Thursday – December 8, 2016
Read: Romans 6:23
Focus: vs 23
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
You know that feeling you get when you are almost home after a long, tiresome trip? Call it excitement, call it relief, call it happiness – at the very best, call it good! We are a very long way from our birth home, but we have lived several places where our new friends greeted us with “Welcome Home” and it became truly so. Lincoln, Nebraska was one such place and we loved it so much that I always expected it to be our retirement destination. A couple of days ago we passed through Lincoln at near the tail end of a very long but pleasurable trip. Immediately I penned a new definition of the word “eternity!” The traffic has become so frenzied since we last visited my favorite city that it became an hour-long panic attack – it lasted an “eternity” in my mind and body! So I thought I’d ask the question, “how do you define eternity?” If you are truly home, then eternity means “never having to leave this favorite place.” This definition also works if you are a true child of God and you are planning on Heaven. Imagine though, if you have not chosen Christ and your eternity is sure to become “never escaping this weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Sometimes the fact that eternity lasts forever is a good thing, but other times, not so much!
I recall with joy our feeling of “We are home” when we crossed the Nebraska line for the first time in 1975. I recall with joy the sign on the church marquee when we first entered Enid, Oklahoma (WELCOME HOME, PASTOR!). Our move to Iowa was very much a “God thing” with a unanimous call to pastor the church and the feeling of family that quickly enveloped us. Our most recent move to Red Cloud, Nebraska was a “Coming home” long before we ever got here! But the “Welcome Home!” that I am most longing to hear is when I claim the gift that Jesus purchased for me long ago when He died on the Cross to forgive my sins and then to prepare a place for me with Him in Heaven! That will be the last “Welcome Home” that I hear, and it will last forever! What a gift-giver my Savior is!
“Lord, I thank You so much for your many gifts but most of all for my redemption and for the assurance it gives that I may spend eternity with You. This Christmas help me to generously share with others this gift that keeps on giving!”