"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him." (Romans 15:13 NIV)
I don’t know what you’ve gone through this past year. It may have been a very tough year for you personally. But I do know this: God is not finished with you. If your heart is still beating, if you’re still taking a breath, it means God has a plan for the rest of your life.
“Stop your crying and wipe away your tears .... There is hope for your future” (Jeremiah 31:16-17 TEV). God has a plan for each day of your life. And God wants the rest of your life to be the best of your life. Then, one day, he wants to take you to his home — a perfect and permanent home called Heaven.
The sad thing is that a lot of people don’t want to come home for Christmas because home for them is hell on Earth. Home might be a place of anger, frustration, violence, abuse, shame, guilt, resentment, pressure, or manipulation.
If that is how you view home, then understand this: The Bible says, “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will take care of me” (Psalm 27:10 GW).
Why did Jesus Christ come at Christmas? Because he didn’t want to love you from a distance. He wanted to love you up close. God came to Earth and became one of us so we could know what he was like.
God is inviting you to come home to a person who made you, who loves you, who sent his Son to die for you. It’s not real hard to understand. The bottom line is this: Are you going to take a small step of faith this Christmas and come home to God? Or are you going to let it bypass you another year and continue to celebrate the birth of somebody you have no connection to at all?
Right now God is ready to welcome you — no matter who you are or what you’ve done. I don’t care if you’re a religious person or a non-religious person. I don’t care if you’re Catholic or Protestant or Jewish or Buddhist or no religion at all. This isn’t about religion; it’s about having a relationship with God. You can come to God and say, “God I want to come home to you, and I want you to make your home in my heart.”
Talk About It
What decision do you need to make today about your relationship with Jesus Christ?
What next step do you need to take toward finding a home with God? Let your local church or your small group support and help you as you take that step.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.