Focused living helps us to value heavenly treasures above all other things.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
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. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were 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.
Hebrews 11:1-2, 13-16
Focused Living Properly Values Heavenly Treasure
Have you traveled to a different country before? It can be so exciting to visit new places—new sights and sounds, new food, new culture, and so much more! It’s often very eye-opening and a wonderful learning experience to explore another country.
As fun as this can be, often when you travel—especially to places far away—you quickly realize that you don’t belong there. You don’t look or act like those people. The food is not what you prefer. The sleeping arrangements may be uncomfortable. Everything about this “other” place builds up over time to the point that you just want to scream, “I just want to be home!”
Funny example: Once I went on a mission trip to Africa with eight American teens. It was the trip of a lifetime and we had been looking forward to it for weeks. But after many hours of exhausting travel, arriving to accommodations that were not usual for Americans, and seeing a rather large wall spider, one young lady screamed, “I want to leave! I want to go home! Now!” We hadn’t even been there 10 hours. These are the times we remember just how special “home” truly is.
Sometimes we get a little too used to the things of this world. We fall in love with the possessions, experiences, and desires of this world. But while there are many blessings of God to enjoy in this life, we have to realize that we don’t belong here. This isn’t really our home. When we forget this, sometimes God allows reminders in our lives. Suffering, sickness, problems, and persecution will quickly remind us that we need God and we need something better, or rather, some place better that doesn’t have any of these problems.
Thanks be to God that he has given us just that. We have a different home, a citizenship in a better country. Jesus’ life and death for us gives us full and free citizenship in God’s city. We have the sure and certain hope of living in an eternal home with God in heaven.
In Hebrews 11, the great Heroes of Faith chapter of the Bible, we are reminded of how many believers of the past had the proper focus. Instead of worrying about all the troubles and problems of life in this world, “they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one.” That home with their Savior was their ultimate goal. It’s not that nothing else mattered, it just didn’t matter as much as being with God in heaven.
So too for us. Enjoy your journey through this life. There is much to see, do, and experience! There are many blessings of God to enjoy, and it is a good gift of God to enjoy them. Yet all the while, remember what the famous hymn says, “I’m but a stranger here, heaven is my home!”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you have prepared a place for us with you forever in heaven. Keep us focused on our heavenly home that we may have proper perspective on what you give us in this life and on what is coming in the next. Amen.