Saturday, August 29, 2015

Coming Home

If I asked you where you came from, what response would you give?


There are a lot of people on this planet searching for truth, searching for purpose, and trying to figure out who they are. Yet the truth that is key to discovering who you are and what you are created for is found in a portion of scripture that many may not have discovered.


The Gospels tell the life story of Jesus Christ. In His life, our life is found. Jesus did say that he was the way the truth and the life. In Him we find the truth that allows us to catch a glimpse of who we are, who we belong to, and who we are to return to when our days on earth come to an end. This is an important key revelation to anyone that is seeking to discover their true identity. How can you possibly understand who you are if you don’t know where you came from?


If you understand where you came from and to whom you belong, the result is a dawning of awareness that you are loved, valued, accepted, and born with a divine purpose in mind. Jesus was the forerunner of us all and His life is a model for us. Jesus had parents that brought him up with an understanding that He had been born into the earth to carry out a divine plan and purpose. He was born with the understanding that He came from God and one day would return to God, His Father. Mary and Joseph were simply his earthly parents who had been chosen by God to care for Jesus and bring Him up in the ways of the Lord. In John 13:3, as Jesus’ earthly assignment was coming to a close, scripture tells us that Jesus knew He had come from God and was preparing to go back to God. This truth sets the stage for a profound revelation for each one of us, too.


Scripture says that God put eternity into our hearts. Our spirit longs to connect with God. Human beings are hard-wired to worship God, but unless we are born again we will worship things of the world instead of giving our time, attention and adoration to Him.


“How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we're a free people - free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free!


He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth. It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. It's in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free - signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what's coming, a reminder that we'll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.” Ephesians 1:3-14 MSG Bible


God dreamed about each and every individual long before they were born into the earth as a human baby. Do you know why we are so special to Him? Because we were formed in His image. We were made to be like God, and do the things He does. We have a Father who loves us, and He longs for each of us to connect with Him as sons and daughters. When we do, we have a greater understanding that THIS is where we came from...We are made in His image for a reason and a purpose, to do the works of God just like Jesus. Now THAT is empowering. Jesus Christ, God's only Son, gave His life in exchange for our sin. He took all the punishment so that we would not have to bear it. All we must do is to receive that truth, and live in relationship with the Father who loves us. Abide in the truth of God’s word, and live in intimacy with God’s Holy Spirit.


Take a look at what God spoke to His servant Jeremiah. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Knowing someone refers to an intimate, personal relationship. God told Jeremiah that He knew him even before he formed Jeremiah in his mother’s womb. If that truth applies to Jeremiah, it applies to each one of us, too, for Jeremiah was an ordinary man just like any other. God chose Jeremiah to know Him, and Jeremiah responded positively. It was Jeremiah’s response that revealed his purpose on earth. If Jeremiah had not accepted God’s invitation to know Him, he never could have understood what God had ordained for his life’s purpose. Here we see that discovering our true identity must first be established by knowing where we came from, and to whom we belong.


Of course, God has left the decision up to every person as to what path they will choose. They can choose to reject the offer of eternal life, and their spirit will never be reborn into the kingdom of God, and they will never obtain entrance into the kingdom of heaven. That choice comes with severe consequences. But, the beauty of knowing that we are loved by God and always have been loved by Him is a wonder beyond comprehension. The Creator of the Universe knows us personally. Everything about us. Every tear that we shed. Every pain and disappointment we hide inside. He knows every experience we’ve ever had, every word before it comes out of our mouth. He knows us at our worst, and loves us anyway. Accepts us anyway. He gave His only beloved Son to die in our place just so that we could have the opportunity to return home one day and not have to experience eternal suffering for all our wrong choices. Our Father, the Lord Jesus, and all of heaven’s angels are pulling for us to choose life. Choose Jesus and say yes to His offer of salvation.

He is the door we must all come through in order to re-connect with our heavenly Father. When a person invites Jesus to be their Lord and Savior, His Holy Spirit comes into that person’s heart and flips on the light switch, so to speak. We begin to see things that once were just shadows lurking in the corner of the room. We throw open the closet door and (gasp!) discover things in there that really need to be taken out to the curb. None of it bothers the Lord. He already knew what was in there anyway, and He always lends a hand in helping us clean out the trash. Isn’t it amazing to discover that no matter what you’ve gone through, no matter how rough the world has been on you, you’re loved and accepted by your Father in heaven. He has so many secrets waiting to tell you! Yet, all the secrets stay forever hidden until we turn to Him and say, “Father, I’m sorry...I just didn’t realize...I’ve strayed. I am beginning to believe that You do know all about me. You do care. My eyes and my understanding have been blinded by a lot of things, but I want to come home. I want to know you again like I did before we got separated. Will you forgive me for believing a lot of lies? Will you please let the blood of Jesus cover my sins? I want to know my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Thank you for eternal life and forgiveness. Thank You Jesus for dying in my place. You are the Son of God and I believe in You. In your name I pray, amen.”