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Travelers: Resting in the Truth, This World is not Our Home

Whether we move around or stay in one place, feeling at home can be difficult. As Christians, we are travelers passing through this perishable world, trying to reach our true home.



I am a traveler and an exile. This is not my home, but I can still live in the confidence that my Father is good and just.

Whether we move around or stay in one place, we are travelers passing through this perishable world to reach our true home...Jesus. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #home #heaven #earth #faith #travelers #hope

Where is My Home?

This year I will celebrate a milestone. It is the longest time my husband and I have lived in any one location. 8 years and as I think about what it means to have a home and to be a part of a place, I keep coming back to the time I spent in 1 Peter. The exiles, sojourners, and the travelers he wrote to knew what it was like to be in a country that did not want them. Where the political climate felt unnerving at best, and unsafe at its worst.

I have lived away from home in the sense that my husband and I have lived in a few states- Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, South Carolina. So, I learned really quickly to make a home wherever he was and wherever my children slept. I was often “not from around here” and learning the systems spoken and unspoken has taken some time to understand. Some I never did pick up on.

This is not My Home

I am not just a traveler in the earthly sense, though. I am a heavenly traveler too. This is earth not my home and Peter reminds us of this truth over and over again in 1 Peter.

Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;

1 Peter 1:23

Why do we forget? Why do I make this earth and all that it has to offer so valuable? I think Jesus knew our flesh would be tempted to depend on what we could see, touch and contain. He reminded His disciples…

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

I Forget

Jesus knew we would face temptations and trials. He knew our frame –that we were dust and frail and prone to give up and give in. But, He still called us…

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9

He Reminds Me

Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

1 Peter 2:10

No matter where I lay my head, I am His and I have an eternal home in heaven. As I have gotten older, I long for heaven more. I grow weary of seeing people I love suffer through illness and fear. I see sadness and overwhelming grief. But, I have also seen God’s hand move in ways I would have never dreamed was possible, in spite of me and my unbelief. How can we find hope in the midst of such uncertainty? I think we trust in the example that our Savior gave us…

When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.

1 Peter 2:23b

While We are Travelers, We Can Trust Him

Jesus had every right to demand better treatment. He was God. He had every reason to want obedience and worship. But, He knew that He had a good Father that He would trust with His very life. And so do I. When my life is not making sense, I can lean into Him. I can trust that He sees the whole picture and knows me and knows best.

This is not blind faith. It is faith informed by His word. What do you need help releasing that is really just perishable, won’t last, can’t satisfy? He bore our sins so we could die to sin and live to righteousness. Jesus is our home.

No matter where we lay our heads, we are His and have an eternal home in heaven. What do you need help releasing that is really just perishable? He bore our sins so we could die to sin and live to righteousness. Jesus is our home. Click To Tweet

Whether we move around or stay in one place, we are travelers passing through this perishable world to reach our true home...Jesus. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #home #heaven #earth #faith #travelers #hope

All scripture references come from the English Standard Version.
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home, joy, pilgrims, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Pilgrims: Learning to Be in The World, Not of The World

As believers, we are pilgrims who live in the world but are not of the world. We must embrace this identity to truly follow Christ. 



Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.

1 Peter 2:11

Recently my sister in law made an intriguing comment. She was recounting a simple, yet profound statement that her pastor had made to their congregation. He told them that, as believers, if they do not feel out of place in this world, they could be headed for trouble. If they always feel at home in the world, perhaps they’re trying too hard to fit in.

Her pastor was encouraging them to live as Christ instructed His followers to live: as pilgrims passing through. Ultimately, her pastor’s point was that, as believers, we are called to be in this world but not of this world. So, if at times, we feel out of place, most likely we’re actually doing something right in our walk of faith.

If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

John 15:19

As believers, we are pilgrims who live in the world but are not of the world. We must embrace this identity to truly follow Christ. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

Leaving Egypt

A few years ago, I found myself in a situation where I truly felt out of place in the world, even among some believers. I had earned a Master’s degree in Social Work and had worked as a community organizer and advocate to empower people in poverty. My husband had a degree in economics and owned a small business as a general contractor for high-end residential projects.

By all accounts, we were doing pretty well in this world. We were establishing successful careers, building a large community, and just generally enjoying life’s pleasures. But our faith in the Lord was small. He was about to completely dismantle the safe, little life we had arranged for ourselves through our own pride and strength.

Just like the Israelites, little did we know that we were embarking on a pilgrimage out of Egypt into the wilderness. Over the span of about two years, our careers, our community, and really our entire life changed drastically. After having our first child, my husband and I prayed and asked the Lord whether I should go back to work or stay at home to care for our baby…

It became very clear that I needed to resign from my salaried position with a large nonprofit. There went a big chunk of our steady, reliable income along with our health insurance coverage and my professional identity.

Questions…

About a year later, a number of times in prayer, my husband had heard from the Lord that it was time to close his small business. His company was our family’s only source of income. So, he was naturally resistant. And we had a second child on the way. These things did not make sense to our natural minds. And I had a lot of questions.

Why was the Lord calling us away from the careers we had been working so hard to establish? What would we tell our friends and family? How could He expect us to walk away from our only source of income? What about the mortgage? How would we feed our family?!

The Lord was trying to show us that our earthly provision was not secure. He was our provider and the source of our security, financially and otherwise. So, after a great deal of discussion, prayer–and quite a bit of fear and trembling–we decided to follow Christ’s instruction to close my husband’s business.

Pilgrims in the Wilderness

For the next year, we became pilgrims wandering in a financial, spiritual, and emotional wilderness. Stripped bare of all our earthly identities, we truly began to learn what it felt like to be outsiders. With a baby and a toddler in tow and no source of steady income, we were living in the world, but we did not have the means to be part of it. We could barely even explain what we were going through to ourselves, let alone to our friends–many of whom were not believers.

We tried to share our hearts with people in our church and fellowship groups, but even to them, the choices we were making seemed foreign. I often felt completely isolated and alone. Watching the world go on about its business, I felt as if I were orbiting just slightly outside of their circles. Despite the fact I was following the Lord and growing in my faith, a part of me was still desperately wanting to fit in. To re-enter the world’s normal orbit and simply go with the flow.

A Peculiar People

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter: 2:9

As believers, we are indeed a peculiar people. Pilgrims from a kingdom that is not of this world. Part of being a pilgrim passing through is following Christ, even when He calls us to say or do things that don’t seem to make sense to the world. And Beloved, this can be a tough and lonely row to hoe. The world might look at our faith and call us unreasonable, irrational, irresponsible, even crazy. Because faith is not their paradigm, reason is their religion.

I’m not saying that believers should not act according to reason. But sometimes what the Lord calls us to do can feel like it doesn’t make any earthly sense. Sometimes there are spiritual steps of faith that we must take in order to follow Christ. We have to learn to trust that even if those steps don’t make sense to our natural mind, they are still the right ones to take.

We can’t let our faith be swayed by what others–in the world or in the church–think of us. And if we’re faithful and obedient to follow His leading, we will see that there is a rhyme and a reason to how and why He takes us in certain unlikely directions.

Part of being a pilgrim passing through is following Christ. Even when He calls us to say or do things that don't seem to make sense to the world. Click To Tweet

Rebuilding

Honestly, our wilderness season was one of the most difficult and frightening times of my life. Yet during that pilgrimage, my faith in the Lord and my trust in His goodness grew exponentially. I saw Him move in miraculous ways on behalf of our family. We went without many things that the world calls necessities. But we never starved, and we always had clothes on our back and a roof over our head. Ultimately, the Lord had taken us on a journey out of the worldly system and into the wilderness. And today we are living in what feels like a promised land where we can rebuild what was lost.

We are once again establishing our careers, but this time, we’re doing so according to the gifts and callings that He has placed on our lives. We’re building community, but now we’re doing it intentionally with other believers who are on their own pilgrimages. And we’re enjoying life again, but not just for the earthly pleasures that the world offers. Now we’re experiencing the true joy that only Christ can bring. I get the sense that this is only the beginning of what He really has in store for our life.

From Pilgrims to Citizens

Our pilgrimage made no earthly sense at the time. In retrospect, however, I can see how the Lord perfectly orchestrated each step of faith. I feel so thankful that He considered us worthy of having that experience. It made me realize that I do not need the world.

But it also showed me how desperately the world needs Christ. Now I can show Christ’s love to a world that is lost, even when they feel like they are at home. Somewhere deep down, they want and need to be found. They long to know that they are not alone. That there is a real, lasting place for them. That is the beautiful offer of the gospel: to be pilgrims for a time but to belong for eternity.

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.

Ephesians 2:19

When have you truly felt like a pilgrim in this world? How have you balanced living in the world but not being of it?

As believers, we are pilgrims who live in the world but are not of the world. We must embrace this identity to truly follow Christ. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

All scripture references are from the King James Version of The Bible.
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Home: Five Tips for Building Community Where We Are

Where we feel the most at home, isn’t always where we end up. Often times, it takes our own will power to seek out and build community where we land.



There’s something about going “home”. I love returning to the place of my childhood. Especially in the summer. I was able to return to Indiana this past weekend, and so many things made me miss my home state. The cool grass on my bare feet, the summer breeze that rarely happens in the South, the tall corn fields that make me feel protected. When I close my eyes, I can feel and smell and sense that this is home.

Community

Those pleasing sensations really do make me miss my home. But, when I close my eyes, I also see the community we left behind. Most of my family lives there, our beautiful church family, the friends I made as an adult, long-time family friends. The deepest parts of my soul, long for familiar community again.

I left a piece of myself, a piece of my heart, in all those I cherish.

With community comes a sense of belonging, a sense of purpose. There is confidence that no matter the season of life, we are not physically alone. When one is weak, the other is strong (Ecclesiastes 4:10).

Where we feel the most at home, isn't always where we end up. Often times, it takes our own willpower to seek out and build community where we land. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

Home Alone

When we moved to North Carolina, it was easy for me to seclude myself. I have a hard enough time making relationships, let alone attempting this while grieving the loss of my community. No one was checking up on me. No one making sure I was going to church or getting involved. This is dangerous for someone who is prone to hermit-hood…

Just let me be in my house, my safe place, and I’m happy. Or am I?

And the Lord God said, “It isn’t good for man to be alone; I will make a companion for him, a helper suited to his needs.”

Genesis 2:18, ESV

God knew, even from the beginning, man should not be left alone. It’s not healthy for us to be alone, left to our own thoughts and plans. We need companionship. We need community.

It's not healthy for us to be alone, left to our own thoughts and plans. We need companionship. We need community. Click To Tweet

Building Fellowship

Fellowship isn’t always effortless. There are times we have to be diligent in creating it, but as I said before, I tend to be a hermit. I’m learning to break through this personality flaw. It’s only taken me 4 years to realize I have had the power all along. Through prayer, God is showing me ways I can stretch…He always answers prayers. Here are the areas He’s laid on my heart:

Go to church and get involved…

When we exhausted all the church options in our new area, we found that the effortlessness of our old church was very rare. I was not prepared to have to put effort into feeling like we belonged somewhere. I thought we would just fit right in, in the right church. Thus, creating a horrible habit of not even attending church. We are still working on fixing this habit, but we have found our church. Now, it takes ME to get involved and make it home.

Open up our homes, be hospitable…

I’m awful at this, Lord knows I need to work on my “grumbling”. Whether it be busyness, messiness, or lack of funds, I seem to always have an excuse to not open my home to others. This is not the command of God…

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

1 Peter 4:9, NIV

Practice sacrificial giving…

One way to build relationships and solidarity with others is to give what you have. It can be time, money, food; whatever we have. Everything we possess must be held with open hands because it all flows from God, above.

All believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.

Acts 4:32, NIV

Share our stories, our testimonies…

Vulnerability and transparency have been my battle cries for about a year now. We all have our stories and they are important to share. Every single one, points directly to our good Father! No matter how wretched we were/are, God is still so good. And, in that truth, we find commonality. Camaraderie.

So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind.

1 Thessalonians 5:10, MSG

Show love, always…

This seems like a no-brainer, but so often we fall short of this commandment. When we put on love, fellowship falls right into place. All these other tips just seem to happen. Love is the greatest commandment. To put it plainly, love the Lord and love your neighbor (Matthew 22:37-39). Making sure our actions align with God’s word, is a good way to prove we are achieving love and building community with one another….

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Colossians 3:14, ESV

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

1 Peter 4:8,10, ESV

Where Are You?

Are you in this position? Feeling alone, left out, like you don’t belong? Have you found yourself in a place that doesn’t feel quite like home? In a place where community seems so distant? Trust me, I truly know this walk. I wish with all my heart I could walk alongside of you. Help you create a new community. But know this, when you are struggling to build that community with your own efforts, God has just what you need.

Where we feel the most at home, isn't always where we end up. Often times, it takes our own willpower to seek out and build community where we land. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

Masaaki Komori