Friday, July 22, 2011

The Celebration Of Homecoming

Having served in the U.S. military,
 I can appreciate the homecoming after being gone a long time.
As such, I especially wish I could have been there to welcome home Tim,
my former ‘cell-mate’ who was recently released
after serving twenty plus years for committing a stupid crime when he was 19.
Did he hurt someone enough to deserve such a long sentence?
And he would be the first to admit it.
Yet God used Tim in my life.
(you can read more about it here: Where Will You See God)
The point though is what he has learned,
and how he wants to live from now on.
My own welcome home party had more than 40 people:
close family and friends, business partners,
co-workers of my wife,
fellow educators & former students,
neighbors and their kids,
and men I had mentored before my crime.
(you can read more about this here: Will Criminals Reform & Change)
So here is a key question:
Do We deserve a welcome home celebration?
In the biblical story of the prodigal son,
there is a celebration when the wayward boy changes his ways
comes home to his family,
and most importantly the father who adores him.
Jon Acuff has written a beautiful piece on this here:
My friend Tim has come home to a retired military officer of a dad,
and for the first time since his crime,
is happy for the disciplined love of his father.
He laughs when stcuk in traffic because for a change...
he gets to be stuck in it
rather than in the prison cell he has known.
He has a healthy perspective on life,
and with his new job is looking forward to paying restitution to his victim.
Here is the point:
Do you ever think You could do something so bad
that Christ will not welcome you into heaven?
I feel that Jesus celebrates with us in our victories here on earth,
and I trust He is saddened when we make mistakes.
I know He smiles when we are challenged to grow
through life's struggles to have more faith in Him. And,
I believe Christ rejoices when we walk into heaven to spend eternity with Him!
To get a wonderfully touching view of what a soldiers homecoming looks like,
watch this video:
Will your welcome into heaven be as jouyous an occasion by others?
And If God the Father is willing to welcome home
all His children who have committed crimes and sinned against Him,
could you help them to know salvation through Christ Jesus?
Ephesians 4:28 - Let him who stole steal no longer,
but rather let him labor,
working with his hands what is good,
that he may have something to give him who has need.

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