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Just Passing Through

January 1, 2019

Shortly after moving from Chicago to Louisville several years ago, I was back in Chicago for a visit. It was good to be back in the city I love so much. I love the family and friends I have there, the architecture, the lakefront, the grittiness, character and beauty of the city, and so much more.

On the last day of my visit, still drinking in my surroundings, I was shocked by the sudden realization that I don’t live there anymore. It’s no longer my home.  As I drove out of town and the city became smaller in my rearview mirror, I sensed God telling me, “I have good plans for you and your family in Louisville.” And I sensed him reminding me that whether I live in Chicago or Louisville or Timbuktu, this is not my home. The Bible says, “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20).

Within that truth, is the power to completely transform — to radically improve — our relationship with money.

So often, when someone has a ton of debt and a financial situation that generally doesn’t work, the common assumption is they need to cut back, tighten the belt, rein themselves in. But in many such cases, the real answer is far less intuitive. It isn’t that they need to stop stretching themselves too far, it’s that they need to stop settling for so little.

When we believe this world is all there is, and when we fall for the lie that our self-worth and satisfaction depend on the brands we wear and drive, it’s no wonder so many people live paycheck to paycheck. Life is short. If this is our one and only shot at happiness, we better get all we can as soon as we can. That’s the misguided mindset the apostle Paul highlighted when he said, “let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die” (1 Corinthians 15:32).

Of course, Paul knew that this is not all there is. And he said the Holy Spirit helps all believers experience that truth in very profound ways.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. – Romans 8:22-25

“The firstfruits of the Spirit” means the Holy Spirit’s presence in our life gives us the ability to experience a little taste of heaven here and now. And Paul said that naturally leads to two responses: A yearning for all of heaven (we “groan inwardly as we wait…”) and also the patience to wait. So let me ask you: Do you yearn for heaven?

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