Our three-year-old granddaughter has several little backpacks that she keeps loaded at all times ready to go see Sassy and Bub (the names our grandchildren chose to call us!). When we go to her home, she puts those backpacks on home fully intending to get in the car with us when we leave. I can’t tell you how sweet and dear that is to Pam and me.
Did you know that Jesus wants our bags packed and ready to go home with Him? This is very dear to Him. He doesn’t want us to be so into and of the world that the desire of our heart is to be here and not with Him. It seems the wealthier our part of the world determines if we are packed and ready to be with Him or not. Many of the hymns sung by folks who came out the Great Depression were about heaven described as “the sweet by and by…we will meet on those glorious shores.” Life was harsh in those days and they looked forward to being in heaven with Jesus. Do we? James 1:27 cautions us “to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
We are admonished in 1 Peter 1:13, “Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.” Peter encourages us to consider ourselves “as foreigners” in this world so that our focus is Jesus and living for eternity.
Hebrews 11 is called by many as the “hall of faith” listing and briefly commenting on some of the great men and women of God in the Old Testament. This is what was said about them, “13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth… 16 longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” Considering themselves to be “foreigners and strangers on earth”, these faithful men and women had their bags packed while in this world ready to be with their God.
In 2 Corinthians 5:6-9, Paul the Apostle gives us the proper perspective that as believers we should have in this world, “6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. Paul is simply saying here, live by faith with your focus not on this world. Don’t let your life goals and purposes be worldly but eternally to please Him.
Are you bags packed and ready to go?