Revive Our Hearts Weekend Podcast

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A Better Home

Episode notes:

These series make up today's Revive Our Hearts Weekend program:

"Living for the Age to Come"

"The Treasure Principle"

"Looking to a Better Country"

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Dannah Gresh: In the Bible we find words describing God’s children as pilgrims, strangers, aliens, citizens of a better country. Randy Alcorn says God uses those words to point to something better. 

Randy Alcorn: Scripture goes on and on and makes these references just to remind us of who we really are and whose we really are, and therefore what kingdom we should be living in light of.

Dannah: We have a home waiting for us, a better one. We’ll talk about it today.

Welcome to Revive Our Hearts Weekend, I’m Dannah Gresh.

A few months ago several women I know were canning. They canned salsa, marinara sauce, some canned green beans, others canned peaches, and for what it’s worth I froze some corn and a little bit of applesauce. We all wanted to prepare for the winter, so our families would have some fresh-ish food to eat.

The fact is, me and my friends are preparing for winter. But we are all preparing for something. What are you preparing for? Are you saving money for your future, prepping for the job that will help you save the money you need, maybe you’re busy planning meals or picking out clothes. I’m not sure what prepping might be true of you. But in a sense, we are all preparing for something. 

Let me ask a hard question: In preparing, are you missing out on something? 

Today I want us to talk about how we are living. Are we the people who live for today, or the ones who have a long-term game plan? 

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says that as we prepare for life in the here and now, sometimes we can get caught up in what’s right in front of us and we want more of what the world offers us. T o be sure we don’t fall into that trap, Nancy wants us to be aware of symptoms that could reveal we are living for this present age.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: What are the characteristics of people who live for this present age? Three words come to mind that I think summarize the characteristics of people who live for this present age. You may think of some other words or some better words, but these are three that I’ve been thinking about.

Number one is the word: Trivial. These are people whose pursuits are trivial. They have worldly passions. They live for pleasure. They live for things that don’t really matter. They’re playing games. They’re living superficial lives.

How foolish is it to live for the dot when there is all this long line of eternity ahead of us? They’re trivial. They’re living on the surface. They may think they’re brilliant, think they’re productive, think they’re doing something really important, building all kinds of machines and equipment and businesses and empires. But you boil it all down and you take the vantage point of eternity, and their lives are trivial. They don’t matter. What they’re doing doesn’t matter. They’re consumed with careers, with sports, with money, with stuff, with politics, with games, with hobbies, with themselves. They’re playing trivial pursuits—trivial.

Here’s another word that I think characterizes those who are living for this present age, and it’s the word: Evil. First trivial, and then evil.

Paul talks here about ungodliness and worldly, sinful passions. So these are people who think they’re good, and they try to make their warped, sinful way of life look good. And they may convince a lot of people that their choices are good. They may try to force us to accept and embrace their evil way of life. But it’s not good. It’s not something we can accept or embrace. It is evil. And what makes it evil? The fact that it’s contrary to the law and the Word of a holy God.

To say that this way of life is evil, that’s not politically correct, because today, what I just said is the essence of intolerance. It’s being closed-minded, narrow-minded, bigoted. It may not be politically correct, but it’s true. Their lives are trivial, and they are evil, those who live for this present age.

And then there’s a third word. It’s the word: Hostile. You see in those list of words that I read from Titus that they have broken relationships. They’re hated by others. They hate one another. There’s bitterness. There’s hatred.

Think about relationships of some of the people you know who are living for this present age: parents and children, siblings, marriages, neighbors, broken and split churches, broken relationships. They’re living for this present age. If they don’t fix these relationships, if they don’t come in humility and repentance and try to be reconciled, there’s racial hatred, racial animosity, men vs. women, and women vs. women, and men vs. men, and black vs. white, and police vs. . . . We have all this hostility, and it’s a characteristic of people who are living in this present age. They are not pursuing reconciliation. They are not pursuing oneness. They’re trivial. They’re evil. And they’re hostile.

Now, there’s another way to live—not for this present age, but, instead, for the age to come.

Before the ages began, God set in motion the plan to send His grace and His salvation into this fallen world. That’s what Titus tells us. And right now we live in this present age. So the question is, Are we living for this present age? Or are we living for the age to come?

Titus 3 tells us, if the grace of God has appeared to you, then it has changed your life. You’re no longer living for this present age; you’re now living for the age to come.

My friend and author, Randy Alcorn, is the one who first introduced me to this concept of the dot and the line. Here’s how he said it. 

I think of our lives in terms of a dot and a line, signifying two phases. Our present life on earth is the dot. It begins, it ends. However, from the dot, a line extends that goes on forever. That line is eternity, which Christians will spend in Heaven. Right now we’re living in the dot. But what are we living for? The shortsighted person lives for the dot—this present age. The person with perspective lives for the line—the age to come.

What difference does it make to live for the age to come rather than this present age—to live for the line, rather than the dot?

Listen to the entire episode, "The Dot and the Line." This comes from the series, "Living for the Age to Come."

Dannah: Eternity is forever. Life is short. Truely , your roughly eighty to ninety years (or however long God wants you here) seems long . . . but friend, it’s not.

Can I be nosey enough to ask what you’re doing with the years you have been given?

Every great now and then, I binge on some HGTV! Bob often partakes along with me. We like to see how they can take a rundown, ugly house and turn it into something seemingly Pinterest perfect. Let me admit, we enjoy watching these shows cause it gives us ideas on how we can freshen up our old farm house. Let’s be honest, we’ll probably never going to get around to using those ideas!

But sometimes when I'm watching, I wonder, What’s the line between setting up a welcoming, beautiful home and spending too much time and money, too much thought and effort on that Pinterest-perfect look? 

For what it’s worth, if your house looks that awesome, I’m not saying it’s wrong, but I’m just wondering if some of us need to shift how we’re thinking about what we have here and now. Because as the Bible says, this world isn’t our home.

We just heard Nancy share a quote by Randy Alcorn, remember the dot and the line? Well, Nancy also got to spend some time talking with Randy in person. He wants people to understand that this broken earth as we know it isn’t our final destination, but our hearts are so prone to sinking down roots in the soil where we are now that we forget what’s beyond. Here’s Randy to help our hearts remember. 

Randy Alcorn: We begin to live under the illusion that this earth is our home, when in fact Scripture tells us specifically our home is in another place. The Carpenter from Nazareth says, “I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:3, paraphrased). “I’m going to get you. I’m going to take you to that place.” Whether by His second coming or by our death, we will come into the presence of God. We will spend eternity in heaven.

That’s hard for us to grasp onto because our true home is a place we have never been, which is a paradox. But it really is the way that we need to think and live, to live in light of eternity. In Colossians 3 we’re told, “Set your minds on things above” (v. 2 NIV), where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. In other words, set your mind on heaven.

There’s that old saying, “This person is so heavenly minded he’s of no earthly good.” Well, that is so far from the truth. The truth is we’re so earthly minded we’re of no heavenly good. And sometimes we’re so earthly minded that we’re of no earthly good.

The person who is truly heavenly minded is ultimately of the greatest earthly good. The Bible says we’re pilgrims, we’re strangers, we’re aliens. It says that in Hebrews 11, verse 13. We’re ambassadors representing our true King and our true country. “Our citizenship is in heaven,” Philippians 3:20 says. We’re citizens of a better country, a heavenly one.

Scripture goes on and on and makes these references just to remind us of who we really are and whose we really are, and therefore what kingdom we should be living in light of.

Nancy: You give a great illustration about if you were living in one country but your home was really in another country.

Randy: Yes, supposing your home was in France and you’re living in America for three months and you’re living in a hotel. And you’re told, “Here are the ground rules. You can’t bring anything back to France on your flight home, but you can earn money, and you can mail deposits to your bank in France.”

So would you fill your hotel room with expensive furniture and wall hangings? Well, no. You’d send your money where your home is. You’d only spend what you needed on the temporary residence. Maybe you’d have a few aesthetic things to help you in that ninety days that you’re there, but you’re certainly not going to fill the room with all these expensive items because you can’t take it with you.

But since you can send the money that you’ve earned on ahead so it’ll be waiting for you when you get back home, that’s what you do. You send it back to your true country. Then when you arrive back in your true country, there it is waiting for you.

That’s very much what Jesus is saying. You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead to your true home where you’re going to be spending eternity.

Second Peter 3, verse 10 says the earth and everything in it will be burned by fire. It’s not going to last. But we can invest in eternity in a place where these things will last forever.

Nancy: Yet most of us are like that person living in one country and acting as if we were going to be there forever—spending our time, our resources, our efforts, our focus on something that is . . . well, you said ninety days. We might not have that many days . . .

Randy: That’s right.

Nancy:  . . in this home. It’s not our home.

Randy, I traveled—as many of our listeners have heard—living on the road serving the ministry for many years throughout my twenties and into my mid-thirties and didn’t have a home that was a permanent place. There were days when that was hard and challenging, but the Lord used to continually remind me, “This isn’t your home. You’re moving toward a permanent home.”

Then in my mid-thirties the Lord gave me the blessing and the privilege of having a home. I remember as I was praying through that decision . . . and I did sense the Lord was leading in that way and giving me the freedom to take that step. It was a different season of ministry at that time. I wasn’t going to be traveling as much.

But I remember having this little bit of reluctance because God had given me such a sense of freedom about not owning things, about being detached from the pressures and responsibilities and focus of home ownership.

I remember saying to the Lord, “If it’s Your will for me to have an earthly house—a home—first of all I want to make sure to always remember it’s not mine. It’s Yours, and it’s to be used for Your glory and Your kingdom and Your purposes.” But I also asked the Lord, “Would You protect my heart? Would You help me to keep a pilgrim mindset and not to put down roots in this earth’s system?”

Now my heart was sincere. I meant that with all my heart. But I have to tell you that since getting a home it’s been a lot harder, and I have to work at it constantly to make sure that my heart doesn’t get attached to things down here on earth.

Randy: Exactly. Think of those words in John 14. It’s the greatest love story ever. It is like the prototype romance, and it’s true romance. It’s the Carpenter from Nazareth who has gone to His bride, His bride who He is about to die for. And He says, “I’m going to go build this place for you, and I’m going to come to take you back to live with me there forever” (paraphrased).

So think—how often would this bride anticipate her beloved bridegroom and being with Him in this home that He is making for her to live with Him forever? Would weeks at a time go by where she doesn’t think of Him and her home in heaven? No, of course not. Would days go by where she doesn’t? No, probably not an hour would go by. Not even minutes would go by without her thinking of her beloved, her bridegroom. She’s going to be at this wedding feast with Him, and He has prepared a place for her.

All of a sudden everything else pales in comparison when we think in those terms and the importance of accumulating more and more and more things here. Suddenly we realize that that’s not what it’s about. If we have an opportunity to, so to speak, send building materials on ahead through the treasures in heaven that are going up to our Lord, more stuff that He can use in the building project, think of what heaven is going to be like.

I mean, this is going to be a great place beyond our wildest dreams, and our wildest dreams are pretty substantial. What a thing to look forward to!

But when you think in those terms, the way that we think determines the way that we live. And so if we just do what Colossians 3 says—to set our minds above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God . . . to think more about heaven and our home in heaven—it will affect the way we live on earth.

Listen to the entire episode, "Treasure in Heaven." This comes from the series, "The Treasure Principle."

Dannah: That’s Randy Alcorn talking with Nancy about our home—the one that’s waiting for us in heaven. What a great reminder from Randy to set our minds above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Thinking through what is most important.

Spoiler alert: you’ll be able to hear the entire conversation between Nancy and Randy, coming up, the week after Thanksgiving, on our daily program, Revive Our Hearts. So stay tuned for more!

As we talk about our home, and heaven, and where we belong, what would it be like to think of heaven as our homeland.

Erin Davis hosts The Deep Well podcast. It’s in the podcast family here at Revive Our Hearts. She spent some time this year teaching through this concept of heaven as our homeland. She titled it "Looking to a Better Country."

Let’s slow down and take a sigh together and begin looking to a better country. Here’s my friend Erin reading from the book of Hebrews.

Erin Davis: Listen to Hebrews 11:13–16. It is a manifesto for all children of God in every culture and era! “These . . .” Who are the “these”? Well, they’re the heroes, the champions of our faith. 

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

You might circle those words “strangers” and “exiles” in your own Bibles. 

For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return.

But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. 

What city is the writer of Hebrews describing? He’s talking about these people from all kinds of different places. He’s talking about the city found in Revelation 21. 

Hear it again in Revelation chapter 21, verse 2: 

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 

What is more beautiful than a bride adorned for her husband? Think of every moment you’ve been to a wedding, and those church doors open, and you see the bride for the first time. Everyone instinctively holds their breath! That bride is special! She is worth waiting for. This is the description that God gives us in His Word of the place He is preparing—right now, right this very moment—for us!

If we move back just a few verses from where we were in Hebrews, to Hebrews 11:9–10, we read the description of Abraham: 

By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.

Abraham gave up a stable life to live life in tents because he was looking forward to a city with foundations. That doesn’t make sense, humanly speaking. How could Abraham stand to leave his own country to live in a foreign land? Why would he forfeit the comforts of home for life in tents? For the same reason we can have hope when the culture around us feels foreign. For the same reason we have peace and joy when the world around us treats people of faith like aliens and exiles. 

Because Abraham wasn’t looking forward to a city with foundations built by human hands; he was looking forward to a city with foundations that cannot be shaken. Scripture says the designer and builder of that city is God!

Some translations say that the “architect” and builder is God. From the ground level, the Lord is building a city for His people!He’s pouring the foundation, which is good, because the foundations of this earth are deeply fractured by sin. As the people of God, we do not put our hope in those fractures being repaired.

My family and I live in an old farmhouse, and as old farmhouses tend to do, ours is showing some signs of age. A couple of years ago, the floor in the dining room developed a significant warp. A friend of ours who’s a builder crawled under the house, and he was able to shore that up . . . temporarily.

But he warned us that a day is coming when those temporary solutions for the foundation of our home are going to fail to hold. This is a picture of our broken world. The day is coming when all of our temporary, human solutions are simply going to fail to hold us up . . . but we have hope! Because Scripture gives us the blueprint for a new city—a city unfractured by sin, a city whose builder and architect is God! 

One more important description of this city is also in Revelation 21. This comes from Revelation 21:23–25: 

And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 

What hope can we hold on to when cultural darkness feels oppressive? Even as we push back against the darkness in love and in truth and with prayer, we’ve got to remember we’re pilgrims. We’re simply passing through, and each day takes us one day closer to this city that Jesus is preparing for us.

Listen to the entire episode, "Our Brokenness God's Promises." This come from the series, "Looking to a Better Country."

Dannah: Don’t you love knowing that we have a home waiting for us? A home that is being prepared right now. A place where we will never know what it's like to want again. A place where all our tears will be replaced with only joy. A place where Jesus is.

The other day our producer Michelle heard someone say, “I hope I’ve lived my life in a way that God will accept me and I get to be in heaven.” Michelle told me her heart broke as their conversation progressed. It became clear that this person really didn’t know if he was going to heaven. 

They went to church every Sunday, read their Bible, and lived a good Christian life . . . but still wasn't sure where he was spending eternity. Friend, I want you to be sure. I want you to have the confidence: 

  • That God sent His Son Jesus for you.
  • That Jesus died on the cross for your sin.
  • And that He is preparing a home for you.

If this is something you are wrestling through, we want to help you on this journey, by sending you a copy of the book How You Can Be Sure You Will Spend Eternity with God. It’s by Pastor Erwin Lutzer. Please call us and request your copy of this book, because I want you to know, not just guess or hope or wonder, but know that you will be spending eternity with God and with me and with so many of His children. It’ll be so great, so beautiful, oh, I can hardly wait. Ask for your copy of Eternity with God, our free gift to you, by calling 1–800–569–5959, or go to ReviveOurHearts.com/weekend. 

Next weekend I’ll be in the kitchen starting the preparations for our Thanksgiving celebration. I want to share with you what a thankful heart looks like. It just might be different than what you’re experiencing in life right now, although I don’t know, maybe you could teach me a thing or two. I hope you'll be there with me.

Thanks for listening today. Thanks to our team. Phil Krause has been waiting on his heavenly home since he was six years old. Blake Bratton who has known since he was a little boy that he’ll see Jesus one day. Rebekah Krause grew up in a Christian home. She’s not sure when she came to hope in Christ, but she does know. Justin Converse was also raised in a Christian home, but says his true confession of faith came at age eleven at camp. At twenty-two years old, that’s when Michelle Hill knew that she had a home waiting in heaven. And for Revive Our Hearts Weekend, I’m Dannah Gresh. I gave my heart to Jesus at a very tender age. I was not quite five, but the Lord has given me a vivid memory of that surrender. Isn’t He good?

Revive Our Hearts Weekend calling women to Freedom, Fullness and Fruitfulness in Christ.

“The Far Country,” Andrew Peterson, The Far Country ℗ 2009 Andrew Peterson.

“Far Kingdom,” The Gray Havens, Fire and Stone ℗ 2015 The Gray Havens.

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About the Teachers

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love for Christ and His Word is infectious, and permeates her online outreaches, conference messages, books, and two daily nationally syndicated radio programs—Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him.

She has authored twenty-two books, including Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, Seeking Him (coauthored), Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together, and You Can Trust God to Write Your Story (coauthored with her husband). Her books have sold more than five million copies and are reaching the hearts of women around the world. Nancy and her husband, Robert, live in Michigan.

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

About the Host

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh

When Dannah Gresh was eight years old, she began praying that God would use her as a Bible teacher for “the nations.” When she sees the flags of many countries waving at a Revive Our Hearts event, it feels like an answer to her prayer.

Dannah is the founder of True Girl which provides tools for moms and grandmothers to disciple their 7–12 year-old girls. On Monday nights, you’ll find Dannah hosting them in her online Bible study. She has authored over twenty-eight books, including Ruth: Becoming a Girl of Loyalty, Lies Girls Believe, and a Bible study for adult women based on the book of Habakkuk. She and her husband, Bob, live on a hobby farm in central Pennsylvania.

About the Guest

Randy Alcorn

Randy Alcorn

Randy Alcorn is a New York Times bestselling author of over forty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM), a nonprofit ministry dedicated to teaching the principles of God’s Word and assisting the church in ministering to people around the world. Randy resides in Gresham, Oregon, with his wife Nanci. They have two married daughters and are the proud grandparents of five grandsons and a Golden Retriever named Maggie. Randy loves hanging out with his family and enjoys biking, tennis, research, and reading.