Thursday, August 16, 2007

Coming home

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Ezekiel 11, 12, 13

Ezekiel 11:17-20 (NIV)

17 “Therefore say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’ 18 “They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. 19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20 Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people and I will be their God.”

Good morning!

Last night after dinner, Grandpa Jeff asked our five-year-old grandson Joshua if he would like to go to the restroom to wash his hands. Joshua looked up and said, “Grandpa, that’s English for ‘potty,’ right?” His question serves as a reminder that while humans typically speak the same language of love, we may use different phrases to describe our own unique journey.

God gave the prophet Ezekiel His Word. Ezekiel spoke the words of the Lord with passion and conviction. Some listened and obeyed, while others continued to turn away. God’s message remains the same. Why is it that we can hear God’s Word over and over again, and yet, it does not seem to compute? Like Joshua, we may find ourselves double checking the translation.

God’s children are scattered far from home, and yet, God promises to bring them back one day. Have you ever been homesick? While Jeff attended seminary, we lived approximately 750 miles from the place where we grew up. I remember traveling from Dallas to St. Louis over Christmas break. I was always amazed by the changes that occurred in the once-familiar landscape. An old high school hangout had been torn down and a new building now sat in its place. We discovered the delightful two-lane roads behind Jeff’s childhood subdivision had been widened to four lanes. We used to ride bicycles on those roads. The tree-lined streets had been demolished and expanded for heavier traffic. The only constant in our lives were the faces of our dear family and friends. Going home is never the same once you’ve left. But the ones we leave behind will always remain eternally etched in our hearts.

Coming home would require some major cleanup. God wanted the idols and vile images tossed forever. More than anything else, the Father wants to be the centerpiece of our life. Returning home means so much more than a mere relocation to a comfortable, familiar surrounding. Coming home means letting go of the things that eternally separate us from God, and wholeheartedly embracing His Word. We must be willing to let go of our way and cling to His way. Being homesick isn’t nearly enough to make coming home a happy journey. Have you ever been homesick for the Lord? He invites you to return to Him today.

Coming home has a way of changing the condition of our hearts. There was a time when my heart was frozen rock solid. Penetrating through its hardened shell was simply impossible, until the Lord melted it. A heart of flesh is a tender, vital organ. It is the creative work of a loving God, birthed through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He has the power to take the hardest heart and transform it into a heart He can use for kingdom work. Coming home to God changes us completely from the inside out.

If you have been away, God is calling you to return to Him today. He makes it all possible through the blood of Christ. The message remains the same. Are you willing to lay aside your will for His? Let go of the things that separate you from God, and enjoy your homecoming in Christ Jesus. His promise is just a prayer away.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: the desire to return home to the Lord. Jesus Christ bridged the gap to make your homecoming possible. Ask Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your life. He will forgive your sin, free you for joyful obedience, and bring you back home to Him, right where you belong.


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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