Jump Start # 2528
2 Corinthians 5:2 “For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from Heaven.”
Our verse today comes from that wonderful section where Paul illustrates the contrast between being here and being there. Here, represented the physical, or as he says, the earthly tent. It’s temporary. It’s burdened. It’s where we are now. It’s what we know as life. But over there is the future and permanent house, the eternal with God in Heaven. Here on earth, or there in Heaven, that’s the contrast. We are here now, but we’d sure like to be there in Heaven. The verse states, “we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from Heaven.” To be rid of the physical and to be eternal with the eternal God is what he wanted. It was his wish. It was what he “groaned” for. To the Philippians, Paul said, “to depart and be with Christ…that is much better.”
We sing, “This world is not my home,” yet I wonder how little longing, groaning and desire we really have for that heavenly home? We can become pretty satisfied with things here. Life’s not all that bad, we tell ourselves. We get used to things and comfortable and the next thing you know, we’d just as soon make this the eternal home.
Now, some thoughts to consider:
First, the level of groaning and longing for Heaven is directly related to how we view death. There are some who want every treatment, every procedure, every action done to keep them alive here. It doesn’t matter how painful it will be. It doesn’t matter how little good it will do. Families demand that everything be pumped into ole’ grandma to keep her alive. If she codes, resuscitate her completely. I wonder, if behind much of this are folks who do not have much longing for that heavenly home. Stay here as long as you can and finally, when all other options have been exhausted, then go to Heaven. That’s not the spirit I find in the N.T. That’s a lot different from, “I’d rather be over there.”
Second, that heavenly “groaning” comes from putting some thought into that. When we think about things, we tend to get excited about them. Getting ready to go to Disney, you think about that. You get excited about that. A girl thinking about her upcoming wedding day, a child thinking about Christmas, a man thinking about retirement, when we put some thoughts into those things, a level of anticipation, looking forward to and excitement builds within us. It’s the same with Heaven. Maybe there is little groaning these days because there is little thinking about it. Our thoughts, our time is spent so much with earth bound endeavors, that Heaven seems very distant to us. We use the expression, “Heaven Bound” all the time where I worship. It’s the name of our bulletin. It’s what we call our podcast. We are a people headed towards Heaven. Think about it. Talk about that. Dream about that. Groan for that.
Third, getting that Heavenly perspective comes from pouring spiritual things into our hearts and surrounding ourselves with like people. Watching the nightly news won’t make you think much about Heaven. Ballgames, as fun as they are, won’t do that. Movies won’t do that. But worship certainly will. Reading God’s word will. Having conversations with other Christians can do that. And, all of this effort helps us to remain focused upon what really matters. It’ easy to get sidetracked and it’s easy chase things that do not matter. However, keeping Heaven before our eyes and longing for it, will help with the choices we make. It will help with our attitudes. It will help with how we spend our time. The more Heaven that is in our hearts the more likely we will be walking the way the Lord wants us to.
Fourth, won’t it be wonderful once we are there. Can you imagine?! Heaven. Seeing it not as a visitor or a tourist. Not just spending a weekend there. But our home. No other place to go. No other place we’d want to be. Safe. Secure. Loved. Accepted. Trouble free. Burden free. Sorrow free. Satan free. Can you imagine who you’d see? Can you imagine seeing the face of Jesus? I don’t think we’ll miss planet earth. I don’t think we’ll wish that we could go back.
Longing to be clothed with our dwelling from Heaven. It won’t be long! We’re marching to Zion. Looking forward to that wonderful, wonderful day!
Live as if you have one foot already there.