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Vacation in Paradise

By the time most of you read this, my family and I will be heading out for a short vacation. Going on Vacation can be a very pleasurable experience…as long as you know where you are going. For example, my family and I are traveling through three states! Actually, we drive from Downey to Laughlin, NV then cross the bridge to Bullhead City, AZ. Not actually that expansive a trip. And we will soon return to Downey because that’s where we live – for now. But Peter reminds us that we are “strangers in the world.” (I Peter 1:1) We don’t actually belong here. Downey, CA isn’t really our home. We were re-born to live somewhere else. And IF we don’t remember that, we can get truly frustrated in this life. Jesus told us – “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33) Peter also tells the Christians he’s writings to the same thing: “…for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” (1 Peter 1:6)

We need to walk and run and dance because we’ve been given something the rest of the world doesn’t have. Let’s put a spring in our step because we’ve got grace and peace and mercy and hope. The reason we can walk like that is because we don’t belong here. We are just passing through. Our citizenship is in Heaven. You and I are CHRISTIANS – we are a free people. We are part of THE most powerful Kingdom on the face of the earth. And nothing this world can threaten us with can rob us of the blessings of that freedom. We should understand we are vacationing in a foreign land. You live right now in one of the richest nations on earth and you have advantages locals in many foreign lands you might visit don’t have.

And what advantages as Christians do we have??? For one thing, we’ve got the power to start our lives all over again… to begin anew. And because our best blessings are in heaven we have one more advantage over the world. That advantage? We don’t have to fear death. We have an inheritance that “… can never perish, spoil or fade— kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4).

This world is not our home. We’re just a passing through. I can’t feel at home in this world anymore, because this world is NOT my home. Life is only a short time here compared to eternity in our true home: HEAVEN! That’s one of the beauties of what God has explained to us. The grave will not hold us. One day we’ll hear the voice of the angel and the trumpet call of God and we will rise from the grave to meet Jesus in the sky. We’ll be going home! That’s the promise we’ve had ever since we became Christians. That’s promise that was declared to us in our baptism. This world is NOT our home. Our present life is like a vacation in that sense. It’s a short time for us to be here while we are away from home.

And when people get home from their vacations they share their memories. They show the pictures they’ve taken to friends and relatives. They post them on their computers. It’s almost like the most important part of our vacations are the memories we hope will last a life time. When you get home to heaven… what memories will you be able to share? What lives have you touched for Jesus? What people will be able to be in heaven with you because you took them to church? Or introduced them to Jesus?

Blessings,

Pastor Rich

 

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