Just a few things that were part of my message last Sunday morning that did not get ‘aired’:
It is amazing how much someone would treasure their citizenship. If only we would do the same regarding our citizenship in heaven. In his 2010 memoir, A Journey: My Political Life, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair shares the following story: A friend of mine whose parents were immigrants, Jews from Europe who came to America in search of safety, told me this story. His parents lived and worked in New York. They were not well off. His father died when he was young. His mother lived on, and in time my friend succeeded and became wealthy. He often used to offer his mother the chance to travel outside America. She never did. When eventually she died, they went back to recover the safety box where she kept her jewelry. They found there another box. There was no key. So they had to drill it open. They wondered what precious jewel must be in it. They lifted the lid. There was wrapping and more wrapping and finally an envelope. Intrigued, they opened it. In the envelope were her U.S. citizenship papers. Nothing more. That was the jewel, more precious to her than any other possession. That was what she treasured most.
Prepare your heart for your departure.
If you are wise, you will expect it every hour.’
Saint Isaac the Syrian
In order to treasure and appreciate heaven – you must be aware of the counterfeit sources of satisfactions. Tim Keller used the following example to show how to find ultimate joy and satisfaction in Christ:
Do you remember when your mother used to say, “Don’t eat candy before meals?” Why did she say that? Because she knew it would ruin your next meal. The trouble with eating candy is that it gives you a sugar buzz, and then you don’t feel hungry. Candy masks the fact that your body needs proteins and vitamins. The sugar buzz from candy masks your hunger for the real nutrients that you don’t have. Things like sex, power, money, and success—as well as favourable circumstances—act like spiritual sugar. Christians who have these spiritual candies may say, “Sure, I believe in God and I know I’m going to heaven,” but they’re actually basing their day-to-day joy on favourable circumstances. When the circumstances change, it drives us to God, because when the sugar disappears, when the candy gets taken away, we’re forced to pursue the feast that our souls really crave. We’ll hunger for the spiritual nutrients we really need.