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“Thou shalt have no other god before me.”  (Exodus 20:3 KJV)

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The Way Back Home

October 25, 2013

I’ve had this electronic sticky note on my PC for quite a while now to write about Vince Gill’s song -

The Way Back Home

Yesterday afternoon - I felt like it’s time -
time to write about it.

It’s a song about children who have been taken away from their parents - and can’t find the way back home.

It’s the kind of song that gets right to your heart -
at least it does mine.

But after something that happened yesterday and the book I was reading last night - it does even more.

If you don’t know the song - or even if you do -
I invite you to check it out.
Here’s a You Tube link to a slide show that someone put together to go with it.
Get some kleenex first.

Here are the words -

A little girl was cryin'
For her mama and her daddy
She couldn't understand why they were gone
She never knew the danger
Of talking to a stranger
Now the girl can't find her way back home

A little boy went walkin'
Down to the corner market
To buy a loaf of bread and an ice cream cone
He never knew the danger
Of talkin' to a stranger
Now the boy can't find the way back home

Too many kids are missin'
Is anybody listening?
Won't you be the children's eyes
They're all alone
The hardest part's not knowing
Where they are or where they're going
Won't you help the children find
The way back home

The faces on milk cartons
Thrown away and soon forgotten
What if one of those sweet kids
Was your very own

Tonight those kids are weeping
While yours are safely sleeping
Won't you help the children find
The way back home

Too many kids are missin'
Is anybody listening?
Won't you be the children's eyes
They're all alone
The hardest part's not knowing
Where they are or where they're going
Won't you help the children find
The way back home

Won't you help the children find
The way back home


Way Back Home lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Vince Gilbert/Benefit Music/Vinny Mae Music


So - here’s what happened yesterday afternoon -

Our yard got fertilized today and the two little dogs like to eat fresh fertilizer (yuck) -
so I had to take them for a walk instead of just letting them out in the back yard before dinner.
While we were out there -
I saw a small black dog - never saw him before - just sitting on the corner.
I figured I’d take my guys back home (just a few houses away) and go back to check him out.
As I was watching, someone pulled up in an SUV -
got out and went over to the dog.
I assumed it was the dog’s owner - out looking for him.

No - it was another person like me - concerned about this dog just sitting there.

To keep it short - she brought the dog over to my house -
we called the number on his tag - got voice mail -
and since she didn’t live in the neighborhood - I kept the dog.

BTW - he got along just fine with my three guys -
we all watched a hockey game together.

Anyway -
the owner returns the call -
from Florida!

Turns out she was staying with a friend right down the street from us -
and apparently escaped someone.

I went over to the house -
found the hole the dog had dug to escape -
and put a brick in it.
Still had no way to get the dog back in -
since there was a very high fence and it was locked.

Their own dog (the owner of the house) was still in the back yard.

If you’re a dog person and have ever had one get away from you -
you know how they felt.

They were very happy to have their little one find the way back home.


Then - last night -

I was reading The Gospel According To Jesus: what is authentic faith, by John MacArthur.
That was research for a discussion of “works” - and the difference between doing things to try to please God - versus doing things after conversion because we have accepted Jesus as our “Lord and Master”.  Huge difference - but that’s maybe for another day.

The point here is that - according to MacArthur - we do things after accepting Jesus - because we are accepting Him as our Lord and Master.  Without getting into the details of what that means - let me just say that I do not believe we can do anything on our own to earn salvation.  If that were possible - Jesus died for nothing.

So - it begs the question - what are we supposed to do?

One thing we’re not told to do is convert people to Christianity - and they’re done.

No - that’s just the beginning - as we see in Matthew 28:16-20 -

The Great Commission

Mt 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


Note the words: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations

And - after they’ve been baptized - teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

Oh - that’s work.
Work for those we are reaching out to -
but in the same light - it’s work for us as well.


Again - what are we supposed to do?

Let’s take a look at what Paul says in 1 Cor 3:10-17 -

1Co 3:10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.  11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.  12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,  13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.  14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.  15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

1Co 3:16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?  17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.


So - Paul talks about building and about God’s temple.

Note - God’s temple is us.

The building part - that’s work again.  

So - what are we building for God -
something that God wants us to do?

The maybe not so obvious answer - I believe -
is that we’re supposed to build His temple.
Unlike the Old Testament -
where the goal was to build and keep up a “real” stone building -
our task is to build up the temple that Paul refers to -
us.

So at least part of our task is to build up God’s people -
Bring more people to Him -
not just as converts to sit in church and be comfortable -
but to become disciples -
and do things - the things He asks us to do -
including - but not limited to -
building more disciples.


Which now brings me to the point of the song.


If we listen to it at face value -
it’s a very moving song.

Kids - taken from their parents -
Kids - unable to find their way back to safety -
Kids - with lots of questions that may not ever be answered -
Kids - with fear that may never be calmed -
Kids - feeling like they are doomed.


As for the dog story -
lots of us are on the look out to rescue dogs that escaped - or were abandoned.
lots of us also take in those rescue dogs.


But - what about the kids?
They are an even more touching story.
We saw Jesus’ concern for children - in Matthew 18:5-6

Mt 18:5 “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.  6 But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.


The picture at the top of this page isn’t the normal one for this section.
Maybe you noticed?

It’s from the You Tube video.

My original intent - months ago -
was to write about this song from God’s point of view -
and there it is -
in that picture.


Think about it.

We’re born here.

But after we accept Jesus as our Lord and Master - we’re not really “of” here anymore.

Jn 18:36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”


Ro 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.  2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.


Is this part of our task becoming clearer?


Check out this- from 1Jn 2:28-3:10 -

Children of God

1Jn 2:28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

1Jn 2:29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.

1Jn 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.  3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.

1Jn 3:4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.  5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.  6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

1Jn 3:7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.  8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.  9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.  10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.


So now we have -

A little girl was cryin'
For her mama and her daddy
She couldn't understand why they were gone
She never knew the danger
Of talking to a stranger
Now the girl can't find her way back home

A little boy went walkin'
Down to the corner market
To buy a loaf of bread and an ice cream cone
He never knew the danger
Of talkin' to a stranger

Now the boy can't find the way back home


1Jn 3:7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray.


If we are truly children of God -
should we not be helping other children of God -
our “brothers and sisters” -

Find their way back home?


Now -
I’m asking you to listen to the song again -
watch the video -
but see it through God’s eyes.

Imagine Him - the Father -
with His children - including you -
here on earth -
and He desperately wants all of His children to find their way back home.

But -
He gave us free will -
He gave us the choice to return home -
or not.

There are far too many people in this world that are helping God’s children get lost.

Too many kids are missin'
Is anybody listening?
Won't you be the children's eyes
They're all alone
The hardest part's not knowing
Where they are or where they're going
Won't you help the children find
The way back home


God knows where His children are -
but those lost ones - they don’t know where they are themselves -
and they don’t know where they’re going either.

God’s asking us to be the eyes of those lost children -
He’s asking us to help them find their way back home - to Him.


If you’re a Christian -
you’ve found your way home.

Now it’s our turn.

God has a task for us -


Won't you help the children find
The way back home



Now - watch the video again.

When you start to cry -
don’t hold it back -
let it out.

And while that’s happening -
let the Holy Spirit in -
truly feel what God wants you to do.

When you ask Him -
He will tell you.


The faces on milk cartons
Thrown away and soon forgotten
What if one of those sweet kids
Was your very own

Tonight those kids are weeping
While yours are safely sleeping
Won't you help the children find
The way back home