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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Go Home

My Childhood Home
If I told you to go home, where would you go? When my parents went to heaven, many referred to it as “going home.” The Bible says that this world is not our home so I know that I will never be completely “at home” on earth. Nonetheless, I often confuse my friends by saying, “I’m home.” I have a house in Jacksonville, Florida and an apartment in State College, Pennsylvania so since I get confused about home, I understand their confusion. In Jacksonville, I have many churches that welcome and love me but I’m visiting. My home church is Calvary in State College, Pa. My church is as close to “home” as I can get while on earth. That means when I get back to my church, I breathe a sigh of relief. It is more than corporate worship – it is being members together of God’s household - studying the Bible, praying for each other, serving together, and being there spiritually, emotionally, and physically for each other.

Not all that carry the name “church” are happy “homes.” I hear many tragic “home” church stories. Some of you come from abusive “homes” – your supposed “church family” was just mean. Your “home” may have neglected, ignored, or judged you. Did you come from a broken “home” who fought constantly and then split up? Did your church have “pet sins” that they used as an excuse to be self-righteous and practice hateful prejudice? Some of your “homes” may have been dreary – boring, no fun or laughter, no joy of the Lord. Others preached fear – fear of sin and sinners and of displeasing God. If that is the kind of “home” you grew up in, it would be no surprise if you ran away from “home.” Here is the thing – this world is not our “home” and while we are here, we will always be restless as we long for our true “home.” The only antidote for that restlessness is finding an earthly “home” that will give us a glimpse of our final “home” with Jesus.

Calvary in State College, Pennsylvania - My Church Home
 So I beg you – Go Home! Join a church “family” who loves you unconditionally while having a vision of who you can become in Christ. When picking a “home” listen for laughter. God gives us the delights of our hearts. You aren’t “home” unless people are demonstrating the joy of the Lord. Make sure your “home” is the real deal – that they worship God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, believe in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and make the Bible the final authority for life on earth. Listen – do they preach and practice loving God with their entire heart, soul, mind, and strength and loving they neighbors as themselves? Do they greet you and seem glad you are there? Are they interested enough to check up on you? They won’t be perfect – no “home is – but you will know when you are “home.”

Once you find “home,” jump in with your entire heart, soul, mind, and strength – become an active member of the family of God. Support “home” with your money and time. Discipline your thoughts about what is “lovely” and build your family members up. Respect and support the leadership of your “home.”

Go Home! The rewards are magnificent.


His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. Eph 3:10-12

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Eph 2:19-22

Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. Heb 13:17

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.  Ephesians 4:11-16

Topic: Being Members of God’s Family

  • The manifest Wisdom of God is made known in church – Don’t miss it
  • Enjoy being fellow citizens with God – join God’s household
  • Work together with your church family to become the dwelling in which God lives by His spirit
  • God sent our church leaders to watch over us – let them.
  • It isn’t good for us when we make our church leaders miserable – be kind to church leaders
  • God sends family members with various talents to teach us – learn from them
  • Be unified as a family – otherwise you feel like you are being tossed about by waves
  • Build family members up

Evangelism Tip: Invite People Home

When you meet people who have run away from their church home, listen to their reasons. Don’t try to explain or defend the church. Simply apologize on behalf of the family of God for what happened to them. Invite them to your church.

Evangelize America

Shiloh the Shepherd's Sheep Dog - Helps Me Give the Gospel
 This has been what I’m calling “church week.” I went to two Bible Studies, a worship service, and lunch with a fellow sister. Every Divine Encounter I had was with Christians who have run away from their church home for one reason or another. I’ve had the pleasure of inviting several people to worship services and programs at my church. Shiloh the Shepherd’s Sheepdog was also very helpful this week. She performed her tricks perfectly and helped open the doors for conversation. I think she will be ready for the summer missionary journey. Bonnoroo is coming up in June and we still need funding. Pray about it.

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Cheryle M. Touchon

1 comment:

  1. This picture is a bit "ruff"

    Im no retriever, but I find this picture quite "fetching"

    ahhhh haaahaahaaa... got youuuuu