January 15, 2016

Nehemiah 1Daniel 1:1-7Luke 15:11-31

Home.  “Home, Sweet Home!” “Home is where the heart is.” Many things have been written about home; yet, few of us are settled on what it is.  Is it a place? Is it people? I have certainly been in an unfamiliar place with my family and felt very much at home. Equally, I have been home alone and relished it.  I once heard of a mother searching for many years for a runaway daughter.  Realizing life on the street had more than likely changed her daughter’s appearance drastically from her most recent photograph, the mother opted to place her own photo on the posters she scattered throughout the city. The shock of seeing her mother’s face on a disheveled bulletin board in the seamy part of town jarred the daughter into returning home. As inexplicable as it is, there is no denying the hold home has over us.
Both in the morning and evening services, Pastor Charles pointed out the isolation experienced by Nehemiah and Daniel.  The enemy had attempted to use it as a tool to draw these men away. But, God had other plans.  The tug of home in their hearts fueled a fire of repentance and purpose.  Likewise, it was the thought of his father’s table that brought the prodigal son to repentance. 
As we continue to see so many leave our homes and churches, we need to recognize we have the high ground in this battle. The seduction of this world lacks substance. God has planted a seed of longing for home in our hearts. We must cultivate that. Whether it is a house, a church, a community, or a people, when we gather in His name, the spirit of unity forges a bond that is both strong and alluring. By throwing open the doors to our homes, whatever they may be, we fill the byways with the pleasing aroma of peace.  We are the place of refuge in this world.  Even before he knew his son’s intentions, the prodigal’s father ran toward him with an embrace. This is being the church. Inviting others to see us live our lives in front of the world, not as trouble-free automatons, but as real people confronting real problems, empowered by a real Savior, to overcome in spite of it all. This is what will draw them home.

Beginning 2016 with Prayer

Pray for other Believers and Those Around You

Often times we focus on those who do not know Christ and we should however we fail to pray for the believers, our coworkers and those around us. It is important to keep them lifted up as the devil will discourage them and keep them from sharing the gospel. Pray they repent of sins daily, devoted to prayer and free from bondage. Live with Christ as their hope and true source of peace and happiness. 

Romans 10:9-10, 12:1-2; John 8: 31-32; Colossians 4:5-6; Ephesians 1:18-19; Matthew 6:6, 18:19-20; 2 Corinthians 6:17; Romans 6:1-19; John 4:10-14; Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 25:21 1 Timothy 1:12  

Pray they share the gospel and faithfully make disciples of others in their lives. They will be found faithful when they stand before God.