NOT HOME YET!
Jesus says, “And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. But many who seem to be important now will be the least important then, and those who are considered least here will be the greatest then.” Matt. 19:29-30
Dear Reader, a missionary couple who had served for many years in Africa was returning to the United States. Leaving Africa with broken health and no pension, the husband and wife felt defeated, discouraged, and afraid. As it turned out, President Teddy Roosevelt was travelling on the same ship with them. Of course, it caused a great commotion as everyone tried to catch a glimpse of the President, who was returning from a hunting expedition. In every neighbourhood village and city of the ship’s route, people gathered to welcome him.
The missionary commented to his wife, “Something is wrong. Why should we, who have given our lives in service to the Lord all these years in Africa , come back and not receive any fanfare or attention? And this man, who has done nothing more than just go on a hunting trip, is the center of attention. It just doesn’t seem right.” When the ship arrived, a brass band played and the Mayor welcomed the President. The missionary was so discouraged. “It isn’t fair,” he told his wife. “Why have we not received any attention or adulation for what we have done? God is not treating us fairly.”
The wife replied, “Honey, why don’t you just go and tell that to the Lord?” Out of love and respect for his wife, the husband went to pray. A little bit later, he was smiling. His wife said, “You look different. What happened?” He said, “Well, I told the Lord how bitter I was that the President received this tremendous homecoming, while no one greeted us when we returned home. Then it seemed as though the Lord put His hand on my shoulder and said, ‘Son, you are not home yet.’ ”
My friend, we are co-workers with Christ to populate the kingdom of God and depopulate the kingdom of Satan . Jesus Christ came to establish the Kingdom of God or earth and our assignments on earth are to increase the people in it. Listen! God sees those things you do for Him, even when no one sees it. He pays attention to you or praises you for it. And He will reward, compensate and bless you accordingly. You don’t have to be seen on the scene to be rewarded. Everyone will be rewarded. But remember, we are not home yet. So, keep serving God. Keep praying for people and helping them. Keep doing good and witnessing.
In 1 Samuel 30, we find the story of David leading his men to a successful battle. As they were returning home, those who stayed behind and watched the camp and the camp’s supplies met them. But some of the troublemakers who had fought in the battle didn’t want to give any of the spoils of the battle to those who stayed behind. My friend, listen to what David said: “But as his part is who goes down to the battle, so shall his part be who stays by the supplies; they shall share alike” (I Sam 30: 24). Can you imagine that today?
Whether God has called you to serve Him in such a way that people see or notice you on the TV screen; whether He has called you to serve Him by supporting others who are seen on TV and those are on the go preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and delivering people from the oppression of Satan, God will bless you and reward you in that final day. The Bible says, “He who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labour.” (1 Cor. 3:8) My friend, maybe you feel as though your life isn’t really making a difference or that what you have to offer God doesn’t mean all that much or you are not recognised. You will be in for some surprises in heaven, because what may not seem very valuable on earth will be of great value in heaven.
I read a story about a man who found an old, blue-and-white vase while he was cleaning his attic. He took it to the auction to sell it, thinking he would probably get £20, £30, or maybe even £100 for it. To his utter amazement, the vase sold for £324,000.00. It was an original, 15th-century vase from the Ming dynasty. My friend, listen! What may not seem that valuable now will be later. Until then, we need to be faithful with what God has given us to do. I strongly believe that there is going to be two big surprises in heaven: One, many of the people we expected to see there may not be there. Two, many of the people we never expected to see there will be there. Will you and I be there? Will you make heaven? We are not home yet. Keep serving!
Are you tired of trying continued service simply because people don’t recognize you, celebrate you or appreciate you? Are you tired of trying again? Are you feeling like giving up on your spouse, child, friend, co-worker or on your unsaved loved ones? Are you afraid of failing in an area of your life and assignment? Don’t give up! Strength, help and solution are on its way for you. Failing does not make you a failure, giving up does! Not learning from your fall or failure does! Refusing to put your past behind you does! Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. The courage to continue is what counts.” He was right. My friend, it’s not the size of the man, or who he surrounds himself with. It’s not the things he has or the things have not done that make him who he is. It’s what lies in a man and what he does with what is in him that makes him who he is. Keep on praying, keep fighting, keep witnessing, keep sowing, keep giving, keep helping others, keep loving, keep forgiving and keep trusting!
My friend, failing to continue to try is the greatest failure anyone can experience, for if you don’t make the attempt, you’ve failed already! If you really want to grow, continue to attempt great things without worrying about the possibility of failure or what people are saying. Have you given up your dream? Have you given up in the area of relationship or in the area of your business or ministry? Have you surrendered to that sickness? Maybe you are thinking that you cannot have that child you have been praying for? Do you live in fear in the land you are now; thinking that you cannot possess the land? Don’t give up. The Bible says, “If you faint (give up) in the day of trouble (adversity, challenge or problem) your strength is not enough (weak).” (Pro. 24:10) But if you persevere, with God’s help you’ll succeed. For I am certain of this very thing, that He by whom the good work was started in you will make it complete till the day of Jesus Christ. Don’t allow what’s happening, what others are saying, your feelings or your situation discourage you, remember, “you are not home yet” Remain blessed!