
No practice that I am aware of more effectively serves the soul like frequently reciting gospel themes to yourself. This is often called, “Preaching the gospel to yourself”. Throughout Scripture, examples are given of believers “singing” their theology. This is a long-forgotten hymn written by Augustus Toplady, who gave us “Rock of Ages”. The text of this song has encouraged my heart. I’m certain it will yours as well:
From whence this fear and unbelief,
If God, my Father, put to grief
His spotless Son for me?
Can He, the righteous Judge of men,
Condemn me for that debt of sin
Which, Lord, was charged to Thee?
Complete atonement Thou hast made,
And to the utmost farthing paid
Whate’er Thy people owed;
How, then, can wrath on me take place,
If sheltered in God’s righteousness,
And sprinkled by Thy blood?
If Thou hast my discharge procured,
And freely in my place endured
The whole of wrath divine;
Payment He’ll not twice demand,
First at my bleeding Surety’s hand,
And then again at mine.
Turn then, my soul, unto thy rest;
The merits of thy great High Priest
Speak peace and liberty;
Trust in His efficacious blood,
Nor fear thy banishment from God,
Since Jesus died for thee.