“You ever been to Asheville in North Carolina?” Stan asked me out of the blue one morning while we waited for breakfast.
“I’ve never been to North Carolina,” I replied. “Why do you ask?”
“A few years ago,” Stan said, “my wife and I were there for a ministry conference.”
“Good time?” I asked.
“Absolutely,” Stan replied. “Fabulous conference with a ministry that’s doing a wonderful job helping to build the kingdom.”
“While we were there with some free time,” he added, “we went to the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, where the author had grown up. One of his novels, which was published after his death, is You Can’t Go Home Again.”
“I suppose that’s interesting,” I replied, “but why do you mention it?”
“I was reminded of it in something I read in Matthew’s gospel the other day. Something about the story of a man I’ve wondered about.”
“There’s an account of how Jesus healed a man who was paralyzed. It caused quite a stir with some of the Jewish leaders, but it’s what the man who was healed did that caused me to stop and think.”
“What’d he do?”
“It says he picked up his bed and went home.”
“It made me wonder what I would have done if it would have been me. Also, I wonder what the man did when he got home. What would I have done?”
“Does the Bible give any indication of what the man did?” I asked.
“Not as far as I know,” Stan replied. “It just says he went home.”
“And what did he do when he got there?”
“Doesn’t say,” Stan said. “But I like to think I would not have gone home, but would have spent the rest of my life proclaiming to the world what Jesus had done in His amazing encounter. I imagine I would have become a disciple, and maybe even an apostle. But then I’m brought back to the fact that God does amazing things in and for me every single day and I don’t do anything but go home, have dinner, put my feet up, and watch television or something else not really great!”
“What’s the alternative?” I asked.
“How about what Jesus said,” Stan replied, “when He said to go into the world and make disciples?”
“Rather than just sitting around waiting for the train,” I said with a smile. “Is that it?”
“Bingo and Amen,” Stan responded. “Don’t just go home. Go somewhere else.”
Bible verses to consider:
And he rose, and went to his home. Matthew 9:7
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you have a place for me in your eternal home when my time here is completed. Thank you for that free and gracious gift of life eternally with you in heaven when it’s time, along with the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I am content to stay in my home here rather than going into the world to help build your kingdom. I do that because that is what I choose to do. Please forgive the foolishness of seeking to live apart from you and your will. And please help in following every step of your lead to leave the comfort of my home to go into the world for you. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you know you will spend eternity in God’s presence in His eternal home when your time here is completed? If no, why? What’s in the way of accepting His free and gracious provision of life eternally with Him? If you are a Christian, how are you doing with helping to build the kingdom so others can look forward to an eternal home with God? If you sense the need for change in presenting the heavenly home to others, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?