Slabs poured, shelters built, utilities installed, the For-Most equipment bolted down, the Tru-Test scales installed, and with just a few more days of mounting guard rails and hanging gates, our cattle working facilities will finally be where we can use them. After almost three years of setting up and taking down makeshift catch pens and alleyways, we sure are looking forward to having some workable permanent facilities that are ready when we need them—especially since calving season is here and breeding season is just around the corner.
This all reminds me of when Lisa and I built our dream home in 1988. I so vividly remember drawing out the plans on paper and spending a lot of time working out all the details getting everything just like we wanted it years before we ever started moving dirt. So many details, researching and negotiating with subcontractors, picking out materials and appliances, choosing colors, strategically planning the placement of wall plugs and light switches—all with the expectations that everything would be just like we wanted them for the rest of our lives. Of course the Lord changed our plans and we sold our home and Angus herd in 1998 to attend seminary and start Cattle for Christ International.
As I thought about how much time and energy we spent planning the construction of our dream home, how hard we worked to build it, all the expenses involved, and the dreams and expectations that we had for our family, I was reminded of several realties: No matter how long or hard we plan, there will always be something that we wish we had done differently—something that just does not work the we way we planned. Even though we used the very best materials and workmanship, the home will not last forever. No matter how much we study or how many questions we ask, we cannot know everything we need to know to about the building process or about our own future to plan for every detail. We may outlive our possessions or they may outlast us, but neither will last very long. In a few years, we will be gone and our buildings and possessions will be left behind. A hundred years from now, no one will remember or even care how hard we worked or what we sacrificed to build or to accumulate all that we have.
I also think about another building, an eternal home that is being built, but not by human hands. A home built just for us, by our Creator and Sustainer, by our Savior, the One who knows every intimate detail of our being (past, present and future). The same God who from nothingness created and set the stars and planets in place, who invented time, who separated the light from the darkness, the land from the sea, who formed the first living cells, who controls the tides and the seasons, who sends the rain and the winds, who gave His life for the sins of the world and who defeated death, is the same One who is building an eternal home just for you, for me and for everyone who puts their faith in Him and accepts His forgiveness.
In John 14, Jesus said: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.
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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
There are a lot of promises of God in Scripture that give us anchors to hold onto, that bring us comfort during times of doubt, difficulty, opposition or oppression. This promise however has to be a among the most meaningful and significant, especially when we are able to see our own mortality, when we finally realize that our days in this life are almost over and the material things we have built or collected over our entire lifetime are temporary.
Just imagine the significance of an eternal incorruptible home custom built just for us by the hands of the One who created and sustains all of life and creation. The One who knows all things, is preparing a place tailor built for each of us who accept His forgiveness and submit to His Lordship. He is doing all the work—building our eternal home, and He has paid our mortgage in full. More important than the home is the One and the ones with whom we will live forevermore. A home and a life where there is no more labor, no more pain, no more sickness, no more heartache, no more worries, no more corruption, no more tears, no more sickness, no more death, no more loss. All who put their faith in Jesus will indeed experience life to the fullest for all eternity.
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."
He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son”. (Rev. 21:3-7).
The next verse however, begins with ‘but’, always a key word in Scripture, speaking of the eternal fate of those who have not put their faith in Christ and turned from their wickedness: “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars-- their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
These promises should help us understand the teachings of Christ concerning our emphasis on temporal things during our short life on earth when He said: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (MT 6:19-21).
Jesus has eternal life and an eternal home built just for you, but you have to come to Him to accept them. Please do!