All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. Hebrews 11:13
Today while I was riding the bus down to Nampodong to do some shopping, I spent some time looking out the windows at the passing scenery. As I looked out, everywhere I looked I saw words in Korean, I saw Korean people, and on the bus I heard people speaking Korean. Obviously this is because I’m in Korea, but it reminded me that I’m not home. There are few things here in Busan that remind me of home, few smells that take me back to a past memory. Everywhere I look, everywhere I go things here are just different. As I thought about this I was reminded that just as I’m a foreigner here in Korea, I am a foreigner on this earth. Whether I’m in Korea or America I’m not home yet!
Even as Christians it is easy to forget that this is not our home. Easy to get caught up in the rat race of life. Easy to accumulate stuff that we can’t take with us. Easy to live for now and for ourselves instead of living for Heaven and for God. I John 2:15-17 says, Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. According to these Scriptures we are not to love this world or anything in it, in fact we are told not to love this world.
In Hebrews 11, the author is speaking of all those listed in the Hall of Faith, that had lived on this earth as Sojourners, they were living not for then, but for the day of the Lord. They knew they were strangers on this earth, they knew this was only part of the journey, a journey that would eventually lead them to their true HOME. These men and women of faith had not lost focus of the Lord and were seeking to live for Him.
We have lived in Korea less than 2 years now and already we have accumulated more stuff, stuff that matters not, stuff that we will have to sale or give away. The longer I live, the more I realize that life is so much more than the accumulation of things. In Mathew 6:19-21 the Bible says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Just as when we leave Korea we will not be able to take everything with us, when we leave this earth we will take nothing.
So then how should we live? I believe we must seek not to get too comfortable, not to love the things of this world, not to store up treasures on this earth. We must not forget that we are strangers here. Instead we must strive to live in such a way that those of this world know we don’t belong here. We must not get caught up in the daily grind and forget why God has saved us. Finally, we must focus on storing up treasure in Heaven, treasures that will not pass away.
Indeed I’m a foreigner here in Korea, I stand out because I look different, I talk different and do things differently than Koreans. Yet, today I was reminded that I’m a foreigner on this earth as well. Therefore, I too should look different, speak different and do things different from those of this world. For this is not my home, I’m just passing through!