Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

Homeward Bound

by Dean Gardner

17 February 2018

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Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!
Psalm 84:3, NLT

I remember standing in the kitchen of our previous home one summer evening. It was near sunset, and, as I looked out of the window, across my line of vision, I saw a solitary bird high in the sky, flying very purposefully. As I watched that lone bird, probably flying to the place where it would roost that night, I was deeply moved, sensing the Lord’s presence there in the kitchen with me. I told Him how wonderful the sight of that bird was to me. It knew how to find its way home that night. The Lord’s put the need for a home in every creature He’s made, including us human beings, who are created in His own image. I realised the Lord was touching something deep in my heart that evening – my own sense of being on a journey through life to my true home in heaven with Him.

I felt this again recently, as we heard the cries of migrating swans and geese in the sky above our home in the northwest of England. I looked up in wonder at the V-shaped formations of birds, honking and calling to each other, as if encouraging each other to keep going on their long journey to a warmer climate.

For all of us, who know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, the reality is that this world isn’t our home. We’ve been born again from heaven above, and that’s where we make our pilgrimage to through this world. Eventually we’ll see Him face to face. It doesn’t mean we’re ‘too heavenly minded to be of any earthly use’, as some people disparagingly say. No! Psalm 84:6 says of those who’ve set their hearts on such a pilgrimage, ‘When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings’.

The apostle Paul longed to be at ‘home with the Lord’, although he was willing to stay longer in the world for the sake of the Gospel, and his fellow believers. Charles Spurgeon, the famous Victorian preacher wrote, ‘Christian, meditate much on heaven. It will help thee to press on, and to forget the toil of the way. This vale of tears is but the pathway to the better country: this world of woe is but the stepping stone to a world of bliss.’

‘This world is not my home, I'm just a-passing through
My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me, from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home, in this world anymore.’

(Albert Edward Brumley)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your promise that one day You’ll come to take me home to be with You forever. Help me to point others to You so they too might know You and have that same hope. In your name I pray. Amen.

Dean Gardner worked part time in the Ellel Grange Ministry Office for four and a half years until October 2018 and is now part of the Associate teaching and ministry team. He now lives in Norfolk with his wife Gemma. In 1988 he experienced God`s amazing grace at a carol service and began a journey of restoration and healing with Jesus. He longs to continue that journey allowing God`s truth to change his own life but also to share that truth with others that they too might know Jesus for themselves.


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