You Can Go Home Again

February 11, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

My friend Phil is a former pastor who had been forced to leave his church ten years ago because of mistakes he had made in the aftermath of his daughter’s death. Many people, if they knew of the details of his story, would say that reconciliation would be out of the question in his case. Conventional wisdom says there are certain things that are unforgivable and unrecoverable. But conventional wisdom often undervalues the power of the cross.

I recently helped Phil find his personal freedom through forgiving himself. He then began to look for ways to get involved in our church and begin to serve again. While he listened to God about his future, he was invited to go hear an old friend who was in town teaching a conference hosted by Phil’s former church.  It would be the first time in ten years that Phil had been in the church building. Phil called me and told me he felt that God wanted him to go, but he was very nervous.

He seemed uneasy when we met a couple of weeks later for lunch. I asked him how it went visiting his old church. He told me that it was like he had never left. People hugged him and loved on him as a long lost friend. I asked him, “Why the uneasiness?” I still chuckle to myself when I reflect on his answer.

“Bruce, I feel torn. I am grateful to you for helping me find freedom. I am also grateful for your church accepting me and I want to get involved and help. But I feel a strange and strong pull from God to go back to my old church. They welcomed me with open arms and everyone wants me to come back and be a part of them. They assured me all is forgiven and I think God wants me to go back.”

I literally laughed. “You mean you are being reconciled to the church you planted, the church that you were forced to leave, and the new pastor and all the leadership is inviting you back? When does that ever happen? Am I supposed to get in the way of that? Of course you go back! Yea God!”

Recently Phil told me that they had asked him to preach there. Wow! That’s a miracle! That’s the power of forgiveness!

PRAYER: Father, thank You for the miracles You bring when we choose to forgive ourselves.

“So that now instead you should rather forgive and comfort him. This will keep him from being overwhelmed by excessive grief to the point of despair,” 2 Corinthians 2:7.

Today’s devotional is by Bruce Hebel, Pastor of ReGen Fellowship in Tyrone, Georgia, President of ReGenerating Life Ministries, and Adjunct Professor at Carver Bible College. He is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and has served in ministry for over 35 years.

About Bruce Hebel

Comments

One Response to “You Can Go Home Again”
  1. Robin J. Steinweg says:

    Supernatural God, supernatural forgiveness and grace. “…conventional wisdom often undervalues the power of the cross.” That’s good, Bruce! Thanks for your message.
    -Robin

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