June 19, 2023

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,”

-Philippians 3:20

Over the last week, I have ridden just over 1,500 miles.  I went from Pigeon Forge, TN to New Orleans, LA and back to Pigeon Forge.  I preached at the Sunday service at Clabough’s Campground in TN and then rode home to Kentucky.  As I was riding home, it dawned on me that I had not been in my home for over two weeks and I had not seen my family in just over a week.  It was on the ride home that I started thinking about what it means to come home, not our physical home but our heavenly home, promised to us by Christ.  Now, the closer I got to my house, the more excited I became and the more peace I felt coming over me.  I cannot even begin to imagine the overwhelming joy and peace that I will feel when I am called home with Christ.

A few weeks ago, I shared a devotion about how none of us are too far gone for us to turn to Christ and experience a rebirth unlike anything we have ever known.  When we accept Christ, by grace through faith, we are a new creation.  Yes, we will unfortunately still sin, but we learn to hate sin and as part of the process of sanctification, our sins will become less prevalent in our lives, but we can never fully rid our lives of the sin nature we are born with.  However, our gift of salvation promises us a home, for all of eternity.

Jesus, in Luke 15:11-32 uses a great parable that illustrates this point in a way that any of us can understand.  A father had two sons, and the younger son asked for his inheritance in advance.  So the father decided to divide his wealth between both sons.  After obtaining his share of the inheritance, we see these words describing the younger son:

“Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.”

-Luke 15:13

He headed off to a "distant country" where he thought life would be great, anything would be better than helping his father plow fields and laboring by the sweat of his brow.  After squandering all that he had, the prodigal son came to his senses. He returned home to discover the amazing welcome of his forgiving Father.  The word prodigal, as defined in the Oxford Dictionary, means “spending money or resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant.” This young man asked for his inheritance in advance, to satisfy his selfish desires, and his loving father obliged the request.  

Then, the young man blew it all in such a short time and found himself humbled, returning home to the open arms of a father whose love did not falter despite the hurt that his son probably inflicted upon him.  How does this compare to the love of our Heavenly Father? What we discover is that the love of our heavenly Father is more prodigal--more lavish--than our sin. God's children come home to discover that life in the Father's house is what they've craved all along. Some of us are in a "distant country" today. We've wandered far from our spiritual home. We've sailed far from the land of grace, and it's time to turn our ship around and head home. When we do, we'll discover that our heavenly Father has been waiting and watching for our return. 

He has the lights on and is calling us to come home. 

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