It’s never easy leaving home no matter how many times we do this. To leave those we know and cherish, dear friends and family and a loving church family.
Grateful for the time spent back home: for the old friends met and new ones made, for family and my local church, time spent eating together, laughing, preaching and meditating.
They say home is where the heart is but a Christian would need two of these. For where we have the fellowship of believers then we are at home. So my heart is left behind and yet beyond another home awaits.
In the words of Mark 10:
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Praise be to our God who gives us a home with dear brothers and sisters wherever we go as citizens of heaven enroute our real eternal home with him.
When Christians make sacrifices in this life choosing service to the church and to the Gospel instead of being self seeking it looks foolish in the eyes of the world or even too much to other ‘Christians’.
In reality we don’t make sacrifices beyond what Christ has achieved in and for us. We only live out our new self as citizens of heaven following the example of Christ Jesus in this life ahead of his glorious eternal reign.
Rather what looks like sacrifice to some is actually a great privilege to serve King Jesus and be part of what he is doing in the world through his church.
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2.
When I think about the depth of my sins: my evil thoughts, malice, idolatry, the people I have hurt when I have put self interest before others, destroying when I should have built and thereby sinning against Christ Jesus…my heart pains deeply.
But then I remember the height and depth of his love that nothing can ever separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Nothing! Not even my sins that deserve my total annihilation because at the Cross he was cut off for sinful men like me.
Therefore, I rejoice not because somehow God has forgotten my sins and so I can be in good terms with him.
No, it is because he has seen it all and fully dealt with it when he gave his son to die for those who would turn to him for his forgiveness.
What a great joy to know that this wretched criminal has been washed clean and clothed with righteousness.
I’m a saint not as if I have never sinned or don’t sin but because my sins have been washed clean and my rebellion turned into love, self interest turned into the interest of Christ and his church, and my once guilty and dead conscience turned into a good living conscience.
see Ephesians 2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time,gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. also Romans 12:1-2