Monday, May 9, 2011

Coming Home

This Sunday marks our first ever "Coming Home" at the Willow Avenue church of Christ. The idea originates from my grandfather, who has been preaching the gospel for 62 years. He saw the need, whenever he began a new work, to invite back all of the people who once worshiped in the church where he had recently become a minister.

In a local congregation things are going to change. People may leave and go to other churches. They move away for jobs or for school. Sometimes they leave and go into a false hope. Sometimes they just allow life to get in the way and they find themselves not going anywhere anymore.

This "Coming Home" is happening for a reason. It is an opportunity for our members to invite their family and friends to worship. It is an opportunity for the church to welcome back all of those who were once members who are not with us anymore. But above all, it is a reminder that God loves us and wants to be our God. Like parents whose children have grown up and moved on with their lives, nothing makes Him happier than to see His family together.

I may not know your current spiritual situation, but I do know one thing. I know that I love you, and that I want you to enjoy the life God has given you and the life He wants to give you eternally. I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that I believe the Willow Avenue church loves you, and wants you to be a part of this family.

We are not perfect, but we are cleansed by the blood of Jesus. We are simply trying every day to learn and live and teach what the Bible truly teaches. We want to know what it says. We want to live what it says. We want to be a blessing to others. We want to glorify God.

A great gospel preacher I knew used to say, "In order to go to heaven I must..."

1. Become a Christian like the Bible says
2. Worship like the Bible says
3. Live like the Bible says

I believe this. This approach glorifies God and it allows us to sincerely be His people.

I want to thank you, today, for coming home. God loves you. He sent His Son to die for you. He was raised so that you could come home forever. May we ever have as our most sincere and earnest possession, a heart that longs to be at home with God.

"And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him." ~ Luke 15:20

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