24 May 2009

Your Eternal Dream Home

I scaped some land yesterday (aka landscaping) for a friend. This is a different aspect of housework than was discussed last time, but can be glorifying to God all the same. It was an effort to bring order, function, and art to an unruly yard. It is subduing creation (Gen 1:28).

As I worked, I thought of John 14:2, "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you."

So it seems that housework like this is glorifying to God in the sense that He is doing it too. I mean this in a much more literal sense than cleaning dishes. We could talk about how the Church is God's building as in Ephesians 2:10,20-22, or how our work in God's kingdom is like building as in 1 Cor. 3:9-10. For now I want to look at how God is literally in the house construction business.

I helped landscape so someone's house could be more pleasant. They wanted a "nice" home. There is some room for this, but in reality it is another form of nearsightedness, a lack of eternal perspective. Randy Alcorn writes in Money Possessions and Eternity,

When I was a pastor, a wonderful couple came to my office and told me they wanted to be able to give more money to the church and to missions, but they couldn't if they were going to keep saving to build their dream house. They said, "We've always had this dream for a beautiful home in the country, and we can't seem to shake it. Is that wrong?" I told them I thought their dream of a perfect home was from God. I think they were surprised to hear that. Then I said, "It's just that your dream can't be fulfilled here, in this world."

Our dream house is coming; we don't have to build it ourselves. In fact, we can't. Any dream house on earth will eventually be ravaged by time, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, carpenter ants, or freeway bypasses. Who would want to divert kingdom funds to build a dream house on earth if they understood that either it will leave them or they will leave it? Instead why not use our resources to send building materials ahead to the Carpenter, our Bridegroom, who this very moment is building our dream house in heaven?

He goes on to demonstrate from scripture how our heavenly dwellings and rewards are described as very tangible things. The magnitude of our reward then is proportional to our Kingdom work now on earth.

If we imagine that Jesus employs the angels in our heavenly building projects, we might envision asking them, "Why isn't my house larger than this?" To which they might reply, "We did the best we could with what you sent us."

Perhaps like me you sometimes enjoy driving through rich neighborhoods to admire the homes. But let's not set our sights so low. Let's not be jealous of those with a nice house but empty soul. Let's not make our lives about affluence but rather about obedience, knowing we will surely be rewarded after our work is done.

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