I have been homesick for many years. You see my home is not here on this earth. My home is special to me. It is where I was born. I was raised on this earth and have lived a better part of a century. But I do not belong on this earth. I am a stranger in a foreign land. I have never been at home here on this earth. My family have gone home, and I want to be with them. But I know that I am needed here and now. My family that are alive here need me. And my work for God is not over yet. But sometimes it is just hard to live on this earth. I have been home several times in this lifetime. I could only stay a little while. But my time in heaven was beyond description. When the saints in heaven began to sing the Song of the Redeemed, I began to shake. The song was so beautiful. This is why the angels stop and listen as the saint’s sing. I am not the only person who is homesick for heaven. The Apostle Paul wrote about it in his letter to the Philippians. My Father, God, is calling me home. And my desire to go home is getting stronger.
Philippians 1:20-21 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
What are the issues of Life? Everyone is hustling to acquire money, food, clothing, and shelter. People are climbing over each other to make their way in the world. They are acquiring educations, positions, power and influence to effect the outcome of the their life. Unfortunately, making their way in this world, means trampling someone else to get ahead. What is even more unsettling is that the church does the same thing. When I say the church, I am talking about the children of God. Those people who have given their heart to God. Since the beginning of time, God has provided for His children, protection, provisions, food, clothing, and shelter. But it seems that people are not willing to want on the Lord for provisions. I read a story in the Old Testament about Elijah. When he prayed that the rain would stop, it brought a famine to Israel. For 3 1\2 years, it did not rain in the middle east. God told Elijah to go to a certain place and stay there. Each day God provided food and water for him. No rain came until they were willing to listen to God. We have not had famines in our country. But we do have fires, floods, tornados, and hurricanes. Our economy has almost collapsed because of the Covid-19. Don’t you think God is trying to get our attention, just like He did for the Israelites and no rain. The Issues of Life are not food, clothing, and shelter. The Issues of Life are about seeking God and His righteousness. Because when we do seek God and His righteousness, He said that He would provide food, clothing, and shelter.
The story I want to tell you in 1 Samuel chapter 30. David and his army of 600 men, gathered with the Philistines to battle against the Israelites. David offered to fight the Israelites, because the Philistines had given David and his army sanctuary from King Saul in their country. Philistine leaders did not want David in their army for fear that David would turn against them. So, David and his army returned to Ziklag. In the mean time, the Amalekites had raid Ziklag and taken all captive, all their wives and children and all their animals. Then they burned Ziklag to the ground. When David and his men returned, they were all greived and began to wept until they had no strength left. Then David’s men became angry with David, to the point that they wanted to kill him. David had lost everything also. David turned to the one person who he knew would help him. David turned to God and encouraged himself in the Lord. He called the priest to bring the Ephod, the vest with the 12 stones of the tribes of Israel, to inquire of God. David asked God if they were to pursue the Amalekites and would defeat them. God told David to pursue and they would not lose anyone taken captive.
David pursued and destroyed the Amalekites. The battle lasted one whole day. And only 400 Amalekites escaped on camels. David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken from him and from the other cities they raided. David was encouraged by God, not only in the battle but before. Encouragement in the Lord is about what you believe. If you believe that God can defend and protect you, then He will. It is about faith in God and what you are allowing God to do in your life. God intervenes in the lives of man to bring about His plan for us. But to get God to help you personally is all about faith in Him. For God is a rewarder of them that diligent seek Him. So, what am I talking about? I talking about when we go through hell and need help. We are to turn to God and ask for help, knowing that God will listen and answer His children. When we encourage ourselves in the Lord, God is glorified and He answer our prayers.
The Word of God is quick, powerful, sharper than any twoedged sword, dividing asunder soul and spirit, and the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Our heart is who we are. It is our mind, will and intellect. The Word of God is writing and spoken. But more than that it is Jesus. He is the Word of God. Since the beginning of time, Jesus is the one who spoke to man. He gave to man the written word of God. Jesus did this so man would have a reference to guide him in life. He did this because man refused to keep the knowledge of God in his mind and heart.
John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
The best example of this is Judas, when Jesus and the disciples were at supper in Bethany. When all the men sat for supper, Mary, Lazarus’ sister, came with a bottle of spikenard. It is a spice used to bury someone. She anointed Jesus’ head and feet. She washed His feet with her hair. Judas Iscariot objected. He said we should sell the spice and give the money to the poor. But what Judas wanted to do is sell the spice and keep the money. Judas was the treasurer for Jesus and the disciples. Jesus said to leave the woman alone. She will be remembered for all times for she anointed Jesus from her heart.
All throughout the scriptures, God has always looked upon the heart of man. God knows that what is in the heart, is who the man is. Man cannot hide from God what is in their heart. From the beginning, God told each person to teach their children about God. This was for each person to have the knowledge of God in their lives. All throughout time, God has instructed man about the knowledge of God.
God has always tried the hearts and minds of man. Either you are for God or against Him. There is no in-between. If you do not choose God, you are against Him. Jesus said it Himself. That man loves darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. What God is looking for is a relationship with each person.
God is calling us to sacrifice ourselves just like Jesus. So that God can resurrect us to life. Yes, we must die to ourselves, so Jesus can live through us in this world.
I hope, I hope, I hope, then turn around 3 times and spit on the ground. Hope without faith is nothing. It will not accomplish anything. Hope with faith is believing in something. Many things are not worth believing in. Most things are temporary. They will not satisfy you. People believe they are right. But when they find out they are wrong, their world falls apart. People get disillusioned. Then comes hate, anger, and bitterness because they did not achieve their goals. Abraham Lincoln ran for public office 32 times. He only won one race for public office. That was the presidency of the United States. He never gave up and did not become discouraged. Thomas Edison tried 2000 ways to build a light bulb. He said I found 2000 ways how not to build a light bulb. Then I found the one way to build a light bulb.
Hope is where it all starts. Then come faith, believing that it will work. But the secret is not to become discouraged in the doing. What you do is to encourage yourself. Turn your hope into faith, believe that you can accomplish it. Then put it all into action. What you believe is what you are going to do. If you believe you cannot do it, you cannot. But if you believe your will, find a way to achieve your goals. Then you take hope and turn it into faith. Then you will achieve your goals.
Persistence is doing something consistently over a long period of time of time. My cat is persistent when she wants to be feed. She will not stop meowing until someone feeds her or we put her in her carryall. It can get quite annoying sometimes. Jesus used parables to teach people about kingdom principals. There is a parable about persistence called the unjust judge. In Luke 18, Jesus taught about having faith that persist. He said that there was a judge, who did not fear God or regard man. A women came to him to get a favorable judgement. At first the judge did not rule in her favor, but the woman persisted. She persisted so much that the judge ruled in her favor to be rid of her. Jesus said that this is how we are to use our faith toward God. We are to be persist in our believing. And God will answer our prayers. As the bible says that we first must believe that God is and a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Being persistent is what God wants us to be in the kingdom. Everything that we do in the kingdom rest upon us having faith and being persistent in that believing. So many people give up because they do not see the answer to their prayers immediately. The longest prayer I have ever prayed was 22 years. It was for the salvation and baptism of the Holy Ghost for my 4 sons. The shortest prayer was answered in a blink of an eye. Our faith must be persistent for God to bring about an answer from heaven.