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Friday, January 24, 2020

Home for the Holidays

By Bill Brandstatter

    Home becomes a magnet for the heart at this time of the year. The holiday season is when Americans go home. Families separated by miles or years come together. Children who have left home to pursue dreams and careers come back trying to recapture whatever it was they left to escape! This human desire for home is a reminder of some great spiritual truths.
    1) God Gave Us Earthly Homes to Prepare Us for A Heavenly Home. We have an instinctive longing for home. That is due in part to the fact that the home and family are creations of God given for the good of mankind. (Genesis 2:18-19) God's intent is for the home to be one of the sweetest blessings which this world can provide. To that end, God has given us laws to regulate the home so it can be all He intended it to be. (Ephesians 5:22-23)
    The Bible tells us that “Those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. (Heb. 11:14 NKJV) Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that God has set eternity in our hearts. In all of us there is an instinctive longing for home. Later, Solomon writes, “For man goes to his eternal home.”  (Eccl. 11:5) That instinct is rooted in heaven.
    Popular wisdom says, "You can't go home again"; but God does not place any longing in us which He Himself cannot satisfy! We can't go back, but we can go forward to our greater home. (John 14:1-3) God gives us “A house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Cor. 5:1).
    2) Christ Left Home So We Could Go Home. Being separated from those you love-especially at times like the Holidays is painful. Our most tragic, most serious separation is separation from God. God created us; He loves us; but we become estranged from Him through sin: Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. (Isaiah 59:1 -2, NKJV.). God devised a plan to bring us back home. To accomplish that plan, when the time was right, He sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law that we might receive adoption as His children. (Galatians 4:4-5)
    Jesus gave up His home in glory in order to come to this world on a mission of reclamation! In His last years on earth, Jesus had no home: "...The Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head..." (Luke 9:58) During those years of service and sacrifice and suffering...did He long for the home in which He had grown to manhood? Did He long for His mother’s cooking? More to the point, did He long for the home He had left in glory? He could have had it; but Jesus deliberately chose to leave home for  our  sake … "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.." (Luke 19:10) The real question is, will you be going home for eternity? 

    3) Christ Gives us a Home Better Than Our Earthly Home. Christ is making mansions (John 14:1-4).  Paul identified the fact that we are not citizens here. (Phil. 3:20) The Bible often uses the term “stranger” or “pilgrim” to describe the Christian’s stay here on earth (1 Peter 2:11). Sometimes the word “sojourner” is used. All these describe the individual who is out of place. A “pilgrim” and “sojourner” gives the idea of someone just passing through an area on the way to somewhere else.
    Notice what Paul says in 2 Cor. 5:1- “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Won’t it be great when some day we truly go home. Won’t it be wonderful there!!

- Bill Brandstatter preaches for the Marion Church of Christ in Marion, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://marionchurchofchrist.com/



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