Home

urlWhere is home for you? That question may evoke a lot of different emotions for us. I’m not talking about where do you live. I’m talking about, where is home for you?

Home is the place where we belong. It is the place where we are at rest, at peace, where we find ourselves, find our purpose, find our calling, find “us.” A place where we are complete, kick off our shoes, a place where we are safe.

For some of us, home may be the place that we grew up.

For some of us, home may be where we live right now.

For some of us, we may feel like we are still looking for home.

We each, we need a home. Not just a place to live. But a place where we are home and at peace.

Listen to what Psalm 84: 2-4 says today:

My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise!

The verse that jumped out to me today when I was reading was verse 3, even a sparrow finds a home at God’s altars.

Even a small, insignificant sparrow (by the way, the reason scripture talks about sparrows and “worthy” so often is that sparrows where not considered important birds) has a home at God’s altar. Even the sparrow can make its nest there. Even the sparrow has a home there.

That’s home. That’s where we are complete. That’s where we are safe and at rest. That’s were we find our safety and our purpose.

In God.

Not in the world. Not in fame. Not in power. Not in stuff. In God.

Today, you have a home. A place of rest. Safety. Purpose.

You have a home. In God. May we make our home in God today. May we find our rest in Him today. And in that, may we find our lives today.

Today, may we be home in God and His life. Today, let’s come home.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Our True Home

pt320_house_block_outlineC.S. Lewis said “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”

This world is not our home. We are created for a world other than this.  As awesome as life here is, as awesome as it, as many things as we love, as many blessings as we have, this world is not our home.

We were created for something better.

We were created for our true home.

Jesus puts it like this in John 18:36-37:

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

Jesus said, I am a king, but my kingdom is not of this world.  He is not an early king.  He is a heavenly king.  And that is our true home.  Our true home is at home with Him.

But, here’s the cool part. Think about what Lewis said in the beginning. If we know that our true home is with God, we have all the more motivate and call to work hard in this life.

I want as many as possible to join me in our true home. So, I’m going to work to share the good news of grace and mercy.

I want “thy will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven” to not just be something that we say in church, but something that we live out every day.

I want as many as possible to know that freedom and forgiveness that comes in Jesus Christ.

I believe in heaven. And I can’t wait to get there. So because of that, I have the freedom, the call, the joy to live my life with our true home in mind all times.

There is life in that.  Are you living today with your true home in mind?

Won’t you join me?

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Return Home

Jesus tells us that we are to go into all the world telling the good news. That can be both exciting and scary.

Exciting because we know that we have a mission. Exciting because we know that God has entrusted us with something for His kingdom.

Exciting because we can change the world!

But, it can be scary, because of the what if. . . .

What if we fail. . . .

What if we do it wrong. . . .

What if say or do the wrong thing. . . .

What if.

Today, Jesus tells someone to go, but it’s to a different place. Look at what happens in Luke 8:38-39 today:

The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you. And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.

He told the man to return home and tell others about how much that God has done for you. Return home.

Tell your family. Your friends. Your neighbors. Your loved ones. The folks that you know.

Return home and tell.

I think one of the things that scares us about our mission to “go” is the where. Today, God may (or may not) be calling you to Africa, or Asia, or some far-flung place.

If He is, that’s awesome. Because they need to hear the Gospel there. If He is, go.

But, no matter what, I know this. God is calling all of us to return home. To tell others about Him today in our work.

In our family.

In our neighborhood.

All around us.

Today, return home and tell. Let your light shine before all men. Share the good news of the Gospel today with your lives, where you are.

Today, take the good news with you. Return home. Share His story where ever you go.

Be faithful. And let His light shine!

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Where God Lives

Today in our reading, we look at Isaiah 57:14-15. This passage really spoke to me.

Take a second right now and read this. Slow down. Breathe. Listen. Listen to what it says.

And it shall be said, Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstruction from my people’s way.” For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.

When I read this, this morning, the thing that jumped out at me is this thought. Where God lives.

This passage tells us where God lives. Or, the word it uses this morning is where He “dwells.”

This is where His spirit is. Where His presence is. This passages gives us that info.

His presence inhabits eternity. He dwells in the high and holy place. He is eternal. He is holy. He is the Lord God. He is the everlasting rock of ages.

That’s who He is. That’s the very being of God. He is high and lifted up.

He is God.

And we get that. And as awesome as that it, that’s not the part that really hit me this morning. It’s the last part that really spoke to me.

Where else does God live? He dwells with him who is contrite and lowly of spirit.

To be contrite means to be sorrowful. To understand your sin and your need for forgiveness. To understand your need for Him, and to know that we are needy.

Lowly of spirit to understand our place in things, to know that we are not the end all and be all, that God is God, and we are not.

So, God dwells in the high holiness of eternity. And God dwells in the humble heart of the one that knows that they need Him.

Wow!

Today, do you know that you need Him? Do you know that you are not what you need to be? Do you feel inadequate, do you feel like you are in need of forgiveness, a new start, a new hope?

Do you maybe even feel unworthy?

I am telling you, based off what the Bible tells us this morning. Right now. In this time. In this place.

God is with you. God is with the contrite and the lowly in spirit. God is with the ones that are in need. God is with the ones that understand their need for Him.

Today, no matter how broken, unworthy, unloved you may feel, God is with you.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Come Home

There will be a break in posts for about a week or so, my family is going to Disney World this Sunday following worship at Asbury (come join us 8:20 or 10:40!).  I’ll be back the next week and resume posting then!

The Old Testament prophets are constantly warning the people. Stop doing the things that you are doing to break the law.

Stop abusing the poor.

Stop worshiping idols.

Stop departing from God.

They tell the people, over and over again, if you do not stop, there will be judgement. There will be pain.

Sin hurts. Sin destroys. Sin looks like it will be a good thing, it will bring fun, it will bring life, but it doesn’t. It only brings destruction and pain and hurt and loss.

It was once written the reason God hates sin so much is because it destroys His children.

Today, we hear the other word of the prophets. Come home. Listen to what it says in Joel 2: 12-14:

“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God?

If you return, return with your heart, He will forgive your sin. He will forgive, He will restore.

He will make it, and all things new. He will give hope and peace.

He will welcome us back home.

So today, no matter where we are, when we turn back to Him, He welcomes us back home.

Today, no matter where you are, God wants you to come home.

Peace, life, love and forgiveness are found in Him. And found there. Today, may we return to Him and find what we are looking for.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Something Better

This passage of scripture that is in our reading today was one of the first ones that I really spent any time reading when I first got serious about my faith. It was one of the ones that really sort of stuck with me. I really spent time chewing on this and thinking about.

It’s Matthew 25:1-13.  Listen to what it says:

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

It talks about the fact that our Lord will return one day, at an hour that no one expects Him. When we think about this passage, and others that talk about His return, we tend to focus on one question.

When? When is it? It’s soon right? When?

A lot of folks spent a lot of time talking about when He’s coming back. Lots of mental energy is spent trying to unlock these mysteries. That no one is going to unlock.

So because I’ve always felt that why, I’ve never focused on the fact that no one knows the hour or day, I focused on another part.

This world is not our home. As awesome as this life is, and I love this life, this world is not our home. We were created for something bigger, something better.

We were created for eternity with God. We were made to fully know Him, as He has fully known us. We were made for the beauty of full relationship and communion with God.

So, if your life is just about as perfect as it can be, know this. There is something better. As good as it can be here, there is something better.

Don’t make this world your home. Don’t get too comfortable. Don’t forget that we are just pilgrims passing through. This world is not our home.

And if life is bad. If it is hard. If it is tough. Remember. It is going to get better. Our Lord suffered. And our Lord showed the way to true life. It is going to get better. There is something better.

Live today to the fullest. Be faithful. Love. Serve. Laugh. Share. Give witness to God and His grace. And know that as amazing as it can all be around here, there is something better.

Let’s never forget that.