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The Problem With Earthly ‘Forever Homes’ (via Christina Fox)

Watching a few episodes of ‘House Hunter’ style tv shows and you’ll become familiar with the search criteria of the ‘forever home.’
That’s the place where you expect to live until you can’t live in a house anymore.
While a sense of stability is helpful in raising a family, Christians already have a forever home.
And it’s not at any address on the present iteration of earth.
You can live in one place all your life as a Christian, but still think of yourself as a sojourner.
Doing so helps us remember that our address is part of our service to God, not something in which we find our personal security and identity.

From Christina Fox.

The idea of a “forever home” also presupposes that God wants us to park ourselves in one spot and plant roots in the soil of this world. Many in our culture view this world as all there is. They don’t believe in life after death; therefore, they have to live their “best life now.” They have to meet all their goals, achieve all their dreams, and acquire all they can in the here and now. For some, that includes a “forever home.” If life ends at death, it makes sense that one would want a beautiful home to live in “forever.” But for those who are in Christ, we know that this world is not all there is. We are pilgrims— nomads on a journey in this world. This is not our home. Like Abraham, whom God called to himself and set him on a journey to the land of Canaan, we are on a journey to a place God has promised for us. And like Abraham, we won’t settle in that place in this life—he didn’t own but a burial plot when he died.
Our own Savior didn’t have a home of his own (Matt. 8:20).

Read the whole post here.

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The Comforting Church (via Christina Fox)

True Gospel comfort is meant to be shared.
From Christina Fox at the Gospel Coalition:

This story of gospel comfort in 2 Corinthians reminds us that we’re all united to Christ, and that when he is at work in one of us, it affects all of us. God’s grace multiplies as it works through the life of a local church.
The comfort God gives, however, isn’t for us alone. We can’t hoard it. The ways the gospel has changed us must be shared; the truth of who Christ is and what he has done must be voiced.
Based on this truth, the comfort we give to one another in the church isn’t the “you can do it” and “everything will be okay” comfort of the world. No, this comfort is honest about sin and its effects. It doesn’t sugarcoat or wish things away. Instead, it seeks hope and help outside of our own strength and in the only One who can save. It’s grounded in the glad news of who Christ is and what he descended to do.
What does such comfort look like in the church?

  • When the Spirit helps us put sin to death, we share that joy with other believers so they too can rejoice in the gospel’s power at work.
  • When we’ve endured a season in which God met us in our pain, we share it with other believers so they too can see God’s faithfulness.
  • When God provides what we need in the eleventh hour, we share that joy so others can know that God is Jehovah-Jireh, our provider.

When God strengthens us in weakness, when he heals and brings redemption, when he teaches us through discipline—in all these ways and more—we share that comfort for another’s spiritual good.
May our friendships in the church be unique. May they be marked by gospel comfort. And just as Paul, Titus, and the Corinthians experienced God’s comfort, may the gospel come full circle in our own churches as we witness and testify together to what our King has done.