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Friday, 13 December 2013

A new home!

Yesterday, 20 years and two days since we moved in, my wife and I left our Motherwell home to move "up the road" to Wishaw.  It's not only a house move, it's a 'downsizing' - and that's the difficult part!  It's not the excess furniture that is the problem - most of it has an alternative home already ear-marked.  It's not the 'when did we last use that?' kitchen utensils and gadgets that are causing difficulty.  It's not even the clothes (although my wife is dropping very strong hints about the number of neck-ties that I possess!).  No, for me, the problem is books!  I am a confessed bibliophile!  I have managed to dispose of most of my non-theological books, but thinning that lot out ... ... ce n'est pas facile, mes amis!

We had looked at a number of flats (apartments), but this one seemed to 'fit the bill' and, with our offer accepted, and a relatively small mortgage (plus personal loans from a couple of friends), we arranged the move - and are happy to report that all went well.  Of course, we could be emptying boxes well into the new year!

In his second letter to the early church at large, the apostle Peter writes: "I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to arouse you by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me." (II Peter 1:13-14; RSV).  The word translated "body" is the appropriate form of the Greek word "skenoma".  That word means 'an encampment'.  Figuratively, it refers to the the tabernacle (tent) in which the presence of YHWH met with the High Priest of the Children of Israel, as they wandered in the wilderness after their miraculous escape from Egypt, and prior to their entry to the Promised Land.  It also refers to the body, as residence of the spirit.  Indeed, the A.V. translates the word as 'tabernacle'.

What Peter knew was that he would not always be in this mortal tabernacle.  He knew that he would soon be leaving it - and going to a new home!  Had not Jesus promised: "In my Father's house are many rooms (mansions); if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." (John 14:2-3).

The late Jim Reeves used to sing, "This world is not my home; I'm just a'passin' through; my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue."  Paul wrote: "We are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord." (II Cor 5:8).

So perhaps moving into a new home is a particularly good time to contemplate that final move.  You see, each of us will, whether we realise it or not, make that move - either when we meet with physical death, or when the Lord calls His own to meet Him "in the air". (see I Thess.4:17).  The only question is "Where will your eternal home be?"!

I am so glad that, almost 55 years ago, I committed my life to the Lord Jesus.  I know that I have failed Him often over those decades.  But I also know that He has never failed me and that, as I come to Him, and confess my failings, and shortcomings; my inability to meet even the standards I set for myself, let alone the standard of perfection set by Almighty God; my sinfulness, and sins; "He is faithful and just, and will forgive [my] sins and cleanse [me] from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9).  However, I also know that "If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (I John 1:10).
Do you have that prospect of a home in heaven; of an eternal day in the wonderful, glorious, awesome presence of the Lamb of God?  If you don't, then why don't you consider, right now, His offer of full salvation.  It's an offer that beats all of the 'special offers' that the world offers, especially at this Christmas season.

He said, "Come to Me , all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." (Matt 11:28-30), and "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me; and him who comes to Me I will not cast out." (John 6:37).

Will you take Him at His word?  Will you?  You'll never regret it if you do - and you'll have a new home waiting for you, that will be yours throughout eternity!

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