Recently, my mom, sister, and I had the pleasure of taking a road trip down to Florida for a dear friend’s wedding. We were also able to sight-see and take little adventures up the coast. This excursion of ours lasted almost a full week, including the drive there and back. It was a lovely trip, but needless to say, by the time it had ended, we were ready to come home!
This morning I have been able to enjoy some resting time after being on the go all week long. I’m back in my cozy room, morning light pouring softly through the window, with my cup of coffee and open Bible – my favorite place to be, and I thought, “There’s truly nothing like coming home.”
When you think of your “home”, what do you think of? Home is a wonderful thing to think about, and it often means something different for everyone. Perhaps this is why “home” has both a tangible aspect and a non-tangible aspect. Though we may think of a certain house or a specific area, most of us tend to associate our home with the people with whom we occupy a certain place, or even with the memories made there. The saying rings true, “Home is where the heart is”. Why is that? Why does a certain place or even a group of people (like family) make our hearts feel at home?
I’m sure we could all give different answers, but I believe it all boils down to love. You could be born in a certain place, but it takes the people you love (and those who love you) to truly make a place feel like home.
The same is true of our spiritual lives, is it not? In John 14:23, Jesus tells His disciples, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” Do you feel at home with the Lord? The Bible tells us that it is indeed possible! A similar passage is found in Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
But, just as physically going home implies the action of moving from one location to another, so it is with God. In Luke 15, we read the familiar parable of the prodigal son. A father had two sons, and the younger wanted his share of the family inheritance to spend it on himself. The text says that he “journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal [or reckless] living” (verse 13). Soon he ran out of both money and food on which to live and took a job of feeding pigs. Yet, it didn’t take long for this rebellious son to realize how wrong he had been, and that he needed to go home to his father, though he felt so undeserving of a home (verses 18-19). Rather than punishing his son, the father ran to meet him on the road and kissed him, welcoming him as a part of the family once more (verse 22-24). The younger son had all he could ever need while growing up with his family, but it wasn’t until he knew what it was like without it that he knew just how much he truly needed it.
The younger son in this story represents us, and the father represents God. Though we are born into a friendship with God, our sins separate us from Him (Isaiah 59:1-2). It is only by the saving power of His Son’s blood that we are brought into the family once more. Ephesians 2:12-13 says, “Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
Remember how Jesus phrases His promises in John 14:23 and Revelation 3:20: He will “come in to” us and make His home “with us”. The wording here is very similar to Ephesians 2:13 above, and implies a specific process of how Jesus comes to live “in” us. We are able to dwell “in Christ Jesus” only by “the blood of Christ”! Why? Because it is only by Christ’s blood that we are able to be cleansed of sin, qualifying us for a relationship with God: “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14) Revelation 1:5 describes Jesus as “Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood”. Acts 22:16 tells us how to be cleansed and contact Jesus’ blood: “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” Thus, Paul’s words make sense in Galatians 3:27: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
By reenacting Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection in being immersed in water, our sins are forgiven, and our hearts are made ready for Him to dwell in us (Galatians 2:20). No matter how far we may wander, our Father is ever ready to welcome us back home with open arms, loving us with a love greater than we could ever ask for. Truly, there’s nothing like coming home.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” ~ Galatians 2:20
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God.” ~ Revelation 21:3