After a vacation I was thinking of how good it is to be home. Whether I am in North Carolina, Myrtle Beach, Oregon, Europe or South Africa, it is good to go home. There is always a comfort when I touch down on American soil. There is a special feeling of returning home after being away. It is good to hug our loved ones, sleep in our own bed, get back to eating like we are used to, and just having the sense of "being home". When my bags are unpacked, the laundry washed and put away, I find myself increasingly grateful for the simple things like sitting in my favorite chair and getting back to my mundane routine. I return home with an attitude of gratitude for all the blessings that surround me.
While it is nice, today, to be in my dwelling place I know this is not my forever home. I am reminded of our sermon series, “Encounters” as I think about my final home. The joy to come to my home in Wilmington is a real but temporary joy. Psalm 84:1-4, "How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you."
By acknowledging our real home and anticipating it, we will increase our joy. Titus 2:11, "For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.” It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Charles Swindoll said, "Home represents our point of identity, our base of operations, our primary realm of responsibility. Home gives life its roots, its sense of purpose and direction. Even with the hammer blows of pressure, stress, and struggles, home is the anvil used of God to forge out character in the furnace of schedule and demand. We count on it over the long haul and thereby develop security, stability, and consistency." And if that is what our earthly home represents then think about our heavenly home.
Scripture tells us there is a longing of the soul for home. Home is where God dwells. Psalm 84:2, “My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” This yearning is what is in the soul of every human being - even the atheist who does not and refuses to understand it. This will be the ultimate encounter with Jesus!
God wants us to come home. Genesis 28:15, "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Today is the day to start the journey back home. Put your hope in God. Ask God to show you the way. He will light your path. Encounter Jesus!
Are you on your journey home?