1 Our bodies are like tents that we live in here on earth. But when these tents are destroyed, we know that God will give each of us a place to live. These homes will not be buildings someone has made, but they are in heaven and will last forever. 2While we are here on earth, we sigh because we want to live in that heavenly home. 3We want to put it on like clothes and not be naked.
4These tents we now live in are like a heavy burden, and we groan. But we don't do this just because we want to leave these bodies that will die. It is because we want to change them for bodies that will never die. 5God is the one who makes all this possible. He has given us his Spirit to make us certain he will do it. 6So always be cheerful!
As long as we are in these bodies, we are away from the Lord. 7But we live by faith, not by what we see. 8We should be cheerful, because we would rather leave these bodies and be at home with the Lord. 9But whether we are at home with the Lord or away from him, we still try our best to please him. 10 After all, Christ will judge each of us for the good or the bad that we do while living in these bodies.
Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany once quizzed his schoolchildren on the three kingdoms of natural objects in order to test their knowledge. One little girl identified an orange belonging to the vegetable kingdom and a piece of gold to mineral, but when the Kaiser asked the question that faces all humanity—which kingdom she belonged to—her reply caught him off guard.
“To the Kingdom of Heaven,” she replied.
We may think of heaven in light of geography, but the kingdom of God is not a place. We become part of the kingdom of God the moment we enter into a relationship with Christ Jesus. Understanding this removes fear of death here on earth – hence Paul referring to our present bodies as nothing more than a “tent.”
Many of us get so wrapped up in this world that we forget who we really are and why we are here on this earth.
You and I are here because God has ordained us with his divine mission. God himself has prepared us for this, and our ultimate goal is to please him.
Are you living with this kingdom citizenship always in mind, ready to stand before the Saviour and be judged for what you did or did not do in light of eternity while living in temporary “tents”?
King of Kings, we desire to live with a kingdom mindset. Help us to give priority to the task of reaching the lost on this planet. May we live with an eternal mindset, never forgetting that we are YOUR children, that we are here to do YOUR will, and that we belong to YOUR kingdom. Amen.