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New Sabbath: The Rest of Home

Devotions

In the 1950s and 1960s, Americans and Russians were competing to get to the moon. In 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin entered space in a small capsule and reported, “I don’t see any God up here.” Seven years later, when Americans completed their first manned mission to the moon, the world listened to three Apollo 8 astronauts take turns reading from Genesis 1: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” 

Faith will finally decide what we choose to see and believe about God and the created order. Either the material world is all there is, as Yuri Gagarin saw it from space—or there is another home and an invisible, eternal homemaker.

The writer of Hebrews points out that we are like Israel at the edge of the Promised Land. Believing on God’s promises can seem like a tremendous risk. Israel had to give up the familiarity of Egypt for the unfamiliarity of Canaan, and sadly, they chose predictable slavery over what they perceived as unpredictable rest.

Nevertheless, faith isn’t the internal mustering of belief. Faith isn’t just trying hard to mentally grasp God’s promises. Israel wouldn’t have been exercising faith had they stood on the far side of the River Jordan without ever attempting to cross its borders. Rather, faith demanded action: Israel needed to enter the Promised Land and battle the inhabitants of the land, trusting God’s promises of deliverance.

It takes faith to believe the story of home, as the Bible tells it: that in the beginning, God put His people in a beautiful garden and gave them rest; that rebellion was the reason for humanity’s exile; that we await a future city and a final home, purchased for us by the blood of the Lamb. This faith will allow us to act in obedience and belief.

Apply the Word

How can you live in light of God’s promises of a future home? Maybe it’s zeal for evangelism: you tell others about the eternal home God is making in and through Jesus. Maybe it’s simplicity and generosity: you lay up treasure for your future home. Maybe it’s perseverance: you maintain hope in the midst of earthly struggles. Take heart: one day, you’re going home!

BY Jennifer Michel

Jen Pollock Michel is a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics blog. Her first book, Teach us to Want: Longing, Ambition and the Life of Faith, is published by InterVarsity Press. Jen earned her BA in French from Wheaton College and her MA in Literature from Northwestern University. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and five children, and serves on staff at Grace Toronto Church.

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