An old adage says, “Home is where the heart is.” We use this saying to convey a number of ideas. One of the dearest uses of this statement is when a family has to move to a new locale because of work or some other circumstance. It may be a wife and mother who says this to her husband to reassure him of her love, and who says it to her children to encourage them to accept the change that has taken place. It is a statement which affirms that the family itself is the source of love and joy, not some particular location.
We also use this statement when we’re homesick. A student away at school may pine for his family home, his friends who were left behind, or for the familiar places of his childhood. His heart is still there, even though his body might be far away. In this usage it is a statement of the love one holds for family and friends that physical separation cannot diminish.
In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord spoke of one’s heart in a similar way, but with an entirely different point in mind. In Mt. 6:19-21 He said, “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 neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves break in or steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
The Lord knew that where one’s heart is will dictate how he lives his life. If it is focused only on worldly things, even things that are not inherently evil, that person will never become a disciple of Christ. This is why the Lord urged His audience to store their treasures in heaven. If they focused on spiritual things, they would become His disciples, and they would receive the reward of eternal life.
The Lord spoke of this reward in Jn. 14:1-3. There He said, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” Here the Lord was talking about our eternal home. Those whose hearts are focused on spiritual things have a place prepared for them in the Father’s house in heaven. They have a home waiting for them.
Paul the apostle understood this truth perhaps better than any other person, and was driven by it. He told the church in Philippi that he was hard-pressed from both directions. He desired to depart and be with Christ, but he knew that for him to continue in life was necessary for the good of the church (Phil. 1:23, 24). Nevertheless, he stated his preference in 2 Cor. 5:6-8. He said, “Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord — for we walk by faith, not by sight — we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.”
Paul’s heart, as were his treasures, was stored up in heaven. For this reason, he could not wait to get there. He lived every moment of his life with that goal in mind. He faithfully took care of all of his daily responsibilities, but in the words of the old song, he knew, “This world is not my home; I’m just a-passing through. My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue.” This is the attitude that each of us should have. Paul’s heart was in heaven, so he was confident of his reward. Where is your heart?