Home is a special place for most people. It may bring up memories of loving parents, home-cooked meals, warmth and safety. For some, it is only a reminder of pain and tragedy.
Joe shared that his childhood in Oceanside holds many fond memories for him. Growing up with his four brothers, Joe saw a lot of extended family fun. He also had a father who was a retired marine and Pentecostal preacher, so he knew strictness and discipline. He also knew tragedy, as his mother passed away from cancer back in 1988.
Your home may be whole or broken, full of love or abuse, dreams or death. But no matter what your home looks like, the master Builder has an amazing plan for your home. As we see in today's passage from Luke 15:11-32, He wants you to find your way home to Him.
1. Deal with the reality of your situation.
We may at times be like the lost son in this story. We let our sin carry us away, crossing line after line, when suddenly, we look up and find we are eating with swine, thinking, "How did I get here?"
It's time to deal with the reality of our situation. We are all sinners in need of redemption.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
2. You cannot build your home on your own.
"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25
You may try to build your house with money, education, good deeds, or a good name, but this passage tells us that the important thing is not that the man built his own house but WHERE he built it – on the Rock of Christ. When we build with Jesus as a foundation, our homes can withstand anything.
3. Take a right-turn at repentance. Romans 12:2, Luke 13:3, Acts 3:19
Repentance is a change in your way of thinking—a 180-degree turn to go the other direction. Change your mind and you can change your life. You may not want to repent and follow Jesus for fear of what you may be giving up, but the truth is that you give up pain for promises, sorrow for joy, prejudice for love, and bondage for freedom.
4. Continue on the highway of forgiveness.
In this story from Luke 15, the son repents, but the beauty of the story is that when he gets home, his father forgives him and celebrates him to the fullest.
Forgiveness is never easy, because it means letting go of the wrong someone has done against us. But remaining in a state of unforgiveness is like a prison we impose on ourselves. Joe reminded us that the "highway of forgiveness" has two lanes – a lane in which we need to forgive and a lane in which we need to be forgiven. The Bible says if we forgive then we will be forgiven; they go hand in hand!
So the question for you today is: do you want to come home to God, come to grips with reality, repent, and receive forgiveness?