1 & 2 Corinthians: Day 30

Our Future After Death

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Today's Text: 2 Corinthians 5:1-21, 2 Corinthians 6:1-2, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Titus 2:11-14

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:1-6:2, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Titus 2:11-14

Last summer, we ventured out west where we spent about a week sleeping in a tent with our five children. Driving from Washington back home to Tennessee, we passed the base of Mt. Rainer, the Grand Tetons, and other increasingly brave and out-of-the-way places. As we were driving through the Yakima Valley one evening, we realized it was late and getting dark, and we hadn’t settled on a place to set up camp for the night. And so we stopped along the Naches River on an abandoned stretch of highway with tall hills on both sides of the camp.

By this point we had a travel system in place; everyone knew their job, so we all worked together quickly to set up our tent. Once we’d settled in, we realized we were not alone. Just a stone’s throw away, tucked behind the sagebrush, cooking hot dogs over a fire, was Frank. I helped the kids play/bathe in the river and helped them to some supper, while my husband, Caleb, introduced himself. Frank lived in his tent full-time and had a lot of really good ideas for long-term, electricity-free refrigeration. We exchanged kindnesses and small gifts, and fell asleep in our respective tents. For us, that night was the bravest, most rugged camping we’d ever logged. But for Frank, it was just a Tuesday.

I love the hope that Paul gives us in this passage from 2 Corinthians, because no matter how comfortable or uncomfortable we are in our earthly tents, they will all be packed up and folded away someday. Because of Jesus, this is not our home. The Father “made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Paul acknowledges that we are groaning in our earthly bodies, some of us living with pain that won’t go away until Jesus comes. Some of us carrying a weight of sadness that makes us long to go home. No matter what kind of tent we are living in, it will be destroyed.

The thought of my own death fills me with concern for my children. But setting that hefty thought aside and clinging to the truth Paul is teaching in this passage, I see that our earthly death means the ending of a short, uncomfortable camping trip, and the joy and relief of finally going home—where things are clean and warm and beautiful, and there’s good food and good company. But we have never seen it. So we hold on to our tents, even though they are fraying and growing holes and starting to let the rain in. These tents are awesome, don’t get me wrong. But they are not the final stop. In the meantime, Paul says, we sit in our tents and we groan.

But Paul exhorts us, “So we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6). While we are still here on earth in these awesome and leaky bodies, biding our time, we have the mighty hope of our future eternal home with Christ. During these camping days, we aim to be pleasing to Him and long for the day when He will finally bring us home.

SRT-Corinthians-Shareimage-Day30

  • Amy Cerra

    This reading landed in the reading plan on the day we took my dad off life support after he suffered a massive stroke a little over a month ago. I am reading these passages again and marvel at the timing. That night my mom asked me if I had any scripture to read as we sat around Dad’s hospital bed. I had just looked at my app and couldn’t believe the timing. My Dad was an avid outdoorsman and we spent our entire childhoods to present going on camping trips with Dad. I read aloud the scripture and devotional to my family and my beloved Dad. Praise God for his timing in reminding us that our beloved father and husband was leaving a tattered tent to abide with the Son in a new building not built by hands!

    • Chris

      I’m so sorry to hear of your dads passing. I LOVE how Gods timing so often aligns with our needs through word or song. Blessings and peace to your family as you walk this new road ❤️

  • As I read the passages and the thoughts that accompany them I thought of my mom. She’ll be at home with the Lord a year in October, but last year her earthly body was giving way and it was so hard to watch my once vibrant Mom with knitting needles always in her hands waste away.
    This world is not our home, and this earthly tent will someday be replaced with an eternal house not made by human hands. And in that sweet promise we can safely rest.

  • With my power out for the past 24 hours, I’ve felt like I’m basically camping, hah! Certainly groaning in my “earthly tent.”

  • Monica Davis

    I feel hope in this lesson

  • Susan Crosby

    For a believer…Our Blessed Hope is Jesus!

  • I love this camping analogy! There’s nothing like coming home, taking a warm shower, and sleeping in your own bed after camping. I think you can appreciate the comforts of home more after you’ve been camping.

  • Thank you this resonated with me. My mother passed a year ago & since I have not dealt with this amount of grief or actually death of someone so close before I find myself gravitating to the mystery, sadly people don’t like talking or thinking death even though we all will experience it, it’s a negative or a ‘downer’ but your message made it a positive & an ‘upper’ oh and the tent analogy makes me for some reason think of passage Matthew 6:19-21 as well. I will reference back to this Day 30 for times to come ❤️

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Janet, we’re sorry to hear this. We appreciate you sharing and we’re praying for you during this time. So glad that you’re here reading along with us! -Margot, The SRT Team

    • Toni Adler

      Dear Janet,
      I’m so sorry to hear you lost your mom! I lost my mom too. It was a decade ago but I’m still not the same. It gets easier though. I pray you’ll find loving friends that will listen in your grief and help you. I know the Holy Spirit will comfort you along the way. I’m praying for you right now!

  • I to get anxious thinking about if I died & something happened to my children. This is a sin of mine I seem to stuggle with a lot. Fear.
    But keep telling myself truths, God is THEIR father, he will care for them as he has for me & like the good news of this passage. Here isn’t the end!
    So helpful to think about, we groan yes…but this isn’t our permanent state we aren’t with the Lord. This isn’t home.
    What comforting words to read.

    • Gina

      Me too. I hold them so tightly….it is hard to trust enough. I do find comfort in the fact that I am not slone in these kinds of struggles.

  • Courtney-Erin Lowery

    This 100% is something that I struggle with as a believer. I know that God wants me to trust him and to have faith in our Kingdom home…but my earthly, humanistic side comes through. And I am fearful, and anxiety ridden from the obvious of not knowing whats to come. I have had full blown anxiety and panic attacks because of this subject. (I know deep down this is the enemy) And while I know deep down and I fully believe in Jesus Christ, its still my human fear. I
    I do love the concept of thinking of it has a tent. A tent which I am trying to build bricks around (LOL) In all seriousness; it definitely gave me a lighter way of thinking of how to view earth.

    • Shannon Davison

      Not sure if you’ll see this, but I’m the EXACT way about it. I avoid the topic. And I hate that I feel this way, as I feel as a Christian I shouldn’t. But fear and anxiety hit me hard.

  • I am smiling as I write… this summer for the first time I am camping at a week long christian conference with my small group…
    I have in the past, rented houses with others.. cos I don’t do camping!
    This year however, i have been convinced to camp because I need to be in the ‘full’ atmosphere.. !
    Hilarious!
    Rebecca. What truth you speak though.. my friend, as Jim Reeves sang back in the day… ‘..this world is not my home.. I’m just passing through.. ‘
    ‘Camping’ here in this side of heaven and Eternity is almost bearable knowing Home waits for us..
    I love this…
    Thank you Rebecca..

    Sending love to my fellow campers…xx

  • Brenna Riethmiller

    This is not our home. I want to do things here that have eternal value

  • Right around this time last year, I was over 8 months pregnant doing everything I could to make myself comfortable on our extended family’s annual camping trip. So, this really hit home! What a perspective to have. The discomfort is actually a good thing. It’s an indicator that this is not our home; it’s just a tent. Just like it was a sweet relief to come home and sleep in my own bed after that camping excursion, how much sweeter it will be when we reach our final home in heaven! :)

  • Kelly Hock

    How to be ok with leaving this tent is a whole different topic when we have loved ones here. Yet today I will remember this tent is not forever. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Jennifer Martin

    Needed to read this Scripture today. ❤️

  • Amen & amen!! Thankful and filled with emotion reading today’s passages. Thankful for your analogy Rebecca leading us into the remembrance that while in the body, these are truly light & momentary troubles in comparison to what is to come. What is temporary will be traded for what is eternal. Though for now we grieve & groan in the body, we hold on to the promise that one day we will be complete & lacking nothing. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18;James 1:4) Thanks be to God!

  • Monica Swanson

    Such a beautiful reading today. Love the tent analogy so much. Thank you! ❤️❤️

  • Megan Bussell

    This was awesome . Just what I needed.

  • Jenny Goncher

    Mind blown. SO MUCH AWESOME IN TODAY’S SCRIPTURE. Righteousness it is – by drawing so near to Him that the Holy Spirit chips away at anything at all that does not look like Jesus – for us to be upright and tented in order to be unrecognizable to the world, instead clear followers of Jesus Christ, obedient to God. AMAZING AND AMEN!!!

  • This was perfectly written Rebecca. A wonderful analogy as I think we all have experienced a too long, rough camping trip. I am thankful for my tent but Lord I cannot wait to get home!!

  • Deborah Craytor

    The camping analogy is perfect; thanks for this!

  • Erin Cone

    I just love how Titus 2:11-14 summarizes the entire 2 Corinthians 5 passage – we are saved then called to please God while we anticipate Christ’s return.

  • Brooks LeeLaCombe

    I love this reading we are just camping out here, our real home is heaven!

  • I had to smile reading this! This Saturday my husband and I will be leaving, along with 4 other adults and about 25 high schoolers to go to Ripley, TN to work on homes. While we’re there we stay in a school, sleeping in a classroom on air mattresses. We eat camp food, take community showers in the gym. As an adult, I will be put with a group of teenagers that I don’t know, go to the home of someone I don’t know, and probably have a job I have no idea how to do. (Last year we tore off an old wheelchair ramp and built a new one.) It is one of the most glorious weeks ever! Watching God work in the lives of the students, the residents we work for, and the adults is an amazing thing. It’s also one of the hardest weeks of my life. There’s absolutely no solitude and it’s certainly not quiet! I tell myself frequently, “It’s only a week. You can do anything for a week.”
    It’s like living on Earth. This is not our home. In the grand scheme of eternity, we can do anything for a “week”!
    Please pray for us as we go. I am always excited but also apprehensive – teenagers and power tools?! As Sandy said, “Let the light shine from the inside of your tent! It will light up the whole campground.” Papa God, let your light shine!

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Kathy, thanks for sharing this with us. We’ll be praying for you and your group this weekend. So grateful that you’re here! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Sandy Forsythe

    Let the light shine from the inside of your tent! It will light up the whole campground.

  • Kelly Chataine

    The 14th verse of the Corinthians passage states, at the beginning of the verse, “For the love of Christ controls us. . . ” What does my Earthly existence resemble when Christ’s love controls me?
    Thank God that He stills convicts our hearts, forgives us, and provides the power to change. May the love of Christ genuinely control me!

  • Churchmouse

    We set up a tent in our back yard once when our girls were little. That was the beginning and end of our camping experience. No one slept due to the dampness, the uneven ground, the unfamiliar sounds. And there were way too many bathroom trips back to the house. We came to the realization – this was not for us.

    I love your correlation, Rebecca, of our earthy existence to an extended camping trip. Earth is not our home. We are uncomfortable and restless here. We make the best of it. But we look forward to our final destination where the air is always fresh, the ground is as smooth as glass and the sounds are, well, heavenly. We see glimpses of it here – we look forward to our fullest life there.

    In the meantime, let’s gather as many fellow camping buddies as we can and finalize the best trip. We have the map. We know the Way.

  • I love this so much! Thank you!!

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