Hymn of the Week

by Jeff Mowery

This World Is Not My Home

“This World Is Not My Home”

This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through,
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue;
The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

Chorus

O Lord, you know, I have no friend like you,
If heaven’s not my home, dear Lord, what would I do?
The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.


My Savior pardoned me from guilt and shame I know,
I’ll trust His saving grace while trav’ling here below;
I know He’ll welcome me at heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

 
 

I have a precious mother up in glory land,
I don’t expect to stop until I clasp her hand;
For me she’s waiting now at heaven’s open door,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

The saints in gloryland are shouting victory,
I want to join their band and live eternally;
I hear the sweetest praise from heaven’s open door,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

 

This is a great “Red-Back” hymnal favorite of mine, and I was recently reminded of it as we have been studying Revelation in our Sunday School class.  There are two things I want to comment on about this hymn.

When visiting someone else’s house, have you ever been told “Make yourself at home” or have you ever told someone else that when they come to visit you?   I hope you have because as Christians, we ought to have that kind of hospitality to one another.  My mom will not be proud of this true story, but I remember as a teenager visiting a church in Texas while doing our youth group play/musical.  My best friend and I stayed at an older couple’s home one Sunday night, and they had to leave us alone for awhile, but told us as they were leaving to “make yourselves at home.”  Well guess what?  We did.  We got into their refrigerator and pantry and ate ice cream, drank some coke, and ate their snacks.  What can I say, we were hungry.  I can hear my mother saying “Jeff, I raised you better!” but I had to be honest.  I realize that we probably took their generous offer a little too far.  However, from a spiritual perspective, “making ourselves at home” in this world is a dangerous mindset to have.  I think that too often we become comfortable with the blessings that we have in this country.  For the most part, we eat three meals a day (plus snacks).  We have nice homes and nice things.  We have hundreds of TV channels, hundreds of shoes options to chose from, hundreds of Starbucks coffee combinations.  You get the picture.  We can reach a point in our lives that we have it “too good” on earth, and we lose a “heavenly” perspective.  This hymn reminds us that this world is not our home.  We are pilgrims in a foreign land.  In 1 Peter 1:1, Peter refers to Christians as “strangers in this world.”  We ought to live differently because of that mindset.  We ought to have different priorities.  And we ought to live our lives that communicate where our treasures truly are – in heaven.

Many of the old red-back hymnal songs were written about heaven and going to heaven.  Songs like “Gettin’ Ready to Leave this World,” “I’ll Fly Away,” and “Meeting in the Air” were all written in the early 20th century around the time of the Great Depression, (and all will be featured in the hymn of the week at some point in the future).  I have wondered if the reason people sang so much about heaven was because they lived very difficult lives here on earth.  Many of these people were poor.  Most worked 6, if not 7, days a week.  They experienced great tragedies in their lives.  A large number of people back then lost children to sickness, lost spouses during childbirth, lost family farms and crops during droughts, etc.  These people had very little on this earth to cherish, and therefore, they laid up their treasures in heaven.  The question is – Did they have the right perspective?  Jesus said in the Sermon on the mount “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”   The Apostle Paul said “To live is Christ and to die is gain.”  Earthly blessings and earthly problems are viewed differently if you have a heavenly perspective.  Those Scripture verses remind us what a heavenly mindset should look like.

Where is your heart today?  Are your treasures in heaven or on earth?  I will leave you this word of admonition “Don’t Make Yourself At Home.”

Categories
Hymns