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08_August_HOME

It's been one of those months when I have been almost continuously reminded of a soon coming event which every Christian is, or rather ought to be longing for with every ounce of their being.

The event in question is the promised and glorious coming again of the Lord Jesus to take His people out of this world to be with Him to the place He has been preparing for a very long time.

It all started earlier in the month when I visited Rest a While's 'Perhaps Today' page to look at a poem featured there. Then one thing led to another and I spent a while enjoying the relevant passages of Scripture foretelling us of this event. I then found an endearing YouTube video reminding me of what it might be like on the glad day when we are called away to that great reunion day when we will meet with loved ones who have gone HOME ahead of us. I shared a few thoughts with a friend via email about this subject.

And then one of our visitors staying in the apartment above our Gospel Hall took up this wonderful subject as part of his ministry. That same friend who I shared thoughts about the coming of the Lord earlier then posted on his Facebook wall some beautiful, and at the same time challenging thoughts about what we have to look forward to and what we ought to be up to while we are waiting.

So ... I believe it is probably my turn to make a small contribution :)

It occurred to me that while we have SO much to look forward to when we finally arrive to our home in heaven, and the joyful anticipation is of course understandable and recommended, it actually isn't all about the joy we will have when we get there!

Of course we all look forward to and trust that we will hear those words:

"Well done, thou good and faithful servant ...
enter thou into the joy of thy Lord"
Matthew 25: 23

But this is my point, did you see it? What does the Lord say here? Let me quote these words again and emphasise the words that stood out to me: "well done, thou good and faithful servant ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

The joy He desires us to partake of is HIS joy! This is the reason why He endured the cross - it was: "for the joy that was set before Him ..."  Hebrews 12: 2. But what exactly was that joy set before Him? Was it not the anticipation of having us with to be with Him in His home in 'the Father's house'?

I wonder if our desire to be at home with Him anywhere matches His desire for us to be there!

Now, if the Bible tells us that: "... When he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3: 2. And when Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven and prayed: "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." John 17: 24, could His joy about us being there have everything to do with the change that happens in us when we see Him at last?

Back in the beginning when the work of creation was complete, God looked at what He had done and said it was: "Very good." But all too soon it was marred by sin that the first man Adam introduced into the world, which subsequently brought the whole of creation into decay and the human race into condemnation.

So in the passing of time God sent another Man, this time He was perfect and totally unable to sin because of His purity and perfection ... because of course, God was His Father. This Man was to be forever an absolute delight to Him both here on earth and now in the presence of the Father forever.

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,
(and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)
full of grace and truth."
John 1: 14.

"This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
2 Peter 1: 17

Precious moments spent in the presence of the Lord reading His precious Word is a complete honour and privilege, and the more we do this, the more acquainted we are with Him, and the more like Him we become with every passing day.

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
2 Corinthians 3: 18

And if this is a change that is gradually taking place here and now, what will the change be like when we finally arrive HOME?

I am therefore confident and believe it is very reasonable to say that our beloved Lord Jesus is going to be absolutely delighted with having the place He has been preparing for so long filled with the people He paid so dearly for, with Him at last, and fully resembling His wonderful characteristics inside and out.

The Bible tells us of the love God has for people like you and me:

"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5: 8

It's not as if we were attractive or appealing in any way to God. He loved us while we were unlovable, appealed to us when we didn't really care, offering to us freedom and redemption we do not deserve! This is indeed what true love really is.

But in spite of our unappealing condition He anticipated having the likes of us
with Him for eternity worth the price He was about to pay.

The joy the Lord anticipated is the very same joy He desired to impart through His Words to those who trusted in Him: "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." John 15: 11.

Well, this is an amazing thing coming from the lips of the One who was called 'The Man of Sorrows." His heart was deeply grieved as He moved around in this corrupted system that had turned His wonderful creation into a decaying and declining mess ...

And yet He spoke of joy - the likes of which we cannot comprehend
but are privileged to partake of in an intimate relationship with Him.

We might not have much of what earth has to offer but with the peace of God that passes understanding, and with His unspeakable joy which is full of glory occupying our inmost being, there isn't much else we could ever have need of.

If we were to be in possession of all we ever longed for without Him, we would have nothing of any value. We would possibly be among the most empty and unfulfilled people to walk this earth.

But bless the Lord that there is something of so much greater value than the superficial joy that accompanies everyday life without the Lord in the centre of it.

Yes, this is the very same joy He desires for His people before we even come into His glorious presence. We who have trusted in the Lord Jesus are:

"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing
of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."
Titus 2: 13
.

Everything about being with our beloved Lord and Saviour fills us with joyful anticipation. I believe thoughts about this wonderful event touch us as individuals in different ways.

Of course we will all appreciate being delivered at last from the presence of sin.  For some, the freeing of sickness, pain and heartache is what they long for so much. And for others, maybe for us all the joy of being reunited with loved ones who have arrived in heaven before us is what we anticipate.

But oh, the thought of seeing the One whom we have never seen before and having the privilege of gazing into the eyes of the Lord and Lover of our souls surely supersedes all other joyful thoughts of being in that place we call HOME.

What greater joy could we ever envisage than entering into His Joy. Being in the place where He wants us to be. Our hearts bursting with exuberance. And to see the absolute joy of His dear heart expressed in His lovely face.

I can hardly wait, how about you?

Perhaps Today
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>> Do you have any questions or comments? I would love to hear from you - why not say hello down below!

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